Checking a bag with your iPhone inside on an airplane can be nerve-wracking. What if your luggage gets lost or your phone gets damaged? Here’s a quick answer: You can check an iPhone in your luggage on a flight, but it’s safest to carry it with you onboard if possible.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about checking an iPhone in your luggage on an airline flight. We’ll discuss the pros and cons, tips for safe packing, steps to take if your phone does get lost or broken, and alternative options for keeping your iPhone secure.

The Pros and Cons of Checking an iPhone


Checking an iPhone in your luggage can have its advantages, depending on the situation. Here are a few pros to consider:

  • Convenience: If you are traveling with multiple devices or carrying a lot of other items, checking your iPhone can help lighten your load and make navigating through the airport easier.
  • Security: By checking your iPhone, you reduce the risk of accidentally losing or misplacing it during the journey. It can provide peace of mind knowing that your valuable device is safely stored in your checked luggage.
  • Space: If you have limited space in your carry-on bag, checking your iPhone can free up valuable room for other essential items that you may need during the flight.

While these advantages may be enticing, it is important to weigh them against the potential drawbacks.


Checking an iPhone in your luggage also comes with its fair share of disadvantages. Here are some cons to consider before making a decision:

  • Potential Damage: Luggage handling can be rough, and delicate electronics like iPhones may be at risk of being damaged during transit. Even with protective cases, there is still a chance of experiencing damage that could render your device unusable.
  • Theft: Unfortunately, theft can occur during the handling of checked luggage. While rare, there have been instances where electronic devices have gone missing from checked bags. It is important to consider the value of your iPhone and the potential risk involved.
  • Accessibility: If you need to use your iPhone during the flight or while waiting at the airport, having it in your carry-on bag allows for easy access. Checking it means you won’t have immediate access to your device until you retrieve your checked luggage.

It is essential to evaluate your personal circumstances and priorities when deciding whether to check an iPhone in your luggage. Taking into account the pros and cons can help you make an informed decision that suits your needs.

Tips for Safely Packing Your iPhone

Use a Protective Case

When packing your iPhone for a flight, it’s important to protect it from any potential damage. One of the best ways to do this is by using a sturdy protective case. A good case will provide a layer of cushioning and help prevent scratches or cracks if your luggage gets tossed around during the trip.

There are many options available on the market, ranging from slim and sleek cases to rugged and heavy-duty ones. Choose one that suits your needs and budget, and make sure it fits snugly around your iPhone.

Wrap It in Clothing

Another way to protect your iPhone is by wrapping it in clothing before placing it in your luggage. This provides an extra layer of cushioning and helps absorb any shocks or impacts that may occur during the journey.

You can use soft items like socks, t-shirts, or even a small towel to wrap your iPhone securely. Just make sure to choose items that are clean and won’t leave any lint or residue on your device.

Turn Off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Before packing your iPhone, it’s a good idea to turn off both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. This not only helps conserve battery life but also prevents your device from automatically connecting to unknown networks or devices while you’re traveling.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your personal data and privacy.

Back Up Data Before Your Flight

Prior to your flight, it’s essential to back up all the data on your iPhone. This includes your contacts, photos, videos, and any other important files. In the unlikely event that something happens to your device during your trip, having a backup ensures that you won’t lose any valuable information.

You can back up your iPhone using iCloud or by connecting it to a computer and using iTunes.

Remember, these tips are not only applicable when traveling by air but can be useful for any situation where you need to pack and protect your iPhone. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your iPhone stays safe and secure throughout your journey.

What to Do If Your Checked iPhone Gets Lost or Damaged

Report it to the Airline Immediately

If you discover that your checked iPhone is lost or damaged upon arrival, it is crucial to report the incident to the airline immediately. Contact a representative at the baggage claim area and provide them with all the necessary details.

This will initiate an official investigation and increase the chances of finding your device or receiving compensation for the damage.

File a Claim or Insurance Report

In addition to reporting the incident to the airline, it is important to file a claim or insurance report if you have taken out insurance coverage for your iPhone. Contact your insurance provider and provide them with the necessary information, such as the flight details, incident report, and any supporting evidence.

They will guide you through the process of filing a claim and help you with any documentation required.

Activate Lost Mode (for iPhones)

If your iPhone has been lost or stolen, activating the Lost Mode feature can be helpful. This feature allows you to remotely lock your device, display a custom message with contact information on the screen, and track its location using the Find My app.

By activating Lost Mode, you increase the chances of someone finding and returning your iPhone.

Erase Data Remotely

Protecting your personal data should be a top priority if your iPhone is lost or stolen. If you have activated the Find My app and enabled the “Erase Data” option, you can remotely erase all the data on your device to prevent unauthorized access.

However, keep in mind that once the data is erased, it cannot be recovered, so make sure to back up your iPhone regularly.

Restore Your Backup Upon Replacement

If your lost or damaged iPhone cannot be recovered, you may need to replace it with a new device. When you get a replacement iPhone, you can restore your previous data by using a backup. If you have been regularly backing up your iPhone using iCloud or iTunes, you can easily restore your apps, settings, and personal data onto the new device.

This will ensure that you don’t lose any important information and can continue using your iPhone seamlessly.

Remember, it is always best to take precautions and keep your valuable devices with you in your carry-on luggage to minimize the risk of loss or damage. However, if your iPhone does end up in your checked luggage and gets lost or damaged, following these steps will help you navigate the process of reporting the incident, filing a claim, and securing your data.

Alternatives to Checking Your iPhone

Carry It On the Plane

If you want to ensure the safety of your iPhone while traveling, the best option is to carry it on the plane with you. This way, you can keep an eye on it and prevent any potential damage that could occur during the luggage handling process.

Most airlines allow passengers to bring a small personal item, such as a purse or a laptop bag, in addition to their carry-on luggage. Your iPhone can easily be stored in one of these small personal items, keeping it close and secure throughout your journey.

Ship It Separately

If you are not comfortable or unable to carry your iPhone with you on the plane, another option is to ship it separately. There are various shipping services available that specialize in shipping valuable and fragile items.

These services often offer insurance coverage for your package, providing you with peace of mind knowing that your iPhone is protected. Make sure to properly pack your iPhone in a sturdy box with sufficient padding to minimize the risk of any damage during transit.

Use a Loaner Device

If you are concerned about the safety of your iPhone during your journey, another alternative is to use a loaner device. Many hotels, airports, and even some airlines offer the option to rent or borrow phones or tablets for a fee.

This way, you can leave your iPhone safely at home and still have access to a device during your trip. Loaner devices are often equipped with basic features and functionalities, allowing you to make calls, send messages, and access the internet.

While they may not have all the same features as your iPhone, they can still serve as a temporary substitute during your travel.

Remember, it is always recommended to back up your iPhone before traveling, regardless of the option you choose. This way, you can safeguard your data and easily restore it in case of any unforeseen circumstances or loss of your device.


Checking your iPhone in checked luggage on a flight can be nerve-wracking, but is often unavoidable. By taking proper precautions like using a protective case, backing up your data, and turning off connectivity, you can minimize the risk.

Report any lost or damaged devices immediately, and make sure to explore all alternatives before checking your phone. With the right preparation, you can check your iPhone safely and travel with greater peace of mind.

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