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In April I'll be taking a domestic trip from where I live in Vancouver to Toronto via Air Canada. While in Toronto I'm probably going to be purchasing a new laptop at one of the stores there.

I'll also be bringing my current laptop in my backpack as carry on luggage.

Obviously for the flight back I'm going to have 2 laptops. They could both fit in my backpack but it would be somewhat heavy and inconvenient.

Am I able to put one of the laptops in my checked luggage?

I asked a relative who travels a lot and he said probably not because of the lithium ion battery in the laptop, but when I looked it up I found conflicting information.

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    LiPo batteries are banned in cargo holds for most airlines. But that's only part of the problem. Putting valuables in check-in luggage is also playing Russian roulette. You might find it missing, or broken. – user67108 Feb 4 '18 at 9:33
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    @dda: Lithium batteries transported alone are forbidden in hold baggage, but the rules are more lenient for batteries that mounted in the device they're intended to power. – Henning Makholm Feb 4 '18 at 16:08
  • Not an answer .. but have you considered shipping it with companies like UPS or FedEx? – Peter M Feb 4 '18 at 19:29
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This is generally a complicated question because there are many rules from different parties that are applicable. Some airlines ban all valuables from checked-luggage and recently there were conditions that forced laptops to be checked on certain flights.

Luckily for Canada things are simpler. The security authority that has the final say is CATSA and they publish the rules here.

The laptop itself is not banned but you must consider the battery in it. For batteries under 100 Wh, they are allowed in checked luggage if they are mounted in the device. If they are outside of the laptop, then the airline has the final word but it is OK from a security standpoint.

If the battery is between 100 and 160 Wh, then you need approval from the airline but again is OK from the perspective of CATSA. Specifically for Air Canada, those are not allowed in checked baggage but are OK in carry-on. So check the rating on your laptop battery. You can usually find this in the specs for the battery online or printed onto the battery but that requires opening the laptop on some models. The Air Canada rules about batteries are here.

  • I checked and the battery is 51Wh, so that should be fine then? Would it be worth contacting Air Canada and asking them as well? – Keith M Feb 4 '18 at 19:36
  • Below 100 Wh is fine. No need to call. – Itai Feb 4 '18 at 20:01
  • There are no commercial laptops with a 100Wh battery. The maximum that I have seen was on the old macbook pro which had a 99.5Wh battery. Even then, the batteries on most modern laptops are sealed (non-removable) so they can be transported as checked baggage. – Burhan Khalid Feb 5 '18 at 5:55

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