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How to Take a TV on a Plane

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Taking a TV on a plane can be a tricky and daunting task, especially if you are not aware of the rules and regulations regarding it. Whether you are planning to travel domestically or internationally, it is essential to know the guidelines and restrictions beforehand.

In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about taking a TV on a plane. We will cover airline policies for both carry-on and checked baggage, how to pack your television to ensure that it arrives safely at your destination, and what you need to do at the airport.

Can You Take a TV on a Plane?

The general answer to this question is yes; you can take a TV on a plane.

However, it is important to note that the TV should be securely packaged and meet the size and weight restrictions imposed by the airline. Moreover, different airlines have different policies, so it is recommended to check with your airline before flying.

TSA Regulations for TVs

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows televisions in carry-on and checked baggage.

However, airlines are free to impose their own restrictions on bringing TVs on their planes. We will examine this next.

Check Airline Policies

Now that we know that the TSA has no restrictions with traveling with TVs on a plane, let’s have a look at what restrictions airlines impose.

For this article, we examined the baggage policies for the 11 largest U.S. airlines:

There were some rules and restrictions that were common across most airlines:

  1. All airlines (except for JetBlue) don’t have specific policies for traveling with televisions. However, they do for boxes. So, if you are planning to travel on an airline that we haven’t examined, you can check their rules on the transportation of boxes.
  2. Many airlines specifically require that they are packaged in their original, factory-sealed, manufacturer’s box.
  3. All airlines will accept your television as a fragile item only. What this means is that the airline won’t be liable for any damage or loss that may occur while the TV is in the airline’s custody. The airline may request that you sign a liability release form, absolving them of any responsibility or liability.
  4. Some airlines impose baggage embargoes on specific international routes. This can affect whether you are allowed to check boxes. However, this doesn’t affect TVs brought as carry-on.

Carry On Baggage Size and Weight Limits

All airlines examined allow televisions to be brought into the plane cabin. However, your TV will need to be within the airline’s carry-on baggage allowance. This drastically limits how large of a TV you can bring onboard.

Size Limit

As you can see from the table below, the size limit is fairly consistent across all airlines. The airlines with the largest carry-on allowance of 24 x 16 x 10 inches are:

  • Frontier Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines

Depending on the size of the carton that your TV is packed in, you should be able to bring a TV up to 24 inches (diagonally) in size. However, remember to carefully measure the box that its packed in to ensure that it’s within your airline’s limits.

Important: A television’s length, usually expressed in inches, refers to its diagonal length. This is calculated by measuring the top corner of one side of the screen, to the bottom corner of the opposite side.

Baggage, on the other hand, is measured in linear inches. This is calculated by measuring the outside length, width, and height, then adding these values together.

Weight Limit

Some airlines impose a weight limit on carry-on bags, but this shouldn’t be an issue. A boxed 24-inch television should weigh around 15 pounds.

Carry On Baggage Fee

A few airlines charge a fee for your carry-on bag, so this may factor whether you do decide to bring your TV on board.

We would recommend avoiding bringing a TV on board when traveling with any of the low-cost carriers. Many of them are well known for being very vigorous when measuring your carry-on bags. This is understandable, especially when airlines incentivize check-in staff to charge oversize fees.

AirlineSize LimitWeight LimitFee
Alaska Airlines22” x 14” x 9”No
Allegiant Air22” x 16” x 10”Yes
American Airlines22” x 14” x 9”No
Delta Air Lines22” x 14” x 9”No
Frontier Airlines24” x 16” x 10”35 lbs.Yes
Hawaiian Airlines22” x 14” x 9”25 lbs.No
JetBlue22” x 14” x 9”No1
Southwest Airlines24” x 16” x 10”No
Spirit Airlines22” x 18” x 10”Yes
Sun Country Airlines22” x 16” x 11”35 lbs.Yes
United Airlines22” x 14” x 9”No2
Airline Carry-on Baggage Size and Weight Limits

1. Blue Basic fares don’t include a carry-on bag, nor can it be bought later.
2. Basic Economy fares don’t include a carry-on bag.

Checked Baggage Size and Weight Limits

All airlines will accept TVs as checked baggage in most circumstances, with some exceptions. Let’s discuss the general airline size and weight limits first before we get into the specifics.

Size Limit

For most airlines, the maximum size of the TV should not exceed 62 linear inches (158 centimeters). This equates to a 32-inch (diagonally) TV for most models, depending on the size of the TV’s packaging.

There is one outlier however: Allegiant Air’s checked baggage size limit is 80 linear inches. This equates to televisions up to 43 inches in size.

Weight Limit

The weight of the TV also needs to be considered, as most airlines have a limit of 50 pounds (23 kilograms) for checked baggage. Unsurprisingly, most of the low-cost carriers have a 40-pound weight limit. Interestingly, Allegiant increased its checked baggage allowance to 50 pounds, as of March 2013. This, in conjunction with its 80 linear inches size limit, makes it a compelling choice for transporting a larger television.

Southwest is the only airline which includes a checked baggage allowance with its fares, specifically 2 bags.

AirlineSize LimitWeight LimitFeeTV SizeTV Weight
Alaska Airlines62” linear50 lbs.Yes32″15 lbs.
Allegiant Air80” linear50 lbs.Yes43″20 lbs.
American Airlines62” linear50 lbs.Yes32″15 lbs.
Delta Air Lines62” linear50 lbs.Yes32″15 lbs.
Frontier Airlines62” linear40 lbs.Yes32″15 lbs.
Hawaiian Airlines62” linear50 lbs.Yes32″15 lbs.
JetBlue62” linear50 lbs.Yes32″15 lbs.
Southwest Airlines62” linear50 lbs.No32″15 lbs.
Spirit Airlines62” linear50 lbs.Yes32″15 lbs.
Sun Country Airlines62” linear50 lbs.Fee32″15 lbs.
United Airlines62” linear50 lbs.Fee32″15 lbs.
Airline Checked Baggage Size and Weight Limits

Oversized and Overweight Limits

If you want to check a TV larger than what was discussed in the previous section, you will have to pay excess fees. This is where it begins to become quite expensive. If your television is both oversized and overweight, you could be subject to cumulative fees in excess of $400. This is in addition to any applicable checked bag fee.

A few things to note in the table below:

  1. Many airlines have an oversized limit of 80 linear inches. You may recall that this is the same size as Allegiant Air’s standard checked baggage size allowance.
  2. American Airlines has the largest oversized limit of 126 linear inches. This should allow you to check a TV up to 75 inches (diagonally) in size. However, when researching TVs of this size, we found that most models were awfully close to American’s overweight limit of 100 pounds. You don’t want to turn up at the airport with a TV more than this weight, as the airline won’t accept it at check-in.
AirlineOversized LimitOverweight LimitTV SizeTV Weight
Alaska Airlines115” linear100 lbs.65″50 lbs.
Allegiant Air80” linear99 lbs.43″20 lbs.
American Airlines126” linear100 lbs.75″100 lbs.
Delta Air Lines80” linear100 lbs.43″20 lbs.
Frontier Airlines110” linear99 lbs.65″50 lbs.
Hawaiian Airlines80” linear100 lbs.43″20 lbs.
JetBlue80” linear99 lbs.43″20 lbs.
Southwest Airlines80” linear100 lbs.43″20 lbs.
Spirit Airlines80” linear100 lbs.43″20 lbs.
Sun Country Airlines80” linear99 lbs.43″20 lbs.
United Airlines115” linear100 lbs. 65″50 lbs.
Airline Oversized and Overweight Limits

Baggage Embargoes on Boxes

In this section we will cover what impact baggage embargoes can have on checked baggage limits, and whether boxes are allowed. I have included links to our dedicated baggage embargo post for each airline.

American Airlines

American Airlines has seasonal and year-round baggage embargoes which can limit your checked baggage in the following ways:

  • Checked baggage no larger than 62 linear inches.
  • Checked baggage no heavier than 70 pounds.
  • No more than 2 checked bags allowed.

Delta Air Lines

Delta also has seasonal and all-year baggage embargoes. Some of the baggage limitations include:

  • For travel to/from Central America and South America, boxes which are checked have to be the original, factory-sealed, manufacturer’s box.
  • Delta won’t accept boxes at check-in for travel to/from Brazil, Chile, and Mexico,
  • No more than 2 checked bags allowed.


Domestic flights: JetBlue will only accept checked boxes if they are the original, factory-sealed, manufacturer’s box.

International Flights: JetBlue has baggage embargoes to many destinations in Central and South America. However, JetBlue was the only reviewed airline that specifically references televisions. The only international flights that the airline will accept TVs is for Cuba.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest has seasonal and year-round baggage embargoes in effect. The airline won’t accept boxes for the following destinations:

  • Bahamas: November 15 – January 15
  • Belize: November 15 – January 15
  • Cuba: year-round
  • Jamaica: August 15 – September 15, November 15 – January 15
  • San Jose, Costa Rica: November 15 – January 15

Spirit Airlines

Spirit won’t accept boxes on any route which has a baggage embargo in effect. Destinations affected include:

  • Colombia: year-round
  • Ecuador: year-round
  • Lima, Peru: year-round
  • All other international destinations: December 1 – January 10

United Airlines

United has a relatively lenient policy on boxes for destinations with baggage embargoes in effect. You are allowed to substitute a box for a checked bag. However, the box can be no larger than 62 linear inches and not heavier than 50 pounds.

For travel to/from the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico, boxes can be no larger than 42 linear inches.

Pack Your Television Properly

If you’re planning to bring your TV on a plane, it’s essential to pack it properly to ensure it arrives at your destination undamaged. Here are some tips to help you pack your TV properly:

Remove Any Accessories

Before packing your TV, you should remove any accessories or detachable parts from the TV. This includes the TV stand, wall mount, cables, and remote control. Pack these separately to avoid damage to the TV.

Protect the Screen

The screen of your TV is the most vulnerable part, so it’s important to protect it. You can use bubble wrap or a similar material to cover the screen and prevent it from scratching or cracking.

Use the Original Packaging

Some airlines won’t accept boxes unless they are the original, factory-sealed, manufacturer’s box.

If your airline does accept boxes that are not the manufacturer’s factory-sealed container, you have two options available to you:

  • If you still have the original packaging for your TV, use it. The packaging is designed to protect the TV during transportation, so it’s the best option for packing.
  • If you don’t have the original packaging, use a sturdy box that’s the right size for your TV. Make sure the box is sturdy enough to protect the TV from bumps and knocks during transportation.

Secure the TV in the Box

Place the wrapped TV in the box, ensuring that it fits snugly and there is no room for movement. Fill any empty space with packing peanuts or bubble wrap to prevent shifting during transit.

Label the Box

Be sure to label the box with your name and contact details. Seal the box securely with packing tape and label it as “Fragile.”

Hot Tip: If you’re intending to bring your TV on the plane as carry-on baggage. be aware that there is a chance that it may be gate-checked, as there may be limited space in the overhead bins. It’s recommended that you pack your television on the assumption that it could be transferred to the plane’s hold.

At the Airport

What you need to do at the airport depends on whether you are bringing your TV on board as a carry-on or checking it.

Carrying Your TV as a Carry-On

If you’re planning to bring your TV on the plane as a carry-on item, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Be Prepared for Security

Your TV will have to go through security screening, so be prepared to remove it from its packaging for inspection.

Be Considerate of Other Passengers

Carrying on a TV can take up lots of space in the overhead bins, so be considerate of other passengers’ belongings when stowing it.

Checking Your TV as Baggage

If you’re unable to bring your TV on the plane as a carry-on item, you’ll need to check it as baggage. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Arrive Early at the Airport

When you arrive at the airport, make sure to arrive early to allow plenty of time for check-in. Keep in mind that larger televisions may require special handling, so it’s important to allow extra time for this. You may have to take the TV to a special area for oversized baggage.

Inform the Airline That You Will Be Checking in a TV

If you are traveling with other checked bags, make sure to inform the airline that you have a TV to check, as they may have specific procedures for handling oversized or fragile items. The airline may also require you to sign a liability waiver for any damage that may occur during transport.

The check-in agent will then check the weight and size of the package and apply any extra fees if necessary.

Hot Tip: If you have a connecting flight, confirm with the agent whether you need to collect your TV at the connection and recheck it.

Retain Your Baggage Receipt

Your airline’s check-in agent will attach a tag to your TV’s box. The agent will then give you a baggage receipt. This will allow you to track your television’s progress and ensure that it arrives at your destination.

It’s a good idea to check that the details on your receipt are correct.

Hot Tip: Use your phone to take a photo of your baggage receipt, in case you misplace it.

Customs and Duties

If you are taking a TV on an international flight, you may be subject to customs and duties fees. Different countries have different regulations regarding electronics, so it is recommended to check with the customs department of the country you are traveling to for their specific policies and restrictions.

Consider Shipping Your TV Instead

If your TV is too large or heavy to be checked as baggage or if you’re concerned about damage during transport, you may want to consider shipping it separately. You also won’t have to worry about getting the TV to the airport and carrying it to your airline’s check-in counter.

We highly recommend Luggage Forward to ship luggage domestically or internationally.

Final Thoughts

Taking a TV with you when you fly is indeed possible, but you need to do your research. For the most part, airlines consider televisions as standard checked baggage. However, you need to be aware that all airlines accept them as fragile items. This means that the airline won’t accept liability for any damage that may occur to your TV while it’s in transit.

The most challenging aspect of traveling with a TV is ensuring that it’s within your airline’s size and weight limits. If it’s oversized and/or overweight, the fees can quickly add up.

If you’re planning to take a TV as carry-on, you’re limited to television sizes up to 32 inches. If you’re going to check your TV, you can check TVs anywhere from 43 to 75 inches. Bear in mind that you may be subjected to oversized and/or overweight fees in addition to the standard bag fee.

Baggage embargoes can add a further complication, as boxes are often specifically limited.

Remember to always check your airline’s website or contact their customer service for the latest information on baggage allowances and fees.

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