I am getting mixed answers from the web..

I asked my parents to buy me a laptop while they are on a US trip. My mom told me if I would be okay with it being opened/unboxed for inspection in the airport.

is that really the case? What other problems might they encounter?

They have checked-in luggage, and I am not sure if storing it there would help.


  • 2
    The other big issue implied here is that you most likely will have to pay taxes (VAT/GST or equivalent, import duties...) at customs on arrival. If your parents intended to “sneak through” (which we would of course not recommend here), the fact that the laptop is obviously brand new will make any check result in an immediate taxation and probably a fine. – jcaron Nov 13 '19 at 6:10

(if it works like in any other international airport)

When going thru security, your parents will have to put the laptop in a separate bin to pass xray for security scan.

So have your parent unbox it before going to the airport and have them carry it like any other electronic device (also have the power cord with them)

At best it passes like gazillion other electronic devices in US airport every year; at worse they ask to open it and power it to make certain it is a real computer.

In general, it is unwise to put electronics in checked luggage (mostly in regards to theft).

  • 4
    It's not just unwise. Putting anything containing larger lithium batteries (such as a laptop) in checked luggage is forbidden by most airlines for safety reasons (risk of fire if the battery gets damaged during handling). – TooTea Nov 13 '19 at 8:04

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