Can You Bring Batteries on a Plane?

There are specific regulations for carrying various types of luggage on a plane. But people keep such items in their handbags and carry them. However, carrying electronic devices becomes crucial in most cases. Most people ask if they can bring batteries on a plane. Batteries have some hazards, which is why the rules are different. The rules are according to safety reasons and vary depending on the type of battery. It also depends on whether you’re keeping in checked luggage or your handbag.

Let’s take a look at whether you can bring batteries on a plane. If yes, which way is better to do so.

What Type of Batteries Can You Bring on a Plane?

You can carry batteries on a plane in your checked luggage or carry-on. But you’ve to follow the regulations depending on the type of battery. Here are some of the types of those batteries:

Lithium-ion Battery

These batteries include rechargeable ones in devices like cell phones, laptops, and tablets. The energy density of these batteries is quite high. That’s why they last long enough. There is no such restriction about carrying devices with lithium-ion batteries inside them. But there are certain conditions. You must either turn them off or keep them on “sleep/airplane” mode. It may look frustrating, but you have to do it anyway.

If you plan to bring spare batteries, keep them in carry-on. It is because checked luggage is prone to temperature changes. The allowable limit for these batteries is:

  • Lithium metal battery: 2 to 8 grams
  • Large Li-ion battery: 101 to 160 Wh.

Make sure to keep the batteries in a separate packing of their own. Or you can use protective cases as well for them.

Lithium Metal Batteries

These batteries are non-rechargeable. You can keep them in carry-on luggage if they have 2g or less lithium. Also, you have to protect these batteries from short circuits and damage. The reason is that these loose batteries can explode. You can also keep these batteries in checked luggage. But the condition for this is they have to be inside a device. If they are not, you can’t keep them in checked baggage.

Spillable/Non-Spillable Batteries

You cannot bring spillable batteries in either checked luggage or carry-ons. The only way to do it is if they are present inside a wheelchair. And the staff will check that as well. According to FAA rules, spillable batteries in wheelchairs have to remain attached.

On the other hand, you can bring non-spillable batteries on a plane. But each battery shouldn’t exceed 100Wh and 12V. You can also carry two spare batteries. But protection from the short circuit is on you. Try to pack them in protective cases with “non-spillable” written on them.

Nickel-Cadmium Batteries

These are rechargeable batteries and are not in use anymore. But you can still find these in old devices. For example, old radios, medical equipment, and power tools have these. You can carry them in either checked luggage or carry-ons. However, the size limit depends on the airline. If you are carrying a bigger-sized battery, make sure that you pack it in a proper way.

Nickel-metal Batteries

You can find these rechargeable batteries in power tools, portable devices, and high-power applications. Their energy density is higher compared to Ni-Cd batteries. So, they’re more prone to overcharging and, hence, less stable. Some old digital cameras and MP3 players have these batteries installed in them. Their case is the same as that of Ni-Cd batteries. You can carry them either in checked baggage or carry-on. But protective cases are a must since they may cause damage if they remain open.

Alkaline Batteries

Alkaline batteries are opposite to the two mentioned above. They are non-rechargeable and used in home products like toys, remotes, and clock-watchers. They also have low energy density compared to Li-ion batteries. Therefore, they are more stable and are easy to bring on a plane since they are not hazardous. So, all the airlines are allowed to carry these either in carry-ons or checked luggage.

You must have an idea about the type of battery your devices have. That is because the rules and regulations vary depending on the battery type. Also, don’t forget to check the devices you bring on the plane.

Can You Bring Power Banks on a Plane?

A power bank has become a helpful thing in recent times. It works as a charger for your phone without plugging into the wall. And you can bring them on a plane. But there are specific rules. If these tools contain Li-ion batteries, you must keep them in carry-ons. TSA says you cannot pack your power banks in checked luggage.

On the other hand, a phone charger is a portable device you can attach to a wall outlet. You can either carry it in your hand luggage or checked luggage. It is better to have it in your cabin bag. That is because you may lose your checked bag somewhere. So, you don’t want to run out of power under such circumstances. Hence, bringing power banks or chargers in cabin bags is better.

Another thing that you should pack in your cabin bag is a vaping device or e-cigarette (if you smoke). But you can’t charge or use them while on the plane. You must ensure the vaping device doesn’t turn on even in the packing. These electronic devices are prohibited in checked baggage, even if you’ve removed the batteries. That is because of the safety concerns.

Besides, you can’t bring an electronic device with a recalled battery. That is due to the risks associated with it. You can’t afford to see that battery catch fire. So, try to avoid such recalled batteries.

Conclusion

Batteries are a significant hazard, so most airlines don’t allow them. But they can’t restrict you from taking specific electronic devices with batteries installed. So, you can surely bring batteries on a plane. But the type of battery will decide whether it will travel with you. Also, some batteries are better for checked bags, while others are in cabin bags. So, go through the rules first and then decide which way is better.

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