Can You Bring Portable Chargers On A Plane? (Check Your Watt-hour)
In the modern day, we can all agree there is nothing worse than a dead battery. Without a healthy charge on our phones and laptops, it is easy to feel like we are missing out.
For those who travel for work, it may even be essential. Unfortunately, airport outlets are often crowded or broken, leaving you with few options. Thankfully, portable chargers allow for charging on the go.
For avid travelers, one common question is: can portable chargers be brought on a plane?
Many battery types are allowed on planes, but there are a few rules to look out for. Portable chargers are often allowed on planes if they meet the Watt-hour limit of 100Wh. Additionally, portable chargers or power banks must be packed in carry-on luggage. For safety reasons, items containing lithium-ion batteries are best kept in carry-on bags. In the event anything goes wrong, it is easier to control inside the cabin than in the cargo hold.
Keeping batteries in the cabin, including portable chargers and power banks, is a helpful precaution. It means that in the event of an unlikely malfunction, it is more readily contained. Additionally, you get the benefit of being able to use it during the flight so you don’t miss a beat!
TSA Rules For Batteries And Portable Chargers
You can take your portable charger on the flight. Here are the considerations you must follow:
Portable chargers must be packed in your carry-on.
This is true for several reasons. In the event your portable charger or lithium-ion battery erupts or explodes, it is easier to contain in the plane cabin.
In the cargo hold, there are also large containers of chemicals that could be far more detrimental if set on fire. Finally, if you plan to utilize the power bank throughout the flight, it is easier to have on hand with you in the cabin.
Power bank capacity matters.
Each portable charge must not exceed 100Wh (Watt-Hours). If you are bringing a portable charger that is over the limit, you will need approval from your airline. As a rule of thumb, portable chargers above 160Wh are not permitted.
If you are in doubt about the Watt-hour capacity of your portable charger, show airport security. Their job is to advise on the safety of your item for you protection and the wellbeing of other passengers. They will tell you whether your item is okay to pack and how best to stow it.
Can Portable Chargers And Power Banks Explode?
Yes, possibly. Batteries and power banks are heavily enforced because they can contain flammable or hazardous materials. The possibility of fire or explosion midflight is a serious consideration. Therefore, TSA is very straightforward when it comes to power banks.
Logically, it is easier for a crew member to contain a fire if the source is in the cabin. Airplane cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers.
Take power banks through the security checkpoint
According to the TSA power banks are allowed through the security checkpoint in carry-on baggage.
Power banks are not allowed in checked baggage, because lithium ion batteries are dangerous items and they are not permitted to be carried in checked baggage.
Here is what the TSA has to say about traveling with power banks.
Can you take a power bank in carry-on baggage?
The best way to travel with power banks is in your carry on luggage, the TSA and the airlines prefer you put all your lithium batteries inside your carry on bag.
Though the FAA has limited the rating of lithium ion batteries or power banks to 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery which is fine because most of the power banks or other daily used devices do not exceed the ratings.
Here is a response from ASKTSA on emphasizing that power banks limited to a rating of 100 watt hours should be carried in carry-on baggage.
You can take 101-160 WH batteries in carry-on bags but only with prior airline approval.
Can you take a power bank in checked baggage?
According to the FAA Power banks that contain lithium ion batteries (rechargeable) are not safe and are not allowed in checked baggage, and they must be transported in carry-on baggage.
Only lithium metal batteries (non-rechargeable) are allowed in both carry on and checked baggage.
If your carry-on bag is subject to gate checking at the airport, make sure that you remove all your batteries and power banks and place them inside your personal item or backpack.
You can read more about traveling with batteries on this detailed post.
Size of Power Banks allowed on a plane
Generally speaking, the size of powerbank you are allowed to take in your hand baggage on a flight will depend on the country you are boarding the plane.
For example, in the United States, the TSA (Transport Security Administration) has a limit of 100 watt hours (Wh) for lithium ion batteries. This means that you are allowed to bring powerbanks with a capacity of under 100Wh in your carry-on and checked baggage.
Most power banks are way under 100Wh – but we’ll show you a way to check the capacity later on in this article.
You can find some details in the Federal Aviation Administration website here: Pack safe lithium batteries
Can you take multiple power banks on a plane?
Again, this may vary from country to country, and airline to airline. Two power banks or sometimes three would normally be allowed with most airlines.
Remember, it is airport security who will determine how many power banks you can take with you on a plane in the end though!
Take them (and other electronics) in your hand baggage only. They should not be packed in checked in luggage going into the cargo hold!
What are Watt Hours and Miliamp Hours?
One source of confusion for passengers, is that the rules state a maximum size in watt hours for portable chargers and power banks, but most powerbanks are sold with mAh (milliamp hours) as their guiding capacity!
Roughly speaking, 100 Watt hours is 27,000 mAh, so anything less than 27,000 mAh will generally meet airline approval when packing a power bank into carry-on luggage.
You can find out the watt-hour rating of your powerbank battery by looking at the product packaging or checking the label on the device.
You can also use this formula to calculate the Watt Hour rating of your portable charger from mAh: Milliamp hour rating/1000 multiplied by the voltage equals Wh.
What Is The Maximum Power Bank Allowed On Flights?
The maximum capacity of the power bank is 100 wh to 160 wh on the flight. The TSA and FAA prohibit carrying power banks exceeding the limit of 100wh.
Lithium-ion batteries and power banks are allowed to pack in a carry-on bag and prohibited in a checked bag.
The airline security instructed to carry a maximum of two power banks with a capacity of 100 wh to 160 wh in carry-on bags.
Remember to pack lithium-ion batteries and electronic devices in the carry-on bag with a limit of 100 wh.
So if you want to bring power banks, you must pack two power banks under the power of 100 wh to 160wh in carry-on luggage.
What Portable Chargers Are TSA Approved?
The TSA-approved portable chargers with a capacity of 100wh to 160 wh. The lithium-ion and portable chargers must be packed in the carry-on bag.
The airline security allowed two portable chargers in carry-on bags, each should be less or equal to 100 wh to 160 wh.
Here are some portable chargers TSA-approved:
These portable chargers are extremely helpful in charging your devices. It can charge devices for a maximum of 4 hours each.
So if you’re looking for some good portable chargers, these items would be recommended.
Is It Safe To Take A Power Bank On A Plane?
It is safe to bring power banks on a plane. You can take two power banks on a maximum plane capacity of 100 wh to 160 wh for each.
The TSA instructed us to pack power banks in the carry-on bag. Make sure to leave them in the checked bag.
Lithium-ion batteries and power banks cannot be stored in the checked bag. The airline security will not permit it to exceed the limit of power banks.
So you can safely take portable chargers and power banks in carry-on bags under the allowed limit.
Can I Keep Spare Batteries For My Laptop On A Plane?
Yes, you can take spare batteries for laptop use. Batteries contain lithium and lithium-ion batteries, so the TSA rule to bring electronic devices carrying lithium-ion batteries remains the same.
Whether you want to take batteries for a laptop, you follow the same rule for other power banks and batteries.
So the battery capacity must be less than or equal 100 wh to 160 wh. The battery should be placed in the carry-on bag.
You can bring a maximum of two spare batteries under 100 to 160 wh in a carry-on bag.
The batteries are prohibited from storing in the checked bag, so avoid doing this. Before heading to the airport, check the specific airline rules.
Know Before You Go: Batteries, power banks and electronic devices on a plane
People who frequently travel by plane know that the luggage on board must meet specific requirements. In a car or train, you do not have to worry at all about the capacity of the power bank you have, the size of your suitcase, or the number of liquids in your hand luggage. At the airport, the situation gets a bit more complicated. Where to pack the batteries? What are devices not allowed in checked baggage? How do the rules for carrying electronics differ from one airline to another? This article will help you better prepare for your trip.
Even if you regularly fly on airplanes, every security check involves a bit of uncertainty. We hope that the guide we have prepared will help you save unnecessary stress and properly pack your luggage, which includes electronics. Here are the main issues addressed in this article:
- Regulations and rules for carrying electronics on an airplane.
- What electronic equipment carried on an airplane requires special attention?
- Electronics in carry-on luggage.
- What kind of power bank can be taken on a plane?
- Good practices for transporting batteries and rechargeable batteries on a plane.
Safe travel with electronics
It’s worth noting at the outset that regulations related to the electronics in your luggage can be really different. Always familiarize yourself with the applicable rules before traveling. They are defined by both airlines and national regulations. Differences can include the maximum capacity of lithium-ion batteries, rules for carrying power banks, or requirements for protecting electronic devices from accidental activation. By familiarizing yourself with specific guidelines, you will avoid unpleasant surprises.
Batteries on a plane: what the restrictions are due to
The main reason for the restrictive restrictions is the risk of causing a fire. Lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries, which are used in most electronic devices, are sensitive to mechanical damage, vibration, and high temperatures. They can evaporate or leak, increasing the risk of ignition.
In addition, electronic devices can also interfere with an aircraft’s onboard systems (navigation or communications). Some electronic devices (e.g., drones) can also pose a safety risk to the flights themselves.
Checked baggage VS. carry-on baggage
Most of the electronic devices we most often travel with should be packed in carry-on baggage. However, there are a few exceptions, which often include drones, hoverboards, or electric scooters, among others. Remember that you should always verify what you are allowed to take on board an airline. Unfortunately, there are no top-down rules that unify these practices around the world.
These are the recommendations of a few airlines we selected. As you can see for yourself, despite the differences in the capacity of power banks, batteries, and rechargeable batteries, in each case they must be in carry-on luggage.
- British Airways — power bank must be carried in hand luggage. Maximum capacity: 160 Wh or 40000 mAh.
- EasyJet — power bank must be carried in carry-on luggage. Maximum capacity: 100 Wh or 27000 mAh.
- Emirates — spare or extra batteries (including lithium and lithium-ion batteries) can only be carried in carry-on luggage. Items that mainly serve as an energy source (e.g. power banks), are considered spare batteries. There is a limit of 20 spare batteries per passenger.
- KLM — is allowed to carry a maximum of 15 electronic devices with a lithium battery of up to 100 Wh. Devices with a lithium battery up to 160 Wh require a permit application. Prohibited to pack electronic cigarettes in checked baggage.
- LOT — power bank must be carried in carry-on baggage. Maximum capacity: 100 Wh or 27,000 mAh. If the capacity of the power bank exceeds 100 Wh, the passenger must obtain approval from the airline before departure.
- Lufthansa — power bank must be carried in carry-on baggage. Maximum capacity: 100 Wh or 20000 mAh.
- Ryanair — power bank must be carried in carry-on baggage. Maximum capacity: 100 Wh or 27000 mAh.
- Wizz Air — batteries and rechargeable batteries are not allowed in checked baggage. Lithium-ion batteries must not have a capacity greater than 100 Wh. Lithium-ion batteries with a capacity greater than 100 Wh, but not exceeding 160 Wh, may be carried with approval from Wizz Air. Once such baggage is approved, one person may carry a maximum of 2 individually secured spare batteries with a capacity of 100 to 160 Wh.
The above summary is the best proof that the regulations related to a seemingly innocent device can be very different. Here are the general rules you should follow if you don’t have the opportunity to verify the guidelines before you fly.
- Power banks should be carried in carry-on luggage, not checked baggage.
- Power banks should have a capacity of no more than 100 watt-hours or 20000 milliamp hours. Above these values, airlines may require carrier approval or impose restrictions.
- Power banks should be packed in a way that protects them from damage and prevents accidental activation. It is advisable to store power banks in their original packaging or cases.
- Before boarding, disconnect all USB cables from the power bank and make sure it is turned off.
- Before boarding, make sure that the power bank does not accidentally start up during the flight.
Watch out for these devices!
Power banks are not the only devices that are not recommended to pack in checked baggage. What’s more, you also won’t take some of them on board in… carry-on backpack. Then it will be necessary to send the equipment via cargo shipment. Once again, we emphasize – if you have any doubts, consult the guidelines of the airline you are traveling with or the laws in your country. Here are some devices that require special attention:
- Lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of more than 100 Wh (for batteries in electronic devices such as laptops or cameras, they usually do not exceed this value).
- Lithium or lithium-polymer batteries contain more than 2 grams of lithium per battery.
- Devices with batteries, such as hoverboards, electric scooters, etc.
- E-cigarettes, and all related products such as e-liquids and refills.
- Power banks that exceed the previously mentioned capacities.
Some airlines may have stricter regulations for carrying electronic devices. If you are the lucky owner of a drone, be sure to make sure you can take it on the plane! In some countries and on some airlines, these devices can be taken on board a plane as carry-on or checked baggage, while in others they are completely prohibited.
Carrying batteries and rechargeable batteries on the plane
Finally, here are some good practices related to the transportation of electronics. These will help you avoid both confrontations with airport staff and surprises about baggage damage. Electronic devices are not allowed during takeoff and landing, as well as when flying through certain air zones. So it’s worth making sure your equipment is turned off before you travel. If you’re carrying batteries or rechargeables “in bulk,” place them in separate pouches or covers. This will minimize the risk of the electrodes coming into contact with each other. Finger batteries are best transported in their original packaging.
Dangerous and prohibited items on a plane
As you may have guessed, power banks, rechargeable batteries, batteries and selected electronic equipment are not the only items you should be cautious about when preparing to travel. Many people do not know that it is forbidden to go through the security check with… water. This often causes passengers’ bewilderment and when confronted with other prohibited items (including flammables, sharp objects, lighters, knives or drugs) actually sounds surprising. Regulations do not allow you to bring more than 100 ml of liquids in a single bottle onto the plane.
Or have you encountered an unusual adventure involving carrying batteries, rechargeable batteries, or electronic equipment on a plane? Let us know on or Instagram. We’ll be happy to update our article with new knowledge!