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My grandparents' HP OfficeJet 8710 costed $250 CAD (after tax, Environmental Handling Fee, and delivery), but they foolishly discarded the packaging which could've been reused to cushion the printer. Its dimensions are underneath; it's too big to be stored inside a carry-on. Shipping the printer separately wastes money when they're allowed 2 free checked baggages and need to fill only one, while the other's empty. I'm assuming that:

  1. the printer mustn't be placed nakedly in checked baggage, without cushioning.

  2. the Fragile sticker fails to adequately enough to protect the printer.

  3. they'll remove all ink cartridges before the flight.

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    Even if you take the ink cartridges in hand baggage they might leak, since cabin pressure is reduced from that at sea level. Nov 7, 2018 at 19:48
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    @WeatherVane What if I buy new ink cartridges and never open them until after landing?
    – user13759
    Nov 7, 2018 at 20:54
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    New ink cartridges do have a flimsy seal over the vent hole or somewhere like that, but I would still not trust. Triple-bag them in bags without vent holes. Nov 7, 2018 at 20:56
  • what sort of trip are they making that they need to take a printer with them?
    – nkjt
    Nov 8, 2018 at 10:52

1 Answer 1

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Travel is not kind to printers.....

  1. For ink jet printers, you'd need to at the very least brace the print head so that it can't move, otherwise it can move side to side and smash itself against the inner sides of the printer. But air travel isn't good for ink jets as the reduced atmospheric pressure in flight can suck the liquid ink out of the cartridges and printer innards and cause it to leak in all sorts of places.

  2. For laser printers, getting shaken and jostled can result in toner spilling everywhere and causing a huge mess. But more importantly, there was a bomb threat a few years ago that involved toner cartridges and thus the TSA has treated them in the past like potential bombs. While the ban is officially lifted, it just takes one zealous TSA officer to make a mess of your printer. Not advised.

In your case, since you have an ink jet and are intent on traveling with it, I'd try to brace the printer head from moving with towels (that you're happy to discard if ink gets on them). Take the ink cartridges out and put them in a ziploc bag (as they may leak). And then double-box the printer using plenty of clothing and/or packing peanuts.

Frankly, I'd sell the printer for $50 on craigslist and buy a new one at the destination, especially as a new set of ink cartridges alone costs around $100. Printers these days are sadly disposable commodities....

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  • Thanks! Upvoted. 'Frankly, I'd sell the printer for $50 on craigslist and buy a new one at the destination': They're hoping to avoid this though.
    – user13759
    Nov 7, 2018 at 18:50
  • Or, sell the printer and not buy another one. They're environmentally disastrous. Use one at your local library. Nov 7, 2018 at 22:27

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