If you are making vacation plans and are a GoPro owner, you would definitely want to take it along to capture stunning shots while traveling. But when traveling by flight, things can get a little tricky with all the rules and regulations regarding what you can carry and cannot do. Trust me when I say this, even after catching multiple flights, I always have second thoughts while packing, especially when taking electronic gadgets.
Typically electronic gadgets have to undergo extra security measures at the airport, and you definitely do not want messy situations. Hence, I will always recommend gathering all the information required beforehand to avoid mishaps.
In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know if you are wondering, “can you take a GoPro on a plane?”. I have received this question quite a few times and observed that it is a familiar doubt among many. Hence I thought of compiling all the necessary information about this topic in this article so that it can guide you properly in this specific situation.
So let’s get into it without any further delay.
- 1 Can you take a GoPro on a plane?
- 2 Can you carry GoPro camera batteries on a plane?
- 3 What GoPro accessories can you carry on a plane?
- 4 Is it possible to use a GoPro inside the airport?
- 5 Can the X-ray machine at the airport damage your GoPro?
- 6 Tips to follow when carrying a GoPro on a plane
- 7 Conclusion
Can you take a GoPro on a plane?
If you want the short answer, it is- “Yes.” However, it is a tricky affair, and you need to know every little detail before you start packing your bags. The TSA, or Transportation Security Administration, has laid out a few rules and regulations regarding carrying cameras and electronic gadgets. It is crucial to follow the directions to be on the safe side.
According to the rules, you can carry a GoPro camera on a plane. The GoPro camera can be carried in your check-in luggage or carry-on bag. But would you be able to have a good experience without any batteries or accessories? And I will cover the difference in regulations in the next section.
The best idea is to carry your GoPro without any batteries inside it. Another point I would suggest is taking the camera in your carry-on bag instead of the check-in luggage. I know the rules do not have any problem with a passenger carrying a camera inside the checked-in bag. But even though I have not experienced it myself, I have seen multiple scenarios where the check-in luggage gets lost or is handled poorly.
Your GoPro camera is a fragile item, and I am sure you do not want to risk damaging it. Plus, even though it is a rare occurrence, someone may try to steal your checked luggage.
However, I am only offering this advice because GoPro cameras are pretty compact and can easily fit inside a carry-on bag. However, if you have any other digital camera which is bigger, you will have to get it out of your carry-on baggage for scanning during security check.
Now let us assume that you have put the GoPro camera inside your checked-in luggage. Now, even though no explicit rules say this is not allowed, the TSA still has the authority to reject any item from being loaded onto the aircraft. So it never hurts to have a backup plan. You definitely do not want to leave your camera behind. So what do you do in this scenario?
Even though I mostly carry my GoPro in my carry-on bag, there have been times when I put it in my checked-in baggage. But I always recommend checking the camera inside a protective container or any hard case so your camera will not face significant damage, even if your baggage is not handled correctly during transit.
Can you carry GoPro camera batteries on a plane?
The batteries are another significant component of a GoPro camera because you will obviously not be able to use the camera without them. Like most modern electronic gadgets, GoPro batteries are also lithium-ion type.
And according to the rules set by the TSA, you have to carry the GoPro camera in your carry-on luggage if it contains batteries inside it. But if it does not include the batteries, it is mandatory to bring them only in the carry-on baggage. This is because if you put Lithium batteries in the check-in luggage, they are likely to catch fire and threaten flight safety.
Any spare batteries and even devices containing lithium-ion batteries inside have to be placed in the carry-on bag. And when you go to the security check, you must take out the spare batteries and place them in a tray for the x-ray screening process. I would also recommend putting the Lithium batteries inside a clear plastic zip bag so they are easier to view and the security checkup process will go on smoothly.
Now, if you are going on a more extended vacation, you might want to carry extra batteries for your GoPro camera. In that case, you have to follow the same rules. Plus, the batteries should be under 100Wh. And if you have any doubt regarding the weight restrictions, don’t worry because you do not have to face any limits in that aspect. You can carry them easily as long as they are under 100Wh.
There is another factor I had to research, and that is the number of batteries you can carry along on the plane. Personally, I have carried a maximum of 4 batteries till now, can I never faced any issues during the security check. But is there any limit on this?
TSA does not have a set limit on the number of batteries you can carry for your GoPro camera. Even though I have carried a maximum of four, I have a friend who usually takes at least 6 to 8, and he did not face any problems either. However, ensure the contact points do not touch each other while packing them, as it can be hazardous.
And even though there is no fixed limit, I can guarantee you that if you carry 20-30 lithium-ion batteries in your bag, the security agents will definitely have something to say about it and may interrogate you. So make sure the number of batteries you carry makes sense, and they should not be for sale.
Now, what about large-capacity batteries? If you want to carry a battery having a capacity exceeding 100Wh, you can only carry a maximum of 2. And just like regular batteries, you must always carry them in your hand baggage, not the check-in luggage.
However, you will not face this issue with the GoPro camera since almost all the batteries typically used here are less than 100Wh.
As long as you follow all the rules posed by the TSA regarding carrying lithium batteries, you should not face any trouble.
What GoPro accessories can you carry on a plane?
All of us GoPro lovers can definitely attest that the shooting experience becomes much better when you have the right accessories. But will you be able to carry these accessories on the plane too?
Yes, you can carry most of the GoPro accessories on the plane. You can carry as many lenses as you want to, as long as you back them properly and do not exceed the weight limit. I always make sure to detach the lenses from the camera and take them properly to avoid any damage.
You might face one particular issue in this zone while carrying your selfie stick or the tripod. The small aluminum stick will be fine, but if you have a longer and larger tripod, it is not a good idea to carry it in your hand baggage. But you can quickly put that inside your check-in baggage.
As far as I know, the selfie stick should not pose any problem during the security check. The security agents see these types of accessories daily and hence are not bothered with them easily.
If you want to carry the cleaning kit of the camera with you, you can pack them inside your check-in baggage as there are certain restrictions regarding carrying liquids.
Is it possible to use a GoPro inside the airport?
Yes, you can use your GoPro camera inside the airport. However, some specific areas within the airport are off-limits. The rules can vary from country to country, and you should be good if you follow and respect them.
For example, it is prohibited to film the security check and customs area. Apart from that, there are several areas inside the airport where you can see a sign mentioning that photography is not allowed there. If you see any of those, you must respect them.
But at the same time, I will also recommend asking an official whether you can film at the airport. I know no creating tiktoks and vlogs is very exciting, especially if you are a content creator. You may even want to document the whole traveling process. But it is not worth annoying other people at the airport or the passengers on a plane.
Hence, despite what the rules say, I would still recommend respecting a person’s privacy and being subtle about it without sticking the camera directly in front of anyone’s face.
Can the X-ray machine at the airport damage your GoPro?
This is another question I have been asked plenty of times. And I absolutely had to include it in this article. No, the x-ray machine will not damage your GoPro camera and memory card.
Screening electronic gadgets, like cameras, phones, laptops, etc, is a standard process and is done in huge quantities at the airport daily. And you’ll hardly ever hear about any incident where the camera has been damaged due to the X-ray machine. Hence, you do not have to worry about any damage or data loss.
However, if you are carrying camera film, the x-ray machine has the potential to damage the film. According to the TSA rules, if the film is under 800 ISO, it will not be damaged by the X-ray machine during the security check. But the checked-in luggage is usually screened using high-energy X-rays, which can damage your camera film.
So I recommend carrying camera film in hand baggage to avoid any issues. That is another factor I have heard from a few of my friends, but I have not tried it personally. If you are worried about the X-ray machine causing damage to your camera film, you can talk to the security officials, and they agree to hand inspection at some airports.
Tips to follow when carrying a GoPro on a plane
I have covered almost everything you need to know about carrying your GoPro camera on the plane. But here is a list of tips I usually always follow while traveling with my GoPro camera. You can consider it a final checklist for your camera before leaving for the airport.
- If you are carrying your GoPro camera in the check-in luggage, ensure they are powered off before you drop off your luggage at the counter.
- While carrying GoPro cameras in check-in baggage, putting them inside a protective bag or a hard case is vital to avoid any damage.
- The rules might differ for all airlines, but I recommend removing all batteries from your GoPro camera and carrying them separately in your hand baggage.
- Always carry spare batteries in your hand baggage, and make sure you follow the weight restrictions and capacity limit for lithium batteries.
- Do not carry an abnormal amount of batteries for your GoPro camera. It will only delay the security check, and you might even be interrogated.
- While carrying any camera equipment, be aware of the size and weight, and carry them accordingly in a suitable bag.
- Always detach the lens before packing your camera because the lens can break if a lot of pressure is put in while packaging.
- Avoid carrying a huge bag; instead, choose one that can easily fit in the overhead compartment or even under the seat. A large bag will only attract attention and might also end up getting checked.
- Even if a security officer wants to check your baggage separately, be calm and not get frightened. As long as you follow the rules, you will definitely not face any significant issues.
- When carrying GoPro or any electronic equipment, pay attention to it and do not lose sight when it goes through security. And if you lose your camera at the security point, inform the official immediately.
A GoPro camera is the best choice to preserve your memories if you are going on a fun and special trip. And fortunately, you do not have to leave it behind at home because you now know the answer to the question- “can you take a GoPro on a plane?”
Yes, you can easily travel with your GoPro camera, along with batteries and accessories. And I hope that this article has helped to get the answer regarding the how part of it. You are good to go if you follow all the restrictions and rules.
There is one thing I would like to add. The rules and regulations keep getting updated, and some Airlines may even have different ones. There will be no significant differences, but it is still better to have a quick look so that you are on the safe side and do not end up in any messy situation.