MacBook Pro/Air in checked airplane luggage, i.e. not carry-on luggage

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 4miler, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. 4miler macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2009
    Has anyone ever tried to include their MacBook Pro or even MacBook Air (either SSD or HD versions) in the checked airplane luggage i.e. the luggage that gets stored in the hold, not the carryon luggage?

    I'm asking because I'm thinking of traveling for the best part of a year, and my business critically depends on having a computer up and running. Hence, I'm thinking of traveling with two Mac notebooks - one carried in my carry-on luggage, and another stored in the checked luggage.

    Thinking that this 2nd backup Mac could be a 13" MacBook Air with HD. I realise a SSD model would be more durable, but I already have an HD-model MBA, and don't want to spend extra on a new one just as a backup.

    Just wondering if the Mac, in the checked luggage, would survive ok - assuming it was packed in such a way that the Mac did not directly contact the edges of the suitcase where it could take direct hits. I realise it depends on how well I pack it, but I'm just wanting to hear other people's experiences, if any.

    As an aside, I had thought of just relying on TimeMachine, such that if my main Mac died, I could just buy a new Mac on the road and restore from TimeMachine, however, in my travels to other countries, I realise that Mac's in other countries come with all sorts of weird and wonderful keyboards, e.g. European AZERTY keyboards - so it's not so easy to simply buy a new Mac with the keyboard I am used to, i.e. US/UK.
  2. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    I guess if it's packed in the original case, it won't hurt.
    But I suggest you carry it with you, it's not safe with all the other stuff...
  3. Woodbags macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2011
    I am fascinated as to what type of business you do. Most people require a working computer for work but when it is so critical that you are willing to carry around a spare at all times.

    Surely just backup to a HDD regularly and buy a machine if the main one breaks .
  4. satchow macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2011
    I've done this plenty of times because my carry on bag may be a little too heavy and I can get by with just my iPad. I just put it in the middle of a bunch of clothes and it's been fine. Sure they throw your bags, but the cushioning should dampen the shock.
  5. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    If your business need is that critical, it seems like the worst thing to do is put the spare in checked where it can be damaged or stolen.
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Or removed by the security people as a possible terrorist device. (another word for security person wants a new laptop).

    If the computer is critical, I would also carry a clone of the internal disk on a small external HDD. Also if you do decide to check it, make sure your employer's data is encrypted.

    However, if the security people see it's encrypted it might make them suspicious.
  7. driftless macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2011
    Wow, I can't imagine putting a computer in checked luggage. That is a serious redundancy requirement, I don't know anyone who does that particularly in this day of cloud back up. Although my wife is traveling with an iPad and a work issued ultrabook. You can always borrow a computer or have one overnighted to you in the rare case you need a second one. With an iPad you can still give presentations, use iWork, etc., as well.
  8. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    There is no HDD MacBook Air anymore.

    In any event, the cheapest Apple portable you can buy new is the base 11" Air, which has an SSD. If your current Air is an older HDD version, use the new one as your main machine, and the old one as a spare. Either will be just fine in your checked baggage - just put in the middle of some clothes, as suggested.

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