How to Store and Use Your Laptop on an Airplane

When you take your laptop on a plane with you, think about where you store it and where to sit so you can use with some privacy when you’re airborne. Try to store the laptop under the seat in front of you. You could put it in the overhead storage, but it’s easier to get to if it’s underseat — and putting it there avoids the peril of having latecomers jamming their steamer trunks and body bags into the overhead bins and crushing your laptop.

Keep the laptop in its carrying case! Wait until you hear the announcement that it's okay to turn on your electronic devices before you whip out your laptop.

  • Obviously, avoid the bulkhead seats, which lack underseat storage.

  • Window seats are usually better for computing aloft. That way, you can control the window blind, to shield your laptop's screen from the sun. Plus, it's easier to angle the laptop toward you and away from prying eyes in other seats.

  • 3M makes a special laptop display cover, the 3M Laptop Privacy Filter. It prevents other people from seeing what's on your laptop screen, which is a problem on airplanes if you’re working on a confidential document (or you’re just not in the mood to get into a lengthy discussion with a stranger about your laptop’s wallpaper photo of your dog/mom/boyfriend/etc.). The 3M Laptop Privacy Filter can be found at office-supply and computer stores all over.

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