Digital Photography Review

can i take my drone on a plane


Heading off on your first vacation with a DJI drone? There’s no doubt drones make excellent travel companions, but lots of travelers wonder if it’s ok to take their drone on a plane and whether it’s ok to fly drones wherever they’re going.

Does that sound like you? If so, check out these practical drone travel tips so that you can travel safely and smartly with peace of mind.

Travel with a drone

Keep Batteries in Your Carry-on Bag

When you’re traveling by plane, you can either check your drone in or carry it on the plane with you. If you’re flying with a larger drone like the Inspire 2, you’ll probably need to check it in, since its case is relatively large and may exceed the airline’s size requirements for carry-ons. If you’re flying with a Spark, bringing it on the plane is certainly viable.

But regardless of whether or not you check your drone, don’t put batteries in a checked bag! This is because bags aren’t stored in a pressurized environment, and temperatures won’t fluctuate as strongly in the passenger cabin. Also, with your bag in an overhead compartment, airline staff can respond quickly in an emergency.

Stay Below Your Airline’s Watt-Hour Limit

The number of batteries you take on a plane isn’t as significant as their particular watt-hours (Wh). According to the FAA’s website, if your batteries are below 100 Wh, you can carry on as many as you like. If they’re between 101 and 160 Wh, you’re allowed to carry on at most two batteries.

Mavic batteries are well below 100 Wh at 43.6 Wh, as are Inspire 2 batteries at 97.58 Wh. However, certain high-capacity batteries like the Inspire 1 TB48 (129.96 Wh) fall within the 101-160 range, so you’ll only be able to carry two of them.

However, be aware that FAA regulations don’t apply to every airline or country. Be sure to check aviation administration regulations in the country to which you’re traveling and check your airline’s rules.

Related: Batteries Carried by Airline Passengers FAQ

maintain drone battery

Use an Appropriate Bag or Case

DJI has a wide selection of bags and cases at the DJI Online Store. We recommend using a hard shell case or bag, like the Multi-Functional Backpack for the Phantom 4 series, if you plan to check your drone or if you’re concerned about your drone’s safety in general. If you’re carrying on your bag, there are plenty of additional bags to choose from, like the Everyday Sling and Nat Geo Explorer Backpack.

We sell bags for your batteries as well! Especially if you’re traveling with high-capacity batteries, consider picking up a Battery Safe Bag. These can mitigate damage from combustion, reducing the possibility of igniting surrounding objects.

Wherever You Go, Check Drone Local Laws!

Remember that laws vary from country to country, and laws where you live don’t necessarily apply elsewhere. Respect the regulations in the country your visiting and check their aviation authority’s official website for details.

To help you fly more responsibly, we’re offering an exclusive guide highlighting the drone laws and battery transportation policies of over 20 popular destinations around the globe.

You might also like:

Comprehensive Guide: Essential Drone Travel Tips

Photography and Videography Tips for Your Island Vacation

Mapping Out a Drone Photo Route

6 Tips to Make Your Drone Photos Instagram-Ready

5 Great Travel Drones for Your Next Vacation

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