The Rules of Flying With Lithium-Ion Batteries Have Changed

If you are planning on travelling with smart luggage that has a battery in the near future, there are some new rules you should know about. Most of the major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and more are reportedly banning the use of smart luggage win non-removable batteries. However, the ban is only for checked baggage, and doesn’t apply to carry-on luggage brought into the main cabin. This will affect thousands of people as high-tech pieces of luggage with various smart technology included in them have become very popular gifts over the last few holiday seasons. As a result, you should look to make sure that new bag you got (or are going to give to someone), will comply with the new policies.

The reason for this ban is the potential for lithium battery combustion, which can be traced to the various concerns about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 issues of 2016. The ban is essentially a proactive step to ensure no disasters end up taking place in the cargo of a plane. As you could imagine, many technology companies who make products specifically designed for travel and luggage, are not too pleased with this announcement. In fact, the CEO of Bluesmart, Tomi Pierucci, calls these changes a “huge step back for travel technology”.

Woman Portable Charger Airport Plane Flying Smart Luggage Batteries

Are Smart Luggage Batteries and Lithium-Ion Batteries Safe?

However, are the airlines right in banning these pieces of smart luggage? Are lithium-ion batteries unsafe? The answer for the most part is no. For most of the millions who use smart luggage batteries or other lithium-ion batteries, no problems will arise. You will be able to use devices with these batteries consistently without an issue.

Now, that isn’t to say there isn’t the potential for safety problems to occur, especially when flying or when lithium-ion batteries don’t have protections. These mainly occur when the lithium-ion battery is overcharged, kept at too high a temperature, or goes through mechanical abuse such as being dropped or tossed around. Of course, there are some issues that can arise during the manufacturing process, but most of the time, companies are very particular about making sure that their batteries are safe. RAVPower is no exception.

By making sure you take care of your lithium-ion batteries, keep them in a suitable location, and follow the rules of your airline, there is a good chance you will be just fine.

Disclaimer: We’d like to address that lithium-ion batteries CAN be dangerous in that they can catch on fire on, especially when flying. It is for this reason that airlines restrict certain li-ion based products, as well as put rules on others – such as power banks. It is also why some lithium-ion products are required to be brought on board in your carry-on luggage so in the unlikely case of a fire, they can be put out immediately.

Rules When Flying With A Power Bank Airline Safety Lithium-ion Rules

Are Power Banks Safe For Air Travel?

So what about power banks? Can they be brought on to planes? Well the answer is yes, most power banks will be able to be taken on planes, but there are some limits when flying with a power bank. First of all, power banks that use lithium-ion batteries will need to be taken in your carry-on bag and second of all, power banks that are rated above 100Wh per battery are not allowed, unless you get prior authorization from the airline to bring it on board. Most consumer power banks (including RAVPower’s) are below that level, but some exist that are indeed higher than that.

Airlines need to come into the 21st century and embrace technology as it becomes smarter and smarter every single day. As technology continues to advance, regulatory changes will need to be considered and made by the airlines if they want to have happy customers. However, it is also the duty of the technology companies, smart luggage innovators, and other power bank manufacturers to ensure their products are safe and they should aim to make their technology safe not only on the ground, but also in the air.

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What do you think? Do you feel that the airlines are correct in their restriction of smart luggage batteries or are there better ways they could have handled this? Let us know!

33 Replies to “The Rules of Flying With Lithium-Ion Batteries Have Changed

  1. I believe the airline industry is correct in taking these precautions on lithium ion batteries. Lots of aircraft disasters are million-to-one events! But millions of air journeys happen… and lots of million-to-one events happen too, resulting in many deaths!
    Thank you for making the batteries as safe as possible… but what about when they’re 10 years old and they’ve been through a lot of wear and tear, been dropped, been subject to varying temperatures and humidity!!??
    The airlines have acted quickly to avert disasters in the future.
    I for one feel very grateful for their vigilance.

  2. Hi,

    I am thinking of storing a digital scale in my checked baggage and I think that the battery used is a Lithium coin-shaped one. Are they going to tell me to bring it on my carry on?

    Thanks

  3. I am leaving on a flight July 14 and have just been notified that I have to remove all lithium batteries. I will have an iPad and phone (note 8) I did not plan on turning on either, but I do not know how to take out batteries and the phone has a non-removable one. I need them for a school I am going to out of the country. What can i do?
    Is everyone going to take apart their iPad? I am an older woman and have no clue how to do any of this. I am flying United

    1. Hi Judy!
      Millions of people fly with products with non-removable lithium-ion batteries. They do not take apart their phones, tablets, or power banks. I wonder who gave you the advice? Just so you know, devices with lithium-ion batteries need to be kept in your hand luggage. Never have we heard that you need to remove non-removable batteries. I checked out United’s website and found this page: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/inflight/devices.html
      It doesn’t say you need to remove lithium-ion batteries from your smart devices. I hope this helps.

    2. I received the same notification and thought the same thing. The wording of the notice is confusing.
      “Effective July 9, 2018, lithium batteries that are installed in any checked or carry-on baggage must be removed by the customer.” I took this to mean any device in my luggage but it actually is talking about batteries installed in the luggage itself. I was unaware that luggage came with batteries, but alas, “smart luggage” exists.

  4. I would like to fly from the states to the uk.
    I will be bringing in 2 x 28volt ( 3amp /h )lithium batteries and 2 x 12volt (3 amp/h).

    Am I allowed to bring this to the uk from the states as I have bought these along time ago and need them in the uk

    Any advise would be helpful.

  5. Once I put my power bank in the check-in luggage and they took it from me . I lost it because they took from China and I went back to my country. Why was that?

    1. As we mentioned in our Flying with a Power Bank eBook, frequent online reports say that airports in China are notorious for confiscating power banks. It appears that airports calculate Wh using the output voltage (5V) instead of the nominal voltage (3.7V). That means anything above 20,000mAh could be confiscated when in China.

      1. Hi I bought a spare battery for my drone its LiPo 7.4v 5000mAh
        and I bought a battery drill with one spare battery LiPo 16.8v 4000mAh
        I fly from China Qingdao to Cape Town South Africa can I put these battery’s in my checking bag.

        1. It shouldn’t be a problem but considering its an individual battery, and not in a power bank, best to consult with your airline. Especially if the battery does not list the Wh rating.

  6. I have a mobility scooter that I have taken on a flight (it was put into cargo). I am thinking of replacing the lead-acid batteries, with lithium. What are the rules on these?

  7. Hi, I’m going to Disney world in one month. Wanted to know would I be able to carry my cannon gx7 camera with me? It takes lithium ion batteries.

    Thank you!

  8. Is it possible for me to bring two power banks of 10,000mAh as well as a spare battery for my camera(one in the camera as well) on the flight?

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