When I go to airport, I recall following this procedure:

Go at the kiosks (? how do we call them?) and the service person from the airliner will make sure my ticket is OK and will ask for my suitcase, which I give it right there.

Then, when I am checked later on (you know where they ask you to take off your watch, belt, etc.), they will ask about laptops, and if I have one, they will open the tray and make sure it's a laptop.

However, what about the case that the laptop is in the suitcase?

I do not want them to freak out when they see it in there (don't worry about its safety). It will be accompanied by 2 chargers and 2 mouses.

If it matters, I will be traveling from San Francisco, to a destination in Europe, via transit in another European city.

1 Answer 1


There is no problem with having a laptop or even a desktop computer in the suitcase. I did this just last week going through Atlanta. They did open the suitcase and left a note stating that, including a number to call and reference for the search. From the X-ray machine, what they probably see are some dark blocks and wires connecting them, so they will check it. They do the same for my tripod BTW, but by no means is a laptop prohibited. There are some restrictions on loose batteries but this does not apply to your situation. See this question for details.

In my case, they even knew it was a computer since I declared it at the Check-In Counter (that is what you call kiosks) in order to buy insurance for it. See this question for details.

Checks are usually done at the departure airport but usually when entering Europe, they are done one more time at your point of entry into Europe. So you may get one or two notes regarding inspection. It would be good for you to have a copy of the invoice for the laptop in case you need to make a claim to insurance should something happen.

  • Check-In Counter, now I learnt something new, thanks! They did open it at the Check-In Counter?
    – gsamaras
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 2:34
  • @gsamaras Check-In counter is the place where they check tickets and passports. Security check-point is where they look at your stuff, pass it through x-ray and you through a metal detector or scanner. For insurance, they can decide to open it at the check-in counter too but usually, they don't.
    – Itai
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 2:39
  • Damn it Itai, sorry but I am still confused. I was referring to the place were we go to our airliner to give our suitcase. Then we move on, and pass through Check-In Counter and then Security Check. But the suitcase is given in the 1st stop (in the airliner's kiosks), so that it can go in the cargo.
    – gsamaras
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 2:47
  • @gsamaras - Depends on the airport. In some, you give the luggage at the Check-in Counter and, if you did your check-in online, you go to the Baggage Drop area. In others, you go to both the Check-in Counter and then the Baggage Drop area which is before the Security Check-point because you should only have your carry-on and personal item with you when passing security. The Check-In counter is before the Baggage Drop area because that is where they tag your luggage. For online checked baggage, which is not always possible, there is an automated kiosks which prints the labels.
    – Itai
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 2:56
  • I see, you got my upvote. So, do you know what is the case for San Francisco airport? I didn't booked my flight, someone else did for me, I bet they did it online. Moreover, I will do my check-in online.
    – gsamaras
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 3:01

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