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Traveling can be stressful enough without worrying if your phone will have enough power to get you through layovers, delays, and long lines.

Having access to your phone for boarding passes, train tickets, rideshares, maps, and entertainment can make or break a smooth journey.

So can you take your phone charger in your carry-on luggage? The quick answer is yes, you can bring your phone charger in your carry-on provided you follow TSA rules.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over TSA regulations for carry-on items, best practices for getting a charger through security, what to do if your charger is flagged, and tips for keeping devices powered up while traveling.

TSA Rules for Carry-On Luggage

Allowed vs Prohibited Items

When it comes to packing your carry-on luggage, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The TSA has a list of items that are allowed and prohibited in carry-on bags. While most everyday items are generally allowed, there are a few exceptions.

Prohibited items include sharp objects, firearms and ammunition, explosives, and flammable materials. These items are not allowed in carry-on bags and must be packed in checked luggage.

It’s always a good idea to check the TSA website for the most up-to-date information on prohibited items.

Lithium Battery Regulations

One common question travelers have is whether or not they can bring their phone chargers in their carry-on luggage.

The answer is yes, you can bring your phone charger in your carry-on bag. The TSA allows electronic devices and their accessories, including phone chargers, in carry-on bags.

However, it’s important to note that lithium batteries, which are commonly found in electronic devices, are subject to certain regulations. The TSA allows lithium batteries with a capacity of up to 100 watt-hours in carry-on bags.

Batteries with a capacity between 100 and 160 watt-hours may be allowed with airline approval. It’s always a good idea to check with your airline before traveling to ensure compliance with their specific regulations.

TSA Precheck Benefits

If you frequently travel and want to expedite the security screening process, you may consider applying for TSA Precheck.

TSA Precheck is a program that allows pre-approved travelers to enjoy expedited screening at participating airports.

With TSA Precheck, you can leave your shoes, belt, and light jacket on, and you don’t have to remove your laptop or liquids from your bag.

This can save you time and hassle at the security checkpoint. To apply for TSA Precheck, you’ll need to complete an online application, schedule an appointment for an in-person interview, and pay a fee.

Packing Your Charger for Airport Security

When it comes to packing your phone charger in your carry-on luggage, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience at airport security.

Detachable vs Built-In Cords

One of the first considerations when packing your charger is whether it has detachable or built-in cords. If your charger has detachable cords, it is generally recommended to separate the cord from the main charger body.

This is because the cords can sometimes appear tangled on the X-ray scanner, which may prompt further inspection by security personnel.

By separating the cords, you can help streamline the screening process and avoid any potential delays.

On the other hand, if your charger has built-in cords, there’s no need to worry about separating them. Built-in cords are typically designed to be compact and less prone to tangling, making them easier to screen during security checks.

Place Charger in Bin for X-Ray

When you reach the security checkpoint, it’s important to follow the guidelines set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

To ensure a smooth screening process, place your charger in a separate bin along with other small electronic devices, such as laptops, tablets, and cameras.

This will allow the security personnel to easily identify and screen your charger without any confusion.

Remember, it’s always best to place your charger in a bin rather than stuffing it in your carry-on bag. This not only helps in expediting the screening process but also prevents your charger from getting tangled or damaged.

Charger Storage Tips

When it comes to storing your charger, it’s always a good idea to keep it organized and easily accessible. A tangled mess of wires can not only be frustrating to deal with but can also cause damage to your charger.

Consider using cable organizers or small pouches to keep your charger neatly wrapped and protected. This will not only make it easier to find your charger when you need it but also prevent any unnecessary wear and tear.

Additionally, if you have multiple chargers for different devices, labeling them can save you time and effort. Use small stickers or markers to indicate which charger belongs to which device.

This simple hack can prevent mix-ups and ensure that you always grab the right charger on the go.

What To Do If Your Charger Is Flagged

Be Cooperative with TSA Agents

If your phone charger is flagged during the security screening process, it’s important to remain calm and cooperative with the TSA agents.

Remember that they are just doing their job to ensure the safety of all passengers.

Instead of getting frustrated or argumentative, politely ask them why the charger is being flagged. This will help you understand the specific concern and address it appropriately.

Explain Function of Charger

When your charger is flagged, it’s helpful to explain its function to the TSA agents. Let them know that it is a standard phone charger used to power your electronic devices.

This can help alleviate any potential confusion or misunderstanding about the purpose of the charger. You can also mention that it is a necessary item for you to stay connected and communicate during your travels.

Offer to Open Bag for Inspection

If the TSA agents still have concerns about your charger, you can offer to open your bag for a closer inspection.

This shows your willingness to cooperate and address any potential security issues. By allowing them to examine the charger and its surroundings, they can verify that it poses no threat.

Remember to remain patient and understanding throughout the inspection process.

It’s important to note that while these tips can help in most cases, the final decision lies with the TSA agents. They have the authority to determine whether or not an item can be brought on board.

To ensure a smooth travel experience, it’s always a good idea to check the TSA’s official guidelines before packing your carry-on luggage.

These guidelines provide valuable information on what items are allowed and prohibited, including electronic chargers.

Keep Devices Powered Up During Travel

When it comes to traveling, keeping your electronic devices powered up is essential. Whether you’re on a long flight or waiting at the airport, having a charged phone or tablet can make a big difference.

But what about your phone charger? Can you take it in your carry-on luggage?

Bring Portable Battery Pack

One of the best ways to ensure your devices stay powered up during travel is to bring a portable battery pack.

These handy gadgets can charge your phone or tablet multiple times before needing to be recharged themselves. They are compact, lightweight, and can easily fit in your carry-on luggage.

Plus, they are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage, so you don’t have to worry about any restrictions at the airport.

Use Airport Charging Stations

If you don’t have a portable battery pack or simply forgot to bring it with you, don’t worry. Many airports now offer charging stations where you can plug in your devices and give them a quick boost of power.

These charging stations are usually located near seating areas or in designated charging zones. Just make sure to bring your own charging cable as the stations may not provide them.

Bring Adapter for Overseas Travel

If you’re traveling abroad, it’s important to have the right adapter for your phone charger. Different countries have different electrical outlets and voltages, so you’ll need an adapter to plug in your charger.

It’s always a good idea to research the specific adapter you’ll need for your destination before you travel. You can find this information on travel websites or by checking with your airline.

Remember, it’s better to be prepared and have the right adapter than to be left with a dead phone in a foreign country.

So, the next time you’re planning a trip, make sure to keep your devices powered up during travel. Bring a portable battery pack, use airport charging stations, and don’t forget to bring the right adapter if you’re traveling overseas.

With these tips, you’ll never have to worry about running out of battery again!


Keeping your phone and devices charged while traveling requires some planning and preparation.

Following TSA rules for carry-on items, properly packing your charger, and being cooperative during screening will ensure you safely pass through security with your charger.

Investing in portable power banks, bringing plug adapters for international trips, and taking advantage of charging stations will keep you powered up during long layovers and delays.

With the right gear and information, you can maintain full bars and peace of mind when bringing your phone charger in your carry-on bag.

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