Smartwatches are synonymous with our smartphones now. Personally, we’ve not been able to travel without either. However, with a recent trip, we had to the airport and with our anxiety churning up as we didn’t know whether our smartwatch will be allowed on a plane, we’ve gone ahead and answered that question for you.
Yes, smartwatches are allowed on a plane as it classifies as a PED (Personal Electronic Device). It is allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage. Moreover, it will not be caught by a metal detector due to the small presence of metal in it.
This begs the question though, are smartwatches officially allowed on planes or are they just ignored because they are generally considered jewelry instead? Read on to learn everything!
Why Are Smartwatches Allowed On Planes?
Portable MP3 players, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches are all considered personal electronic devices, or PEDs for short. Generally, it is a term used to classify all electronic devices that are generally brought upon by consumers.
The AskTSA Twitter account has also clarified this matter:
You will not be asked to remove your smartwatch or turn it off when boarding or at a security checkpoint. In fact, the TSA classifies a smartwatch or any smart wearable as Jewelry which is therefore allowed to board.
As of yet, there seems to be no separate classification of smartwatches on TSA’s website. We aren’t sure why that is. But, from what we know, it is because smartwatches produce very low interference and are therefore considered harmless.
However, once you are on the plane, you might be asked to switch your smartwatch off if you have an LTE smartwatch. There is no issue with your smartwatch using a Bluetooth or WiFi connection and you can keep it on for an extended period of time throughout the flight.
However, if your smartwatch, just like your smartphone has a SIM slot(LTE models) then turning on Airplane Mode would be the smart thing to do. While not always true, there is a slight chance that a cellular connection can interfere with the airplane’s own internal systems.
Moreover, it is against the law to not turn off a device / PED when prompted to do so.
Tips To Travel With Your Smartwatch
Since your smartwatch passes through metal detectors, sometimes, TSA staff might have you turn your smartwatch on to check if it actually is one and is not a nefarious object. Therefore, here are a few tips to follow when traveling with a smartwatch:
- Charge Your Smartwatch: As mentioned earlier, make sure your smartwatch has enough juice to turn on if you are ever asked to do so. Otherwise, the watch will have to be individually screened to ensure it does not contain any malicious object.
- Put Your Watch In Airplane Mode: Bluetooth, cellular, or WiFi, it is a smart idea to put your watch in Airplane Mode after you’ve boarded your plane. Plus, it helps you save valuable batteries as well.
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I bought my first smartwatch in 2018 and have been wearing one ever since. It might get frustrating at times to receive 100 notifications a day. That's why we need to know how to make the best of them and how to use them to improve our daily lives, not the other way around. I write about the newest smartwatches, I create top picks, and I write helpful guides and simply explain complicated things.