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Can You Bring A Nintendo Switch On A Plane? (Can You Play It On An Airplane?)

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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 full-size gaming consoles like the 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 an airplane 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 bags 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 physical 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 toggle your Switch into 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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Rules When Bringing A Nintendo Switch On A Plane

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 TSA rules allow the use of portable electronics such as handheld gaming consoles (like the Nintendo Switch) even during takeoff and landing.

You are required to separate these devices from the rest of your luggage (putting each electronic device into a separate bin) when going through airport security (so keep that in mind when packing) and will have to take them out of the case that they are in before they go through the x-ray machine, however, these portable devices can certainly be used while on the plane (in the USA).

Some countries have different rules about portable electronic devices and whether they have to be stored in your suitcase or can be in your carry-on baggage 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 Airplane 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 while you are flying. So can you actually use your Switch console while you are in the air?

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! 

As with a cell phone or other portable electronic devices you can use your Switch console to play your favorite video games throughout the flight as long as you have access to it (meaning is in your backpack or personal item that you can easily reach without unbuckling your seat belt). You can play the console in tabletop mode or handheld mode as well (assuming you are allowed to have your tray table down at that time).

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. 

Nintendo Switch Offline Or Online Mode For The Plane

Many people get confused when turning their devices onto airplane mode. If you are a new user then the knowledge of airplane mode is mandatory. If you are in a plane, then as per the rules and regulations 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 with 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 then toggle on airplane mode. If you are traveling with the regular Switch you will need to activate Bluetooth to use the Joy-Cons once you have turned on airplane mode.

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 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, 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 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! 

Nintendo Switch/Switch OLED In Carry-On Luggage

Taking your Switch with you to the airport (and on the airplane) is a great idea as it allows you to play your favorite games wherever you are going. But do you have to put it in a checked bag or can you put it in your carry-on luggage?

Yes, your Nintendo Switch can go in your carry-on luggage. However, as with other electronics (like a laptop, phones, etc. you will have to take it out of the bag when you go through security at the airport.

The TSA is not exactly known for being the most lenient bunch, but they’re also not going to give you a hard time about your Nintendo Switch. As long as you take it out of your bags when going through the scanner you shouldn’t have any issues at all with the TSA.

Finally, let’s talk about the practicality of taking your Nintendo Switch in carry-on luggage. Honestly, it’s a great idea. You never know when you’re going to be stuck on a long flight or layover and need something to pass the time.

Plus, you can show off your latest Animal Crossing island to all your fellow passengers. Just be prepared for some serious envy from your seatmates.

Taking Your Nintendo Switch Through Airport Security

So you’re about to fly and you’re wondering how to get your precious Nintendo Switch through TSA security without it getting confiscated or damaged. Well, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with some tips and tricks that will make the process a breeze.

First and foremost, make sure your Switch is fully charged before you head to the airport. Nothing is more annoying than having your Switch die in the middle of the security line and having to hold up the entire line while you dig through your bag for a charger.

Sometimes security will ask you to turn on the device to make sure it is real so having it fully charged will mean you won’t have any issues if they ask you to do this.

Next, keep in mind that all electronic devices larger than a cell phone must be removed from your carry-on and placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening. So, be prepared and have your Nintendo Switch easily accessible in your bag, otherwise, you’ll be fumbling around like a clumsy oaf trying to find it.

Beyond that, there is nothing special that you need to do when taking your Switch through the airport’s security. It is a simple process and something that won’t hold up the screening process any longer than taking a laptop through the security checkpoint.

Can You Play Your Nintendo Switch On The Plane?

Well, well, well, look who wants to play their Nintendo Switch on a plane. Aren’t we fancy? I mean, who doesn’t love being confined to a small, cramped space for hours on end?

And what better way to pass the time than with some good old-fashioned Mario Kart? But can you actually use your Switch on the airplane?

You can use your Nintendo Switch on a plane however you will need to make sure it is in airplane mode while you are using it.

That means no internet, no wifi, no nothing. So don’t go thinking you’ll be able to play online with your friends while flying across the country.

Now, let’s talk about the actual act of playing your Switch on a plane. You’ll need to make sure you have a fully charged battery. Because, you know, outlets on planes are about as common as unicorns. And even if you do manage to find one, you’ll probably be stuck behind some old lady knitting a sweater who needs to charge her oxygen machine.

So, my advice: charge that baby up before you even leave your house.

During take-off and landing you won’t be able to get up and get your Switch console from your carry-on bag though so although you can bring your Switch onto the airplane you will need to get it out of your bag before you sit down.


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 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.