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Taking GPS on airplanes


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We are leaving Friday for Aruba and want to do some geocaching while we are there. Has anyone ever had a problem taking a GPS on in a carry-on?


I checked with TSA and they were no help. I was basically told that it's up to the officer that lets us through security. We don't want to get there and not be able to bring it because then what do we do with it?

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I have never had a problem but like they said it could depend on who you run into in security. I would probably bring it and ask before I check in my bags...worst case they tell you not to bring it as a carry on but you can put it in your check in. But like I said, I've brought mine many of times and just put it in my backpack with my laptop as a carry on. Never had any problems.

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Never gave it a second thought and have never had a problem. Probably looks so much like a cell phone . . . I usually stick it in the pouch of my laptop case along with my cell phone and digital camera.


The page given on in-flight use of GPS units is interesting. I've never had that questioned either, though.

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Thanks everyone! And that is interesting about the in-flight usage. My husband and brother were talking about having it on in-flight but my concern is just getting it to Aruba to geocache! I guess we'll just try it and see. Doesn't sound like there's anything to worry about.

Edited by TeamIzzieWeasel
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I just traveled to Florida and back without a problem. I carried my GPS on, I did NOT put it in my checked luggage. I will say going through security my backpack stayed in the xray longer then I expected and I thought I would get to visit the hand check officer.


BTW, be careful with your checked luggage. When I check my luggage they were very strict about the weight and charging enormous amounts of $s for overweight luggage. I think the weight limit per piece is 50 lbs. Also I flew Delta.

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I have had no problem taking it with me in my carry on. I will turn it on occasionally to get a fix on where we are. Southwest has not had a problem with me doing this, but I was told to turn off my GPS and put it back in my carry on when I was traveling on Frontier. Some airlines do not understand that a GPS is only a receiver and does not put out a signal of it's own that would interfere with the aircrafts electronics.

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Ive taken my GPS on several flights with no issues. American once and United(???) the other. If you have a window seat, you can usually get a sat lock. Its cool to see where you are and see it reading 400mph @36,000 ft :anibad: It only works on a window seat, I also tried to get a lock in a middle seat, but no dice

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I've taken my GPS on every flight I have made. I don't know how many I took last year but I earned 13 free flights so I know it was a lot.


Only one time was I asked to turn it off and that was only until we reached 10000 feet.


I would suggest if you get picked for additional screen you make sure you watch them put it back in your bags. One of mine "walked" off while I was getting some additional screening.

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I, too, have carried my Garmin Lengend GPS on board and have used it in-flight a few times. Never a problem. I've flown both American and United. In addition, I have a Garmin nuvi that we use while on vacation to get around. Also in carryon luggage. I'm not going to trust them to checked luggage!!!! To use on-board, must be right next to the window for the Legend to work. Don't know about the nuvi. Just be sure they have batteries in them because you might be asked to turn them on to prove that they are what they are supposed to be. I've never had a problem with loose batteries, I carry extra with my camera, etc.

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I just flew on Northwest earlier this month. I carried my Garmin in my camera case along with my camera and my Palm. They asked if there was a video camera in the bag and that was it.


The announcement on the plane once we were in the air is that you can use any electronics as long as they don't transmit. Since the Garmin is only a receiver, it is okay.


When sitting by the window, it worked great! I was flying at 32,000 feet or so at 450 mph. It was cool to see what cities I was flying over. I also put in my destination city and could tell about how much further I had to go!

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