You can take a powerbank on a flight, providing it meets the airline's size and power restrictions. Here's all you need to know.
Packing your powerbank for air travel
If you've ever been stuck on a long flight with a dying cell phone, you know the importance of having a power bank, especially if all your travel details are on your phone!
Power banks come in handy for travelers, whether going by plane, or simply sightseeing in a new city. They are an essential travel accessory for an international vacation.
Related: Long Haul Flight Essentials
If you're planning to take your power bank on a plane with you, there are a few things you should be aware of first though. Here's everything you need to know:
Pack powerbanks in carry-on luggage only
Powerbanks should only be packed in carry-on luggage and never in checked luggage. This is because there is a small possibility that rechargeable lithium ion battery powerbanks can overheat and pose a fire risk.
Even though the chances of powerbanks causing a fire on a plane are very low, it's easier to deal with the issue if it is in hand luggage as opposed to hold luggage!
Plus, if your powerbank is in your carry-on luggage, you'll have easy access to it during the flight in case your phone or other devices need a charge.
Bottom line: Power banks (which are typically lithium batteries) should only be packed in carry on baggage.
Related: International Travel Packing Checklist
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!
Related: International Travel Safety Tips
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.
Check with your airline about powerbank restrictions
For the majority of countries in the world, a small to medium sized powerbank with a capacity of under 100 watt hours will be fine to take on a plane in your carry-on luggage.
However, it's always best to check with your airline before you travel as some may have different restrictions regarding taking a power pack.
Some airlines may allow larger powerbanks to be taken on board with prior permission. Contact the airline in advance so you have proof as you go through the security checkpoint at check in!
Related: How to find cheap flights
Useful to know when you want to carry power banks on planes
- Power banks are allowed on planes in carry on bags only
- Power banks are not allowed in checked luggage / cargo luggage.
- You can bring power banks up to 27,000 mAh on most passenger aircraft.
- Larger power banks may be allowed on some airlines in some parts of the world
- Use this formula to calculate the Wh rating of your portable charger: Milliamp hour rating/1000 multiplied by the voltage equals Wh.
- Always check with your airline to see if carrying power banks is allowed
Related: Pros and cons of traveling by plane
Best Power Bank To Take On A Plane
I have a range of powerbanks at home I can choose from to take with me on a flight. Some of these are small chargers that can half charge an android smartphone once, others are bigger and can charge a laptop as well as mobile phones via its usb c port.
My go to power bank to take with me on a long vacation or short trip is the Anker Powercore+ 26800. The size is big enough for fast charging most portable electronic devices, and because my laptop is usb c charging, I can also provide power to that should it need a quick recharge.
You can read my full review here: Best Powerbank for Bike Touring – Anker Powercore 26800
FAQ About Taking Power Banks On Planes
Some commonly asked questions about taking power banks on planes to charge mobile phones and other portable electronic devices include:
Is 20000mah power bank allowed in flight?
This size powerbank would be allowed on most flights in your hand baggage. If in doubt, take a look on your airline's website.
Can you take a power bank on a plane?
A power bank can be taken on a plane in carry-on luggage, but not in checked luggage. Most airlines allow a power bank up to 27,000 mAh.
Can I bring 30000mAh Power Bank on plane?
No, a power bank with a rating of 30000mAh or more is not allowed on most passenger aircraft. You would need to ask for special permission.
Can I take a power bank in my carry-on bag?
Yes, you can take a power bank in your carry-on bag. However, it is important to note that the power bank must not exceed 27,000 mAH or 100 Watt Hours.
I hope you found this guide to flying with power banks useful! You might also want to read:
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