Can You Bring a Gimbal On An Airplane? 2024

If this is your first time planning with a gimbal on airplane or a stabilizer you will need to know what the rules says about these items.

Luckily we’re here to help! 

Here is the short answer before we dive into more details.

Generally gimbals are permitted on flights within the United Stated in both carry-on and checked baggage, however; gimbals are considered electronics so they will be subject to additional screening, and based on its size and weight the security officer will decide if it is permitted on board or not.

Read this easy guide that covers everything you need to know about traveling with gimbals in both domestic and international flights.

Let’s dive right in.

Carry on baggage Allowed
Checked baggage Allowed

Taking A Gimbal Through The TSA Security Checkpoint And In Hand Luggage 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible of overseen the security screening on flights within and from the U.S, this to ensure that passengers do not take any prohibited or dangerous objects on board the airplanes.

Even though the TSA didn’t specifically mention gimbals on its prohibited item list.

When traveling with a small gimbal then the TSA and the airline carry-on size won’t be a problem.

But some other types of gimbals are large and made out of solid materials so they can be used as bludgeons or as weapons that could harm or injure someone.

So the final decision will rest with the security officer at the security checkpoint.

I checked their social media to find more information. 

Jake asked the TSA and Southwest Airlines about taking his small DJI mobile 2 stabilizer gimbal in carry-on luggage.

The SouthwestAir replied that gimbals are allowed in hand luggage but the lithium ion batteries must not exceed 100 watt-hours,  the DJI mobile stabilizer looks that it have less than the 100 watt-hours which is good to bring in carry-on.

Also the AskTSA confirmed that gimbal stabilizers are good to go in carry-on bags.

A gimbal is considered an electronic items so you will need need to take it out of your bag when going through airport security and place it along with other electronics larger than a cell phone in a separated bin for x-ray screening.

Take A Gimbal In Checked Baggage

There are some important things you should keep in mind if you are planning to place your gimbal or other electronics in a checked bag.

Most airlines and airport security authorities do not advise to send perishable and expensive  electronics in checked luggage.

But items like large and heavy gimbals often need to be placed in a checked bag because of their size and weight, so using a solid suitcase will help protect your electronics.

Also If your gimbal operates with a spare ( removable ) lithium battery, ensure that you remove it and take it with you on board the airplane because may function and present a security risk when transported in checked baggage.

But in general there are some downsides to placing camera gear in cargo baggage, because you don’t know what will happen to them and if they are handled carefully, as most airlines will not compensate for any loss or damaged electronics.  

One reader shares,”I always travel with my $1200 large portable gimbal inside my checked bag, and I’m always afraid that it will get damaged  but thankfully it never happened.

Take Gimbals On International Flights 

The rules are similar on most airlines when traveling with gimbals, you will need to ensure that your gimbal is within your airline luggage size.

If we didn’t mention the country you are flying to in the table below , you can

but you can conduct a small research the country you plan to fly with if we didn’t mention it below.

Here is some of the rules for different countries:

CountriesLuggage rules
CanadaGimbals aren’t specifically mentioned with the Canadian authorities, but they have the same rules as in the United States so they are allowed in both carry on and checked baggage, and their lithium ion batteries need to not exceed 100 watt-hours.
United kingdom and Europe The same rules as those in the US, if you are traveling with a small gimbal you will be good to pack it in hand luggage, on the other hand if you’re traveling with an edged gimbal that can be used to harm someone you will find it hard to pass through the security checkpoint.
Australia The airport authorities do not specifically mention gimbals but they do not allow similar items like tripods in carry-on baggage so apparently gimbals will be subject for checked baggage.

Final Thoughts 

In general camera and phone gimbals are permitted on planes within the United States in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Even tough the TSA answered some passengers that large and heavy gimbal are more likely to raise concerns when going through the airport security, so the agent at the checkpoint will have the final say.

For international flights you will need to review your airline luggage rules to ensure the gimbal is within your  airline’s carry-on standards.

The gimbal needs to fit in either your carry-on bag, or in the overhead compartment.

We hope this helps

Happy travels

Tip: Check out this Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Carry-On Spinner, a sleek and versatile carry-on that is designed to fit within the limits of most airlines, to save you from the hassle of the airports and the pesky airline fees.

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