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I was planning to buy few Arduino Board and sensors. Can I travel from UK to India carrying them in my checked in luggage/baggage?

Note : It's direct flight. I am not planning to carry battery or any active component.

This link and question suggests that carrying them in hand-bag is a bit risky. Still many people does it. So I believe carrying them into checked in baggage should be fine.

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Checked baggage goes through security screening, the same as your hand luggage does. The only difference is that your checked bags are checked without you being present, so no chance to explain what they are seeing on the screen.

How the security folks would deal with a checked suitcase containing something that perhaps resembles an explosive trigger is anyone's guess. They might try to open it, they might simply destroy it. If they can't determine what it is, they will come get you for further questioning.

You might be better off carrying it onboard, as at least you will be there to explain what it is when security discovers it.

  • This might be unnecessarily pessimistic. People fly with electronics in their checked luggage all the time, very few of them have their suitcases blown up. – Nate Eldredge Sep 10 '15 at 15:36
  • Yes people travel with electronics all the time, but the link provided on the device in question shows a board with lots of wires and basic components, something that would look homemade on an x-ray scanner. So better safe than sorry. (especially since your comment tends to agree that occasionally people DO get their suitcases blown up) – user13044 Sep 11 '15 at 1:28
  • I intended to include homemade electronics in my comment, and "very few" was meant as an understatement - I'm not actually aware of any such cases. – Nate Eldredge Sep 11 '15 at 2:02
  • I witnessed the French police detonate a suspicious suitcase outside CDG once. Not sure why they did, but it does happen. – user13044 Sep 11 '15 at 4:13
  • I had discussion with my colleagues and they suggested to keep it in checked in luggage since it is brand new, don't have any battery or active electronics, can't be used by me or any on board passenger as it is out of our reach etc. They also suggested to keep them not in a single luggage if am carrying multiple bags. It'll reduce the chance of being suspect. – Amit Kumar Gupta Sep 11 '15 at 9:21
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As I commented, Since these items don't have any battery or any active component they can be kept in any luggage. But if I keep them in checked in bags they are out of my reach. Hence security people should not have much concerns.

I kept them in checked in luggage and dint face any issue.

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In my experience, there is absolutely no problem whatsoever with this sort of thing. Bare populated circuit boards are easy for the x-ray folks to inspect, in fact they will look similar to familiar packaged electronics since the case is generally almost invisible to X-rays. I quite often travel with this sort of thing (prototoypes, evaluation boards and so on) and have encountered zero problems, not even any evidence they looked into the bag. They can see there is no danger.

Do not put batteries in checked baggage especially in home-made electronics, and never lithium cells. I'd also be a bit careful about weird looking bare or home-made looking electronics in carry-on, just because it might freak out another passenger if they happen to see it (perhaps whilst you are accessing your in-flight cache of snacks) which you do not want to do.

The only thing worse would be to pull out your Arduino with flashing LEDs and start plugging it into your laptop to get a bit of programming done in-flight.

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