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Can You Take A Nintendo Switch On A Plane?

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Suppose you are flying to a distant country or even just a few states away. If you have been on an airplane, then you know that everyone wants to be entertained throughout the journey. It is quite evident that most of the flight services provide plenty of things that can help you to enjoy your journey while getting entertained but often they are either poor options or cost way too much! 

When it comes to gamers there really aren’t any options available on a plane besides bringing your own console. Obviously you can’t bring a full size Xbox or Playstation with a big screen TV on the plane so that leaves you with the portable Nintendo Switch as the best option. 

With the rules constantly changing on what is and is not allowed on planes many people don’t know whether a Nintendo Switch is even allowed on a plane. That is what this article is all about.

We will do our best to answer that question as well as give you other tips for using your Switch on a plane. 

So, can you use a Nintendo Switch on a flight? 

A Nintendo Switch can be brought on a plane in both your carry-on or checked luggage. You can use your Nintendo Switch while you are flying as well however you will only be able to play the games that you have downloaded or have the cartridges for.

You will not have access to the internet (unless the plane offers wifi) so you will only be able to play games offline while you are in the air. You will want to put your Switch in airplane mode as it will help you save battery while you are playing assuming you aren’t connected to the plane’s wifi. 

You should be aware that if your Switch console is still in the box it is possible that it will have to be opened when you go through security (if you have it in your carry-on). So if you are taking it as a gift to someone just be aware that you might have to open it up if you are carrying it on.

Often people are confused about the norms related to these consoles on the flight. They think that these are banned on flights since these consoles provide an online game playing experience also. In the case of the Nintendo Switch you can easily turn it on airplane mode and only play games that you have previously downloaded to the console. 

To learn more about using your Switch on a plane you will want to check out this video below. 

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What are the guidelines related to consoles on a flight?

While using your Switch while you are traveling seems pretty straightforward it is a good idea to check out all of the related rules and guidelines for the airline that you are flying with and the country you will be in. The USA allows the use of portable electronic devices such as handheld gaming consoles (like the Nintendo Switch) even during takeoff and landing.

You are required to separate these devices when going through security and will often have to take them out of the case that they are in, they can certainly be used while on the plane (in the USA).

Some countries have different rules about portable electronic devices so if you are flying overseas it is a good idea to contact the airline and ask ahead of time rather than being surprised when you are on board. 

Can you use your Nintendo Switch during the flight?

This is one of the questions that is very important for all gamers as while you are stuck in a tiny seat having something to do can help pass the time quite quickly.

You can definitely operate your Nintendo Switch on the flight but you will be unable to play online games unless connected to the plane’s internet (if it is offered).

Not only can you not play online games but you will also be unable to download or update any of your games while being on the flight.

For that, you should download your favorite games beforehand as this will enable you to play the games that you want to while you are on the flight. You should also double check and make sure that all of the downloaded games don’t require an update before you can play them. 

There is nothing worse than not being able to access your game because it requires an update when you are unable to update it! 

Apart from the above common information, you should understand the proper functional procedure for the Nintendo Switch to make your journey more enjoyable. Following are some of the instructions that will help to provide an excellent gaming experience while you are stuck on the plane. 

If you have a Nintendo Switch, then you will certainly want to have a good pair of headphones with you to listen to the music and sound effects of the game that you are playing. 

Investing in a pair of good headphones or earbuds will provide a good sound experience while also drowning out the noise of all of the other passengers around you. 

Switch’s Offline or online mode

Most of the people get confused when turning their devices to airplane mode. If you are a new user then the knowledge of airplanes mode is mandatory. If you are in a plane, then as per the rules and regulation of a flight they normally request that all devices be put into airplane mode if it is possible.

This is done to supposedly keep the devices from interfering from the navigation system (although there is no proof of that ever happening). 

To get your Nintendo Switch into airplane mode, you just have to go into your system settings from the home screen and activate flight mode. If you are traveling with the regular Switch you will need to activate Bluetooth to use the Joy-Cons.

In any other scenario, they need to be attached to the body of the Switch to keep them working normally. 

It is important to have the Joy-Cons attached when you activate this as  it simply enables you to turn on Bluetooth before disconnecting them. For the Nintendo Switch Lite, you just have to follow the same instructions for turning on airplane mode as it is in the same spot. 

Info about the online and offline mode of the Nintendo Switch

It is quite evident that the unavailability of Wi-Fi or being in-flight mode restricts you from accessing the online features of the Nintendo Switch. This simply means that you can’t play any MMO games. You will not be able to buy any games, you cannot download the games and or basically access anything that involves the internet. 

It is advisable to prepare yourself before the journey by downloading or purchasing the games that you will want to play while offline. There are different games available offline and depending upon the downloading they can provide a very good gaming experience.

This is of course assuming that the plane you are on doesn’t offer internet or that you didn’t want to pay for it. Many planes (especially those on longer trips) will offer wifi for a small fee so if you are on one of those planes then you can connect to their internet and use your Nintendo Switch just like you would at home! 


As is evidenced by the above points it should be obvious by now that the Nintendo Switch is not banned from being brought or even used on flights in the USA. Again, if you are traveling out of the country make sure you know exactly what those rules are so that you can follow them and won’t be surprised by them either. 

You can get an excellent experience while playing on the Nintendo Switch on a plane as it is equipped with a kickstand that makes it very easy to play in any type of journey (although using the kickstand on the tray table may or may not work well for you depending on your height).  

One thing to keep in mind if you are on a long flight is that many people have reported the battery dying before they get to their destination so make sure to fully charge your battery before leaving and if you are planning on going on a long flight it might be worthwhile to have a large power bank that you can use to recharge your Switch while using it.