Flying with a power bank but confused & having many unanswered questions.

If power bank is allowed or not?

How to carry the power bank?

What is the limitation of size of power bank?

and many more….

Here’s your guide to everything you need to know about flying with a power bank….

What is Power bank?

Power banks are portable devices designed to charge consumer devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

The quickest and most awaited answer to your first question if power bank is allowed or not is - YES

But it comes with many conditions.

Firstly, if power bank contains a lithium-ion battery then you won’t be able to put it in your suitcase or check-in baggage but you can put it in a carry-on baggage or hand luggage.

Secondly, if power bank is too big. Depending on the size you may not be able to take your power bank on the flight.

What is the restriction on size of Power Bank?

The restrictions as per the Federal Aviation Administration are for lithium-ion batteries rated above “100 watt hours (Wh) per battery”. Anything above this limit is restricted. While this limit allows most power banks to be brought on flights, there are still consumer power banks that exceed this limit.

Gratefully with prior approval from an airline, power banks rated 100.1-160 watt hours can be taken onboard but anything above 160 watt hours can put you in uninviting situation.

How Is Wh Calculated?

Calculating the watt hours of your power bank is very easy and can be done with your phone’s calculator. Here’s the formula:

(mAh)/1000 x (V) = (Wh)

Milliamp Hours/1000 x Nominal Voltage = Watt Hours

Example-

The formula to find the Watt Hours of Power’s 16750mAh Power Bank will look like this:

16750mAh/1000 x 3.7V = 61.98Wh

As it’s under 100Wh, you can bring it with you on the flight.

Thankfully, most of the recent brands of power banks have the Wh printed onto the charger so you don’t need to do the math yourself. Simply show this at the airport security if there is ever any confusion.

Wondering why you can carry the battery pack in a hand luggage and not a check it in with your luggage in cabin?

As there are many controversies with the explosion caused because of lithium ion batteries so it’s actually safer to keep these potentially explosive devices where they can be monitored. If by any chance the lithium battery causes a fire in the cabin, crew will be at ease to put it out without causing any damages to the passengers and still get them to their destination unharmed.

However, if the lithium-ion battery causes a fire in the cargo, it going to be a lot harder for crew to put out before it spreads and creates unwanted disaster.

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Ultimately, all you need to know to avoid any mishaps while flying is:

  1. Keep your batteries in the cabin
  2. Don’t take batteries over 100Wh (usually about 27-28,000 mAh) without consulting the airline

Prepared with those two pieces of information, you should be able to have a nice and relaxing trip in your high-speed metal tube flying several kilometers above the ground.

However, to be on safer side and not to end up in thwarted situation it is always recommended to check with the airlines because different airlines have slightly varying procedures and rules for lithium-ion batteries.