Rules for Power Banks On Flights: Power banks are used by travelers to keep their phones, laptops, tablets, and other gadgets charged on the go, especially on long flights. Safety regulations prevent passengers from bringing some large power banks on flights. This has resulted in regulations, restrictions, and best practices for carrying and using such devices on airplanes. Do you want to know if your large-capacity power bank can accompany you on your flying journey? This article has the answer!
Rules for Power Banks On Flights
Under the regulations of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the two primary governing bodies for air travel in India, power banks are classified as external lithium-ion batteries. Other countries may have similar or different rules, so it’s always worth checking with your airline and destination before flying.
The general rules for power banks on flights are:
- Passengers may bring power banks with a rating of 100 Wh or less per battery. This is equivalent to approximately 10,000 mAh at 10 volts or 20,000 mAh at 5 volts, which is typical lithium-ion battery voltage.
- Make sure there is no damage or malfunction on the power bank. Any level of damage can cause it to burn, which can create a very dangerous situation.
- Keep your power bank in your carry-on luggage, not in checked luggage. Lithium-ion batteries can overheat, short-circuit, or even puncture, potentially causing a fire or explosion.
- It is easier to detect and control a fire in the cabin than in the cargo hold.
- Power banks should be for personal use only, not for sale or distribution.
Protocol for maximum capacity of power bank in flights
The capacity of power banks is measured in watt-hours (Wh) or milliampere-hours (mAh). The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recommends that power banks not exceed 100 Wh. If you have a portable battery rated between 101 and 160 Wh, you must obtain approval from the airline to carry the power bank on the plane.
- You may only take a maximum of two battery packs of this size on board the aircraft per person.
- Passengers may bring consumer-type batteries and portable battery-powered electronic devices in their carry-on bags for personal use.
- Spare batteries must be protected from damage and short circuits.
- Battery-operated devices must be protected from accidental activation and heat generation.
- Power banks with ratings greater than 160 Wh are strictly prohibited in aircraft.
Why are power banks considered dangerous on flights?
Lithium-ion batteries in power banks pose a serious hazard on flights. They may spontaneously combust, creating a hazardous situation. If this happens in the cargo, it may go undetected and pose a major threat to the aircraft, crew, and passengers. For the safety of everyone on board, airlines now require passengers to carry all power banks and other electronics along with batteries in their carry-on luggage. The cabin crew can take immediate action if equipment fires or other hazardous conditions occur that may result from equipment overheating or malfunction.
On January 11, 2023, a remarkable incident occurred on a Scoot flight from Taipei to Singapore. The aircraft’s power bank suddenly caught fire, causing minor burn injuries to two passengers. The incident highlights the risks of carrying power banks on flights and underlines the importance of following airline rules regarding such devices.
Do all airlines follow these standards for carrying power banks?
Yes. There are general guidelines for carrying power banks on flights, but specific rules may vary by airline depending on domestic or international flights.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) provide these general rules.
- Passengers may bring power banks with a rating of 100 Wh or less per battery.
- It should not be damaged or withdrawn.
- It should be compact and easily accessible during security checks.
- Air India and IndiGo have similar rules for domestic flights in India.
- Power banks should be carried in hand luggage.
However, always check with your specific airline for their rules, as they may have additional restrictions or perks. For example, some airlines allow power banks of up to 160 Wh in hand luggage with prior permission. Remember, safety is paramount when flying and these rules are designed to ensure the safety of all passengers.
How do I check power bank capacity?
Manufacturers usually print the capacity of a power bank on its body or packaging, making it easy to find. Look for the words “Wh” or “watt-hour” and avoid buying or carrying a power bank larger than 100 Wh (or 160 Wh with approval).
You can calculate the Wh capacity by multiplying the voltage (V) by the milliampere-hour (mAh) rating and dividing it by 1000.
For example, if your power bank has a voltage of 5V and a 20,0000 milliampere-hour (mAh) rating, its watt-hour capacity will be (5 x 20,000)/1000 = 100 Wh.
You can also use online calculators or converters to know the capacity of your power bank in watt-hours or milliampere-hours. For example, you can use RapidTables.
Best practices for carrying and using power banks on flights
To ensure a safe and hassle-free flight with a power bank, follow these tips:
- Pack your power bank in a separate bag or pouch for easy access during security checks. You will have to take out your power bank and show it to the security officer.
- Turn off your power bank before boarding the plane and do not use it during the flight. Most airlines do not allow passengers to use power banks on board the plane as they can pose a fire risk if they malfunction or overheat. Instead, use the charging ports available on some seats or at airports.
- Protect your power bank from physical damage, extreme temperatures, moisture, and metal objects. Do not drop, crush, pierce, or expose your power bank to fire or water.
- Do not keep it in your pocket or near keys, coins, or other metal objects that may cause a short circuit.
- If damaged, swollen, leaking, or smoking, dispose of your power bank immediately.
- Do not attempt to repair or recharge a defective power bank. If you notice any problems with your power bank, contact airline staff or airport authorities immediately.
There are strict rules and regulations regarding power banks in flight, as they can pose a safety risk if they are too large, damaged, or misused. To ensure that the journey is safe for you and everyone on board the plane, you must follow the rules given by the airline. Stay connected to Gadgetstouse to read more!