Are Power Banks Allowed on Planes? Everything You Need to Know About Flying with a Portable Charger  

Power Bank Flying Plane Airport Infographic

Update: We’ve created the ultimate guide to flying with a power bank, including a list of airlines and their portable charger rules. Download in the sidebar.

 

Knowing what technology you can and cannot take when flying poses some challenges. This is especially so in an era of strict rules, unruly TSA agents, or being dragged off a flight. One of the more complicated issues that travelers encounter when flying is what to do with power banks. If you’re worried about your charger being confiscated or are generally concerned with the safety aspects of being in the air, here’s everything you need to know about flying with a power bank.


Are Power Banks Allowed on Planes?

In short, yes you can fly with most power banks. That’s great news if you’re in need of a quick recharge when you touch down or if you’d like to be able to do work when 40,000 feet in the air. However, like all great things there is a catch. First, power banks, which use lithium-ion batteries, need to be stored in carry-on baggage only. Second, power banks over a certain size cannot be brought onto flights at all.

Woman Portable Charger Airport Plane Power Banks


Why Can They Only Be Brought on with Your Carry-On Baggage and Not Checked in with Your Luggage?

On the surface it might seem slightly illogical since, either way, both of them will be on the plane. A closer look reveals a different story. Since some “batteries contain both the oxidizer (cathode) and fuel (anode)” there is always that slim chance that the internal battery will react chemically, explode, and cause a fire. Of course, not all batteries react that way, but as an issue of safety, airlines put blanket restrictions on batteries. If a battery causes a fire in the cabin, the crew can put it out with minimal damage and everyone can get to their destination relatively unharmed. If, however, a fire starts in the cargo hold, not only is it harder to put out, but another flammable substance that’s been checked in could react with the fire causing serious damage to the plane and even losses of life.


What Sized Power Banks Are Restricted?

The restrictions as per the Federal Aviation Administration are for lithium-ion batteries rated above “100 watt hours (Wh) per battery”. Anything above that limit is restricted. While that limit allows most power banks to be brought on flights, there are still consumer power banks that exceed that limit. Thankfully with prior approval from an airline, power banks rated 100.1-160 watt hours can be taken onboard.


Why Is Wh Used and Not mAh?

While power banks are marketed by their milliampere hours (mAh), this standard is only useful when comparing products that use the same type of battery e.g. lithium ion, alkaline cells, or NiHN cells. Whereas, watt hours refers to the fact that the battery can supply a certain amount of watts per hour. This is a better standard as watt hours provides a consistent way to compare different types of batteries, rather than the same type of battery.

Couple Travel Power Banks Map Charge


How Is Wh Calculated?

Calculating the watt hours of your power bank is particularly easy and can be done with your phone’s calculator or even in your head. Here’s the formula:

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

In other words, Milliamp Hours/1000 x Nominal Voltage = Watt Hours


What Are Those Measurements?

Here is a quick rundown to help you.


Examples

The formula to find the Watt Hours of RAVPower’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 airplane.

What if we tried RAVPower’s upcoming 32000mAh Power Bank:

32000mAh/1000 x 3.7V = 118.4Wh

As it’s over the limit, you would need approval from the airline to bring it on.

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

Plane Cabin Laptop Power Banks Charging


Other Questions:

What If My Charger Exceeds the 160Wh Limit?

In that case, you need special permission to bring it on. It will also be packed in a special area of the cargo hold as per the IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations.


Does My Power Bank Need Any Protections to Fly With?

Yes, it means that battery terminal ends must be protected from short-circuiting. All RAVPower power banks feature short-circuiting as well as a number of other protections so you may fly with them. If, however, you pack a power bank that does not feature internal protections, there are safety methods you can take. These include makeshift safeguards like leaving it in its original retail packaging or covering the ports with tape. Not exactly convenient.


Are There Any Size Limits?

Non-rechargeable lithium metal batteries have a 2 gram per battery restriction on airlines. Power banks, however, use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery so the only size limit is the aforementioned 100Wh.

When travelling with technology it’s always better to be informed than to fly clueless. From storing power banks in your carry-on, to size limits, we hope you’re better prepared for future air travel.

For RAVPower’s selection of power banks, please click here
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For a power bank you can take while flying, get RAVPower’s 22000mAh Portable Charger here.

Remember to let us know in the comments what you use your power bank for when flying.

 



Flying with a Power Bank eBook Download

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124 Replies to “Are Power Banks Allowed on Planes? Everything You Need to Know About Flying with a Portable Charger  

  1. I use my RP-B055 to power my portable CPAP machine. This allows me to travel on long distance flights without worrying if the power plug works on the aircraft, covers off spotty power in remote locations, and also allows me to go wilderness camping off the grid for multiple nights. The run time of a 99 AH power pack over the largest available battery from my CPAP supplier (5.5 AH) means a lot more freedom!

  2. In the last year or two there have been some changes in the rules for chargers and power strips on cuise ships. Particularly with regard to surge supression, which apparently interacts with the electrical systems of these ships in potentially dangerous was. I have the Ravpower rp-pc028, 6 port usb hub. Does that unit have surge suppression? Have you had any feedback about this charger vis a vis cruise ships?

    Thanks

  3. You need to update your advice given in light of restrictions in and out of certain countries deemed at risk of terrorism. There is a physical size limit on such flights …. the thickness of the powerbank is usually the limiting factor…1.5cm.

  4. Hi there just wonder if RAVPower 27000mAh Portable Charger with Built-In AC Outlet able to bring up to the plane? Understand that it is 101W need approval from the airline and RAVPower 27000mAh is at 100W. Will that 1W difference make the airline to reject for safety reason?

      1. The basic IATA regulations say that for spare batteries of 100 Wh or less (“small” batteries, in IATA terms), there is no limit; for “medium” batteries between 100 and 160 Wh, you’re permitted a maximum of two, and they have to be approved. (Passenger info page at http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Pages/dgr-guidance.aspx , specific battery rules in the PDF pamphlet at http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Documents/passenger-lithium-battery.pdf )

        Some airlines may impose their own limits as you say, and if you’re flying somewhere with “enthusiastic” baggage screeners, a big stack of batteries is the sort of thing that’s likely to make them twitchy, so definitely check with your airline or travel agent if you’re planning on taking a lot.

  5. Hi,
    What is the Nominal Voltage of my power bank with Quick Charge 3.0?

    Output 1 w/ Quick Charge 3.0:
    DC 5V/3A
    DC 9V/2A
    DC 12V/1.5A

    Output 2:
    DC 5V/2A

  6. Thanks for this great write up! Exactly what I was looking for. I’ve spent that last 2-3hrs researching powerbanks, usb cables, and wall chargers for my Nintendo Switch.

    While I’ve flown internationally and have never had a powerbank taken away, the last thing I want is for that to happen…Especially on a 12+hr flight!

  7. I was going to say this is such a blatant advertising for Ravpower, and then I looked at what website I was on, lol. Gah, i need to pay more attention.

    Anyway, thanks, this was helpful

  8. Hi,

    Maybe you can help, I’ve got a Comsol np200 and its got variable voltages so I don’t know how to calculate the watt hours.

    It can do
    12v 4.0A
    16v 3.5A
    19v 3.0A
    5v 2.1A

    with 20000mAh

    Calculated at 5v its at 100 watt hours, but calculated at 19v its at 380 watt hours. But i fail to see how the battery can be both of those.

  9. Here we go this is from the airline about my power bank that was confiscated

    “Inline with our airline condition’s of carriage as the power banks are classed as dangerous goods we can confirm that these were confiscated correctly by the local authorities.”

    Thomas cook airlines.

  10. Have a PB-19 and fling to Florence, Delta and Air France. The watts are fine at 69.1, but how do I know about the no more than “2 grams” of lithium issue????

  11. Portable Charger RAVPower 26800mAh Power Bank External Battery Pack 3-Port 5.5A iSmart Output for Mobile Phones, Tablets and More
    by RAVPower
    Can I carry this in KLM international flight.
    26800mah / 1000*5.5amp = 147.4MH.

  12. We recently bought RavPower 26800mAh model RP-PB41. I can’t seem to find the voltage for this specific one. Where can I find the V for this model? And will this be allowed in air travel?

    1. For the battery cell, the voltage is 3.7V (the nominal voltage). The power bank’s input voltage is 5V. Or if you want to know which charging adapter is suitable when travelling, our power banks support 110V-220V.

  13. FInally a post with exact details and simple math for calculations. It just came to mind last minute that I may need to check if my powerbank was going to be allowed on my flight tonight or not.

    Thanks

    Rob

  14. What is the best battery for travel on the airplane with maximum (100) WH allowed and fast charging? It’s gonna be a long 18 hour flight.. plus train and bus rides afterwards.

  15. I purchased model # RP-PB052 22000 mAh charger. On the back of the charger it says it is 83.6 Wh. Is this referring to 83.6 watts? Also in looking at the formula to calculate the watts to make sure the charger is allowed on the airplane carry-on within the 100 watt rule how does this calculate out? What is the volts of this model. According to the back of the charger it shows for Input: DC 5v/2.4A Max. Then it list Output/(iSmart): DC 5v/5.8A Total. Using the formula on you ad fro this model and using the numbers on the back of the charger I calculate: 22,000/1000 x 5.8 v = 127.6 watts. Is is correct? I will be flying the end of the month and don’t won’t the TSA to take my charger.

    1. The listed Wh on the power bank IS the Watt Hours. Since it’s under 100Wh, you can take this model on your flight. Just show TSA.

      We are not sure why you used 5.8 as that is the output of the device. The number you need is the nominal voltage which is around 3.7.

  16. May I take in my bag in a commercial plane a PowerAll Goliath 32000 mAh Power Bank 800 Amp 24V Jump Starter LED PBJS32000RG in the US ?

  17. I recently bought a 100000mAh power bank with an input of 1 A and output of 2A, the model is telecomusers, will this be allowed in hand luggage?

  18. I have a Mophie 5200 mAh and a Mophie 10,400 mAh. I know these meet the guidelines of under 100 Wh but are they ok as far as having the internal protection? I tried to look but can’t seem to find that info anywhere. Also, can i take both with me?

  19. Hi there. Thanks for this information, but what we’re running into while looking for the right power bank is lithium batteries are not allowed at all through SeaTac Airport, Seattle, WA and most power banks have lithium type batteries. So, with all the commentaries saying they’ve been okay, we’re confused.

    I haven’t bought one as it would be useless to us to have it confiscated between flights and some TSA pockets it. Alaska Airlines also notes no batteries on their flight, even though your notes say 100wh per federal aviation rules. I’m an “old school” traveler, so I’d just plug my electronics into outlets in airports for charging while waiting to board flights and before getting to airport. However, traveling to remote destinations in various countries around the world, they don’t have access to cater to my laptop, ipod, phone, etc. So, this power bank would be great even for a day for some things. The CPAP idea for my hubby noted above sounds fantastic, so can anyone recommend what powerbank size to use in this case and does it have a lithium battery? Thanks.

  20. Ok, technical question here. I want to purchase
    AC Outlet 27000 Power Bank https://www.ravpower.com/dp/B07546KNVC?ref=emc_b_5_i It’s just perfect for me. You said in another answer that you can fly with it. Problem is that I’ve got to go to Japan where Law is God and the specs about that powerbank say it’s a 99.9 Wh one… It’s at the limit and fine with me BUT the Japanese legal restrictions explicitly state that it MUST be LOWER than 100 Kws. If that isn’t true I’m gonna be f**** by the Imperial custom officials and I’m not speaking about Star Wars. Man, you must assure me! Another question is… How do I know how much lithium that thing contains???

    1. If you are having doubts, then contact the airline. Remember you can get special approval from some airlines to fly with a power bank between 100 – 150 Wh.
      As for your question regarding how much lithium it contains, do you mean how many lithium batteries are housed inside?

  21. HI

    Just back from a trip to Australia to Shanghai- power bank was taken by airport security at Pudong (Shangahi) airport- Was in carry on and only small and met all these guidelines -No reason or arguing with them- Just advised not allowed powerbanks on planes.

      1. So interesting to see this comment because I was just leaving from Pudong to JFK on China Eastern last weekend, and they took away my little credit card-sized charger that I got as a promo gift ages ago. I’ve carried on that mini-charger all over the world for years without even taking it out of my bag. Pudong did let me carry on my other, large-capacity portable charger. But the agent who threw away my little charger (which obviously doesn’t exceed any lithium limit) told me that if it doesn’t state the capacity on the exterior, then they can’t allow it, so maybe that was the case with yours. So they do let some portable chargers through. I think it depends on which agent you get and how much the government is cracking down that day. I’ve never tried registering a charger beforehand.

        1. Hello, I’m from Mexico but i live in Shanghai and i have taken many flights from Pudong and Hongqiao Airport (both in Shanghai) to many places… I always travel with 2 powerbanks, both are 20,000mAh (each) and never had a problem. Sometimes they only check the WH… But in both powerbanks it shows 74wh… Just in any next case, try to follow all the rules before the agent have to ask you if you are carrying any powerbank… I means, take the powerbanks, laptop and cellphone out of the backpack before they ask you. That way you will show them you are following the rules and that way you are showing them you also know that rules. PS: 90% of the chinese travel with powerbanks… and due to a very hard restriction in the last years, you are not allowed to put any kind of batteries or lighters in your checked-in bags.

  22. Hi! This is very informative since i am actually searching for the allowed powerbank capacity. I do have RP-26800mah and is quite doubtful if this be allowed in hk and macau.

  23. I’m sorry that I didn’t buy a rav power source but I did buy a ruipu brand and am wondering if you could tell me if I can fly with it, capability is 24000 mAh input DC5V 2,1 A output DC5 V 4,2 A.

  24. Hellow Team RAVPower,
    I bought RAVPower 26800 mAh Power Bank from Saudi Arabia. Is this comes under 100 WH? I am in confusion whether airlines allow me to carry or not, could you please clarify?

  25. Hi, I have a Lenovo Yoga 920, can you please advise which is the best power bank to use with this laptop and if it is available in Australia? Thanks!

    1. Australians right now have limited choice until we are able to stock on Amazon.com.au. If you don’t want to pay big $$$ at a Telstra store, check out Sobre. I am not so familiar with the Lenovo Yoga 920 but it seems like you need a power bank with USB-C.

  26. Hello, I am planning to buy ‘RAVPower Type C 20100mAh Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Portable Charger’. Can you tell me what would be the Wh for this device and can I carry it on flight?

    1. Hi Vishal,

      This is the formula:

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

      Now let’s plug in the data:

      20100/1000 x 3.7 = 74.37Wh

      So yes, you can take it on-board. Have a safe trip.

  27. I’m looking for a portable charger that will work with a Samsung s7 (restricted to a quick charge 2.0), with 2 ports. Any suggestions?

  28. Just purchased the RAVPower ace series 22000mAh portable charger and it came with a sticker on the shipping box stating forbidden in passenger aircraft. Is this true? Because in the answers above, you say that it is allowed on the plane.

    1. It did? That’s very strange since power banks are very much allowed on planes. I guess I will need to stake the hallowed halls of RAVPower HQ to find out why this was included. Very strange.

  29. Will be buying a laptop with i5 & Geforce MX950 to game while on a 15 hour flight. I’m concerned about the plane’s power outlet not charging the laptop especially when it’s battery taken out while plugged. Only option now is to buy a power bank.

    Is there a power bank you have for this laptop that can be allowed on flight and be used for at least 10 hour gaming?

    1. Hi Zaki,
      • Does it have a USB-C port? You can try powering it up with this USB-C equipped power bank.
      • Do you prefer a power bank with an AC outlet and up to 100 Watts? You can try our beastly 27,000mAh Power Bank.
      Full disclosure, I am not familiar with this model so I cannot guarantee it will provide at least 10 hours. You will have to check the listings and your laptops hardware. Best of luck and have a safe flight.

  30. Thanks for this article!

    I have difficulty understanding the most crucial sentence. I quote

    “power banks rated 100.1-160 watt hours”

    Should I read this as “power banks rated 100.1 watt hours to 160 watt hours”? Are power banks 100 watt hours and less not allowed? I’m confused

    1. Power banks under 100 watt hours are allowed in your carry-on. It’s just power banks above 100 watt hours that require permission from airlines. Of course each airline has different rules which is why we *insert shameless plug* have made a free eBook that shares the rules a vast majority of airlines have regarding bringing power banks on board a flight.

          1. Thanks. Also could you please reply to my June 20th question regarding a gaming laptop?

  31. I uaed a 20100 powerbank with klm, airfrance and Air Asia with no problems. You must carry it in your handbag.

    1. It refers to Watt Hours – a standardized unit that measures the watts supplied in an hour. Basically if a lithium-ion battery cell exceeds 100.1 Watt Hours, airlines will place restrictions on bringing it on board.

  32. Hi! We accidentally checkin our 26000 mah power in international flight which is 1 hour flight, can you please tell me what will be the situation?

  33. I have a Ravpower Ace Series 32000mAh External Battery Pack. (1) My understanding from your excellent online article, “Are Powerbanks Allowed on Planes,” is that the Wh of the 32000 is 118.4 (32×3.7) , which exceeds the 100Wh allowed. I am correct on this?
    (2) Your article says that if the Wh exceeds 100, then I must get permission from the airline (Delta in my case) to fly with the Ravpower 32000. How do I go about getting permission from the airline? Thank you.

  34. Following up on my question to you earlier today (7-28-2018). I downloaded and checked your “Flying with a Power Bank eBook” and also checked Delta airlines website. Both state that Delta allows up to 160Wh battery bank with carry on luggage. Thus, my new Ravpower 32000 is allowed. Many thanks for your article and the related eBook.

    1. Great! Glad you can bring it on board. As for getting permission, I believe you need to declare the power bank before flying and fill out a form. Depends on the airlines.

  35. Help !
    My power bank is : Li-polymer battery : 20000mAh
    Solar Charging : 5V/200mA
    Led Power : 2.4 W
    Input : DC5V/1A
    Output : DC5V/2x1A

    Can I bring it on my hand carry bag ?

    I would be happy to hear from an expert like you. Thank you.

  36. I have a powerbank ( asus zen power 10050 mAh ) and I would like to take it with me but I don’t know if I am allowed to. It says:

    5v=2A output
    5.1v=2.4A cells rating
    3.6v
    36Wh Rated capacity

    thank you

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