Travelling with kids can be stressful, especially when it comes to keeping them entertained on long flights. One common question parents have is whether or not battery operated toys are allowed on airplanes.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: most battery operated toys are permitted on flights as carry-on items, as long as they meet TSA guidelines. However, policies vary by airline so it’s best to check with your carrier before packing toys in your bags.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about bringing battery powered toys onto airplanes. We’ll discuss TSA regulations, individual airline policies, tips for choosing airplane-safe toys, recommendations for keeping kids engaged during flights, and more.

TSA Guidelines for Battery Operated Toys

When it comes to traveling with battery-operated toys, it’s important to be aware of the guidelines set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). These guidelines ensure the safety and security of all passengers on board.

Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know when traveling with battery-operated toys.

Toys under 3.4 ounces of liquid/gel

If your battery-operated toy falls under the category of liquids or gels, it must adhere to the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. This means that any liquid or gel, including batteries, must be in containers that are 3.4 ounces or less and all containers must fit into a single quart-sized plastic bag.

This rule applies to both carry-on and checked bags. It’s important to note that lithium batteries, which are commonly found in many battery-operated toys, are not considered liquids or gels and are subject to separate rules.

Larger toys with batteries installed

For larger battery-operated toys, such as remote-controlled cars or drones, the TSA allows them to be brought on board as carry-on items. However, it’s important to ensure that the batteries are securely installed in the toy and that the toy is in the off position during the flight.

This is to prevent any accidental activation or damage during travel. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check with the airline beforehand to see if there are any specific restrictions or guidelines for carrying larger toys on board.

Spare batteries in carry-on vs checked bags

When it comes to spare batteries for your battery-operated toys, the TSA recommends carrying them in your carry-on bag rather than checking them in your luggage. This is because lithium batteries, which are commonly used in these toys, can pose a fire risk if they were to short circuit or become damaged.

It’s important to keep spare batteries in their original packaging or in a separate plastic bag to prevent any contact between them, as this can also lead to a potential fire hazard. If you have any doubts or questions about carrying spare batteries, it’s always best to check with the airline or TSA before your flight.

For more information on TSA guidelines for battery-operated toys, you can visit the official TSA website at This website provides detailed information on what items are allowed and prohibited on flights, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Airline Policies on Battery Toys

When it comes to traveling with kids, keeping them entertained is a top priority. Battery-operated toys can be a great way to keep them engaged during long flights. The good news is that most airlines allow toys with batteries on board, provided that they meet certain criteria.

Most airlines allow toys with batteries

The majority of airlines permit passengers to bring battery-operated toys in their carry-on or checked luggage. These toys can include remote-controlled cars, electronic games, and even stuffed animals that make sounds or have moving parts.

However, it’s important to note that each airline may have its own specific rules and restrictions, so it’s always a good idea to check with your airline before packing any battery-operated toys.

Restrictions on lithium batteries

While most airlines allow battery-operated toys, there are restrictions in place for toys with lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are commonly used in electronic devices, including toys, due to their high energy density. However, they can pose a fire risk if not handled properly.

For this reason, some airlines have restrictions on the size and quantity of lithium batteries that can be carried on board. It’s crucial to check with your airline to ensure compliance with their specific rules regarding lithium batteries.

Checking airline rules in advance

Before heading to the airport, it’s always a good idea to check the airline’s website or contact their customer service to familiarize yourself with their policies on battery-operated toys. Some airlines may have detailed information available on their website, including size and weight restrictions, as well as guidelines for packing and carrying battery-operated toys.

By doing this in advance, you can avoid any surprises or last-minute issues at the security checkpoint.

Remember, it’s always better to be well-informed and prepared when traveling with battery-operated toys. By following the airline’s rules and guidelines, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey for you and your little ones.

Choosing the Best Toys for Airplane Travel

When it comes to traveling with kids on airplanes, having the right toys can make all the difference. Not only do they keep children entertained during the flight, but they also help to keep them calm and engaged. However, it’s important to choose toys that are suitable for airplane travel.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting the best toys for your child:

Quiet vs noisy toys

One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing toys for airplane travel is the noise level. Noisy toys can be disruptive to other passengers and can be annoying for you as well. Opt for toys that are quiet and won’t disturb the peace on the plane.

Look for toys that offer various interactive features without producing loud sounds.

Games/activities with minimal pieces

Another consideration when choosing toys for airplane travel is the number of pieces involved. Toys with too many small pieces can easily get lost or become a hassle to manage in the confined space of an airplane. Instead, select games or activities that have minimal pieces or are self-contained.

This will not only make it easier to keep track of everything but also save you from constantly searching for lost parts.

Engaging but not distracting toys

While it’s important to keep children engaged during the flight, you also want to avoid toys that are overly distracting. Toys that require constant attention or intense concentration may not be suitable for airplane travel.

Instead, choose toys that can keep your child occupied without causing them to become overly absorbed. Look for toys that offer a balance between engagement and relaxation.

Avoiding mess-making toys

Lastly, it’s crucial to avoid toys that could potentially create a mess on the airplane. Toys that involve messy materials or have a high chance of spilling should be left at home. Opt for mess-free options such as coloring books, magnetic drawing boards, or travel-sized puzzles.

These toys provide entertainment without the risk of creating a mess that you’ll have to clean up during the flight.

By considering these factors when choosing toys for airplane travel, you can ensure that your child stays entertained without causing disruptions or inconvenience to fellow passengers. Remember, a well-selected toy can turn a potentially stressful flight into an enjoyable experience for both you and your little one.

Happy travels!

Tips for Keeping Kids Entertained on Flights

Bring a variety of toys

When traveling with kids, it’s essential to have a variety of toys to keep them entertained during the flight. Consider bringing their favorite stuffed animals, small action figures, or handheld electronic games.

These toys will help distract and engage your child, making the flight more enjoyable for everyone. It’s important to note that battery-operated toys are generally allowed on flights, but it’s always a good idea to check with the airline beforehand to ensure there are no restrictions.

Pack snacks

Snacks are not only a great way to keep your child’s hunger at bay but also to keep them occupied during the flight. Pack a variety of healthy snacks such as fruit, granola bars, or trail mix. Snacks that require a bit of effort to eat, like string cheese or fruit cups, can help pass the time, as well.

Just be mindful of any food allergies or restrictions your child may have and avoid packing items that could be messy or cause a disturbance to other passengers.

Schedule naps

If you’re taking a long flight, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and schedule your child’s naptime during the flight. This will not only help them get the rest they need but also make the time go by faster.

Bring a small pillow or blanket to make them more comfortable, and if possible, choose a window seat where they can lean against the side of the plane. Remember, a well-rested child is a happy child!

Download games, shows, and movies

Before the flight, download your child’s favorite games, shows, and movies onto a tablet or smartphone. This way, they can enjoy hours of entertainment without relying on an internet connection. There are plenty of educational and interactive apps available that can keep your child engaged and learning while having fun.

Just make sure to bring headphones so that they can enjoy their entertainment without disturbing other passengers.

Bring paper/crayons for drawing

For those who prefer more traditional forms of entertainment, consider bringing paper and crayons for your child to draw and color. This activity can be both fun and calming, and it doesn’t require any electronic devices.

Encourage your child to get creative and draw their favorite characters, scenes from their favorite movies, or anything else that sparks their imagination. Plus, you can keep their artwork as a memento of the trip!

Read books together

Reading is a wonderful way to bond with your child while also keeping them entertained during the flight. Pack a few of their favorite books or introduce them to new ones. You can take turns reading aloud or let them flip through the pages on their own.

Reading not only stimulates their imagination but also helps develop their literacy skills. It’s a win-win situation!

Remember, keeping kids entertained on flights is all about being prepared and having a variety of activities available. By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey for both you and your child. Safe travels!

What to Do If Your Toy Gets Confiscated at Security

It can be disheartening to have your beloved toy confiscated at security when traveling. However, there are a few steps you can take to potentially resolve the situation or minimize any inconvenience. Here are some suggestions:

Ask about mailing the toy instead of discarding

If your toy is deemed unfit for travel, don’t despair just yet. Ask the security personnel if there is a possibility of mailing the toy to your destination instead of having it discarded. Many airports have mailing services available, so this could be a viable option to ensure your toy arrives safely at your intended location.

Offer to remove batteries and carry separately

If the issue with your toy is specifically related to the batteries it contains, offer to remove the batteries and carry them separately in your carry-on luggage. This way, you can demonstrate that the toy is harmless without the batteries.

Be sure to check the airline’s specific guidelines regarding battery transportation to ensure compliance.

Politely ask for an exception if it’s a comfort item

If the toy holds significant sentimental value or serves as a comfort item, politely explain this to the security personnel. Sometimes, they may make exceptions for items that are of personal importance to travelers.

However, it’s important to note that this is not guaranteed, and security regulations must ultimately be followed.

Don’t argue if they insist it can’t pass screening

While it can be frustrating to have your toy confiscated, it’s important to remain calm and respectful throughout the process. If the security personnel insist that the toy cannot pass screening, arguing or causing a scene will only escalate the situation.

Instead, accept their decision and focus on finding an alternative solution.

Remember, the primary concern of airport security is to ensure the safety of all passengers. While it may be disappointing to part ways with your toy temporarily, it’s crucial to prioritize everyone’s well-being during air travel.


We hope this guide has helped answer your questions about bringing battery powered toys aboard flights. The key takeaways are to verify your airline’s policies, choose engaging but not disruptive toys, prepare backup entertainment options, and remain respectful if asked to remove a toy at security screening.

With the right combination of toys, snacks, naps, and screen time, you can help ensure a calm, peaceful flight with your kids.

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