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Can You Bring Rechargeable Batteries on an Airplane? 

 September 19, 2021

By  Phil Borges

There are several items that are restricted or prohibited on airplanes due to their potential dangers. This also applies to carrying rechargeable batteries on an airplane, whether they are a part of your carry-on or check-in luggage.

You can bring some kinds of rechargeable batteries on an airplane as long as you comply with all the regulations and restrictions such as keeping them installed in devices, packing them well and usually only in carry-on luggage and more. There are, however, some batteries that you must completely avoid.

To find out more about the specifics of which rechargeable batteries you can take and which ones you cannot as well as what you should keep in mind, keep reading ahead.

Why Can't You Take Some Batteries on an Airplane?

You cannot take some kinds of batteries on an airplane as it is possible that they could cause sparks, short circuits, fires or explosions in case something goes wrong with them on the flight.

This is particularly possible if these batteries are spare with the terminals in close contact with each other. Even if some kinds of batteries are allowed on airplanes, care must be taken to pack them up properly in your carry-on luggage to avoid any kind of damage.

Some batteries can also leak due to overheating or due to pre-existing damages, causing some toxic gases to get released into the airplane. This can be hazardous to deal with mid-flight.

In fact, there have been instances of batteries catching fire in the luggage cabin, which is why these kinds of restrictions are necessary in the first place.

What Kinds of Rechargeable Batteries Are Allowed?

Rechargeable batteries are not completely prohibited from airplanes. As long as you take the necessary precautions to keep them safe, you can carry some kinds of rechargeable batteries on an airplane. Let’s take a look at what some of these are.

Dry rechargeable batteries like those that have a composition of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) or nickel-cadmium (NiCd) are allowed in your carry-on bag as long as you keep them inside their devices or pack them in a way that their terminals are well covered.

You can carry some kinds of lithium-ion batteries in your carry-on luggage as long as you follow all the rules involved. For instance, you must either install these batteries inside the devices.

Further, the batteries must be lesser than 100 watts per hour in terms of their capacity. If you want to carry large batteries, they must be restricted to two in number. There are bound to be differences in different airlines, so make sure you check out individual airline instructions beforehand.

If you want to carry spare lithium-ion batteries, you must keep them in your carry-on luggage while ensuring that you have packed them properly by covering the terminals. They should also be kept away from any other metal objects.

What Kinds of Batteries Are Prohibited?

There are several kinds of batteries that you are not allowed to bring on an airplane. Let’s take a look at what some of these are.

Any spillable or wet battery is completely prohibited from both carry-on and check-in luggage. This is because the risk of their contents spilling out can be quite dangerous, leading to toxic gases being leaked out that could be potentially damaging.

However, if such batteries are present in a wheelchair, then you can inform your airline and carry them. If these batteries are spare, then you should contact your airline to confirm further details.

You cannot carry spare lithium batteries of any kind in your check-in luggage as it is difficult to deal with their potential risks if they are in the checked baggage cabin and could end up damaging the entire aircraft if not dealt with immediately.

All kinds of damaged or dead batteries are prohibited as they could cause damage. If there are scratches or dents in your battery, do not pack them in.

If you have any individual concerns about these rechargeable batteries or need to make an exception, you must contact your respective airline to sort out the details. It is likely that different airlines may have different rules, so make sure to confirm these rules before you pack anything.

What Should You Keep in Mind While Packing?

We can now take a look at a few safety measures that you must keep in mind while packing these batteries.

Ensure that you know what you should keep in your carry-on bags and what is okay to keep in your check-in bags. As a general rule, it might be better to carry all electronics in your carry-on baggage to prevent any issues later on.

If you are carrying spare batteries, make sure you pack them appropriately.

You can either keep them in their original unopened packaging to keep them separate from each other or you can wrap individual batteries in a way that covers each of their terminals to prevent short circuits. You must then wrap these batteries in a plastic bag or container.

As far as possible, you should keep the batteries in the devices and switch off the devices on the flight.

It is better to not fully charge your batteries before the flight.

Do not pack the batteries in such a way that could put too much weight on them, as this can lead to issues later on.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't batteries go in checked luggage?

Most batteries cannot go in checked luggage because they could end up causing problems that cannot be dealt with immediately since this luggage is kept in a separate section of the aircraft.

In case there are any short circuits or leakages while the battery is in the checked luggage, there is a possibility that fires or explosions can occur, causing damage to the entire aircraft.

The gases released from these batteries can be hazardous and can cause damage not only to the other luggage but also to the passengers in the aircraft.

It is, therefore, important to keep your batteries and electronic devices in your carry-on luggage as far as possible.

How should I pack my battery chargers?

You should generally pack your battery chargers in your carry-on luggage. However, some airlines may have other kinds of rules that you can confirm beforehand.

Make sure that you do not leave any batteries inside these chargers as these could lead to short circuits or overheating regardless of whether or not the chargers are connected to a socket.

The same rule applies to power banks of any sort. These usually tend to have lithium-ion batteries inside them, which is why you must only pack them in your carry-on luggage.

In case there are cords on the charger, you should firmly secure and roll them around the charger.

Can I carry rechargeable batteries of any brand on an airplane?

You can carry rechargeable batteries (provided that they are allowed) of any brand on an airplane unless your airline specifies otherwise. If there are certain devices of a certain brand that have caused issues in the past, it is likely that those might be prohibited on an aircraft.

Make sure you confirm all these details with your airline beforehand so that you do not end up facing any issues later on.

As far as possible, you should try to carry batteries that only belong to well-known and reliable brands. In the case of more obscure brands, you might not be fully aware of the battery details and composition.

How much battery can I bring on an airplane?

For smaller rechargeable batteries, there is no fixed limit on the quantity that you can carry on an airplane as long as they are lesser than 100w in their capacity.

However, for larger lithium-ion batteries, you can only carry two in number, with each of them weighing up to a maximum of 25g. In this case, you should also confirm with your respective airline to figure out the next steps.

It is important that all the batteries that you carry must only be for your personal use. Batteries for commercial use are generally prohibited on airplanes.

About the author

Hi, I'm Phil Borges.. thanks for reading.. My wife says I can't shut up about batteries so to save my marriage I've started this blog .. where I'd be ranting about batteries! Please leave a comment if you have any questions, I'm happy to help!

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