Can You Bring Digital Projector on an Airplane?

If you’re seeking to travel by plane with a projector, there’s probably a reasonable reason for you to do so. Maybe it’s to give you extra projection power and screen size you won’t get from hotel TVs. Perhaps you wish to do a business presentation while on the go with your business trip.

You can also end up doing an outdoor movie night at camp or at the beach if you wish. Can you bring a digital projector on an airplane? Is it possible? Is it recommended? Should you not do it?

Can You Bring a Digital Projector on an Airplane?

Yes, you can. You can travel with a projector on the plane the same way you can travel with a smartphone or laptop. It doesn’t have an airplane mode and you shouldn’t use it while in flight though. The size of the unit has decreased so much since the 1980s or even in the 2010s.

They’ve become portable enough to be brought with you on international flights. It’s possible to travel with mini projectors (about the size of a lunchbox or game console) or pico projectors (about the size of a smartphone up until a VHS tape).

It’s more manageable to travel with projectors with how small they are currently. More importantly, there are no airline restrictions on traveling with a projector internationally or domestically when push comes to shove.

Can You Bring Digital Projector on an Airplane
Can You Bring Digital Projector on an Airplane

What’s the Risk or Reward of Traveling with a Projector on an Airplane?

The catch with traveling with a digital projector on an airplane is that if you have a particularly expensive 4K UHD projector with triple laser lamps, you’re better off keeping that inside your home or office. Just rent out a projector for your vacation or business trip.

A boatload of luggage tends to get lost in flights annually, if not more. They slip through the cracks and most any passenger can do is not travel with a given airline anymore afterwards. Sometimes the reward of watching movies on the go isn’t worth the risk of losing your expensive projector.

That’s actually the first consideration you need to keep in mind when traveling with a projector when miles high up in the skies. Is it so expensive that it’s best to leave it at your workplace or humble abode?

How Expensive Is the Projector?

If you have a 4K UHD projector it’s likely to be expensive. Probably as expensive as (if not more so than) the 4K Blu-Ray Player or 4K PlayStation 5 you’re connecting to it so that it’d serve as their big-screen HDTV or monitor substitute.

Some high-end UHD projectors are quite expensive. As many projector owners know, they average from $3,000 at their cheapest to upwards of $25,000 if you’re thinking laser projectors. As for those with frequent flyer miles, there are many variables when it comes to luggage transportation.

It’s one thing to keep your projector with your carry-on luggage. However, what if your mini projector can only be placed along with the rest of your clothes and hardware? What then? Many passengers have lost expensive things like drones and game consoles while flying.

Who Handles Your Luggage at the Airport?

If you want your expensive luggage to be handled with care, you should have it with you carry-on (like with a pico projector) at first-class or you should fly at a reputable airline where there are guarantees that your expensive luggage gets to you safely (which costs extra more often than not).

Not all people who’ve bought 4K projectors can also afford a first-class ticket on an airline. Even if you’re rich, there are times when you’re forced to fly economy along with your luggage in order to get the first flight back home.

There are many variables that you can’t control when it comes to luggage handling and delivery. If you thought underpaid Amazon deliverymen handled your packages roughly, wait till you see what happens to them behind the scenes at the airport!

What are the Things that Could Happen to Your Projector?

Many things can happen to your projector or luggage for that matter. Certain parts like bags, lids, or screws could end up lost in the shuffle. The baggage handlers who handle thousands and thousands of baggage, luggage, and cargo might handle your projector roughly, thus making it break apart.

If you check your bags at the airport, you lose control over who’ll handle them. You, your spouse, and your family could purchase an expensive stroller and check it before your family boarded your flight. It’s likely to end up deformed after all is said and done.

You might even have to file a complaint with the airline to get a replacement stroller or at least get some sort of discount or return for your damaged goods.

What’s the Difference between Checked Luggage and Carry-On Luggage?

Here are the two types of luggage you can put your projector in.  The more portable your projector the better, but you’ll sacrifice lumens or brightness the smaller the device ends up.

  • Checked Luggage: This is cargo you don’t take with you. This is usually the size of a whole stroller or the place where you put all your clothes, underwear, hygiene products, and so forth with you. Mini projectors or bigger projectors go here.
  • Carry-On Luggage: This is cargo you take with you on the carry-on compartment right above your seat. They tend to be small and about the size of a purse, so you can fit a pocket projector or something inside of it.

If you want to bring a projector into your flight, you need to take note of the baggage you plan to bring with you when all is said and done. Projectors are fragile devices so you want them to be small enough to fit your carry-on luggage instead of being part of the cargo hull.

Final Things to Consider

At this point, you should have a better idea of whether or not you wish to bring your projector in your flight. It’s doable as long as you have the right safety case to safeguard it from damage or bad baggage handling for certain.

It should be a portable type of projector for sure. If it’s a particularly expensive device, the risk doesn’t outweigh the reward. You might as well just buy a cheaper projector at the place you’re going or rent one in any case.

References:

  1. Can You Take A Projector On A Plane? 5 Things To Consider“, PointerClicker.com, Retrieved July 7, 2021
James Core
I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right projector.

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