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Taking GPS on airplanes

#1 User is offline   TeamIzzieWeasel 

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 02:09 PM

We are leaving Friday for Aruba and want to do some geocaching while we are there. Has anyone ever had a problem taking a GPS on in a carry-on?

I checked with TSA and they were no help. I was basically told that it's up to the officer that lets us through security. We don't want to get there and not be able to bring it because then what do we do with it?

#2 User is offline   J10fly 

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 02:41 PM

I have never had a problem but like they said it could depend on who you run into in security. I would probably bring it and ask before I check in my bags...worst case they tell you not to bring it as a carry on but you can put it in your check in. But like I said, I've brought mine many of times and just put it in my backpack with my laptop as a carry on. Never had any problems.

#3 User is offline   NikkiPoooo 

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 04:49 PM

If it has a lithium ion battery you'll want to make sure the battery is in the unit. Thet've restricted loose batteries of flights due to fire risks.

#4 User is offline   Stunod 

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 06:31 PM

THIS PAGE has a very comprehensive list of which airlines approve/restrict GPS use in-flight.

You should have no problem with TSA because you have a GPS in your carry-on bag. The only issue will be whether the airline will let you turn it on in-flight.

This post has been edited by Stunod: 12 March 2008 - 06:35 PM


#5 User is offline   silverquill 

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 08:33 PM

Never gave it a second thought and have never had a problem. Probably looks so much like a cell phone . . . I usually stick it in the pouch of my laptop case along with my cell phone and digital camera.

The page given on in-flight use of GPS units is interesting. I've never had that questioned either, though.

#6 User is offline   TeamIzzieWeasel 

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:18 AM

Thanks everyone! And that is interesting about the in-flight usage. My husband and brother were talking about having it on in-flight but my concern is just getting it to Aruba to geocache! I guess we'll just try it and see. Doesn't sound like there's anything to worry about.

This post has been edited by TeamIzzieWeasel: 13 March 2008 - 02:19 AM


#7 User is offline   t_bird 

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 03:24 AM

I just traveled to Florida and back without a problem. I carried my GPS on, I did NOT put it in my checked luggage. I will say going through security my backpack stayed in the xray longer then I expected and I thought I would get to visit the hand check officer.

BTW, be careful with your checked luggage. When I check my luggage they were very strict about the weight and charging enormous amounts of $s for overweight luggage. I think the weight limit per piece is 50 lbs. Also I flew Delta.

#8 User is offline   TeamIzzieWeasel 

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 02:10 AM

Oh yes, we are watching the luggage weight very carefully. We've heard they are being real sticklers about it.
Thanks again everyone! We take off today and I can't wait!

#9 User is offline   lakedawgs 

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 05:19 PM

We've taken our Garmin on probably half a dozen flights with no problem. We keep in our carry-on (either my purse or the Mr's laptop case). We always pull it out with the laptop for scanning and have never been questioned.

#10 User is offline   Turtle3863 

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 06:01 PM

I have had no problem taking it with me in my carry on. I will turn it on occasionally to get a fix on where we are. Southwest has not had a problem with me doing this, but I was told to turn off my GPS and put it back in my carry on when I was traveling on Frontier. Some airlines do not understand that a GPS is only a receiver and does not put out a signal of it's own that would interfere with the aircrafts electronics.

#11 User is offline   R4D4R 

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 06:12 PM

Ive taken my GPS on several flights with no issues. American once and United(???) the other. If you have a window seat, you can usually get a sat lock. Its cool to see where you are and see it reading 400mph @36,000 ft :anibad: It only works on a window seat, I also tried to get a lock in a middle seat, but no dice

#12 User is offline   nelsmama 

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 02:04 PM

I also have taken my gps on flights, I would get a window, it is really neat to see it going 400-500 mph, and when the plane begins starts dropping altitude, it drops so fast....never a problem

#13 User is offline   hairball45 

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  Posted 18 March 2008 - 04:45 PM

I've flown on Skybus and United and not been questioned. That was from a window seat of course. If you're in the middle or aisle seat you might not want to reach over the other passengers to let your GPS look out the window.

#14 User is offline   fireman121 

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 04:21 PM

I have brought my GPS as a carry on item the last four plain rides with no proplems, I have even used it while in flight with no questions from the flight crew.

#15 User is offline   webscouter. 

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 04:43 PM

I've taken my GPS on every flight I have made. I don't know how many I took last year but I earned 13 free flights so I know it was a lot.

Only one time was I asked to turn it off and that was only until we reached 10000 feet.

I would suggest if you get picked for additional screen you make sure you watch them put it back in your bags. One of mine "walked" off while I was getting some additional screening.

#16 User is offline   Cache O'Plenty 

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 05:00 PM

I, too, have carried my Garmin Lengend GPS on board and have used it in-flight a few times. Never a problem. I've flown both American and United. In addition, I have a Garmin nuvi that we use while on vacation to get around. Also in carryon luggage. I'm not going to trust them to checked luggage!!!! To use on-board, must be right next to the window for the Legend to work. Don't know about the nuvi. Just be sure they have batteries in them because you might be asked to turn them on to prove that they are what they are supposed to be. I've never had a problem with loose batteries, I carry extra with my camera, etc.

#17 User is offline   markz68 

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 10:59 AM

I just flew on Northwest earlier this month. I carried my Garmin in my camera case along with my camera and my Palm. They asked if there was a video camera in the bag and that was it.

The announcement on the plane once we were in the air is that you can use any electronics as long as they don't transmit. Since the Garmin is only a receiver, it is okay.

When sitting by the window, it worked great! I was flying at 32,000 feet or so at 450 mph. It was cool to see what cities I was flying over. I also put in my destination city and could tell about how much further I had to go!

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