Can You Take Batteries On A Plane?
Can You Take Batteries On A Plane?
The answer is yes you can bring batteries with you on the plane. But hang on a minute, it’s not that simple. There are some guidelines you need to follow and there are many types of batteries to take into consideration.
According to the TSA website, “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented safety guidelines for batteries being transported on airplanes designed to prevent fire-related incidents from occurring”.
As I mentioned in can you use your own headphones on a plane post, it is always best to check with your airline to confirm what can and can not be brought on board in a carry on bag or checked in luggage.
In this post, I will show you the rules and regulations for carrying batteries on board a plane. This includes AA and AAA batteries and Lithium-ion batteries.
- Can you take headphones on a plane?
- Flight preparation checklist – what you need to know
- How to use wireless headphones on a plane – Airfly
Can you bring AA or AAA batteries in your hand luggage or carry on bag?
Yes, you sure can. Actually, if you have any dry cell alkaline battery such as AA, AAA, C, D, 9-V, small button cells, they are all allowed on board. You can also put those batteries in your checked luggage as well, but it is recommended that you bring them on board with you.
There is really no restriction with regular alkaline batteries. You can leave them in their original packaging if not opened, or if you have many batteries to bring, I suggest using a battery case like this.
Can you bring Lithium-Ion batteries in your hand luggage or carry on bag?
Yes, you can. Any rechargeable lithium, lithium polymer, LIPO, secondary lithium are all allowed on board. Let’s look deeper into what you can and can not do with Lithium-Ion batteries.
Basically, you will have 3 different scenarios when traveling with Lithium-Ion batteries.
- Carry onboard
- Checked in luggage
- Batteries already in the components
Lithium-Ion batteries that are less than 100 watts are allowed on board. This includes most consumer sized batteries that would fit most electronics such as cell phones, laptops, cameras, games.
Lithium-Ion batteries that are less than 100 watts also can be packed in your checked in luggage.
Most Lithium-Ion batteries that are already in your components such as a camcorder or a drone are under 100 watts so they can be carried on board or checked in.
Here is where the rules are different:
If you have a spare battery, regardless if it is under 100 wats or not, it must be carried on board the plane with you. it cannot be packed in your checked luggage.
What if the battery is over 100 watts?
TSA has a limit of 2 batteries if they are over 100 watts. They also cannot exceed 160 watts. They must also be carried on board with you. They cannot be packed into a checked luggage bag.
How do you prepare your batteries properly for travel?
This is something you want to pay attention to. You can prepare your batteries in 3 ways.
- Leave them in the original box or packaging. If you have a larger lithium-Ion battery, let’s say 98 watts, it’s best to just leave it in the original packaging.
- If you don’t have the original box, you can put electrical tape over the contacts.
- Use a zip lock bag.
If you have a component with a battery installed, you should make sure it is packed properly so the device won’t turn on accidentally during the flight. You can tape the on/off switch into the off position.
Battery chargers are also allowed on board and allowed to be packed in your checked luggage. If you have a charger that requires the battery to be installed in order to charge, make sure the battery is removed before packing.
Going through airport security with batteries
In general, as long as you follow the mentioned rules and follow the TSA guidelines, you won’t have any issues with airport security. Sometimes you will be asked to turn on a device like a laptop to ensure it is functioning.
If the device already has the battery installed, chances are you won’t be asked to remove it. But that can change so just be aware of it.
What batteries not allowed on board the plane?
Batteries not allowed on board the plane or packed in your checked in luggage according to TSA include:
- Car batteries, wet batteries, or spillable batteries are prohibited from both carry-on and checked baggage unless they are being used to power a scooter or wheelchair. If you need to pack a spare battery for a scooter or wheelchair, you must advise the aircraft operator so that the battery can be properly packaged for air travel.
- Spare lithium batteries (both lithium metal and lithium ion/polymer) are prohibited in checked baggage.
Here is a great video explaining the TSA battery restrictions.
For the most part, you will have no issues bringing your batteries on board the airplane with you. As long as you follow the TSA guidelines that is. With the increased popularity in drones nowadays, there is concern about traveling with a drone due to the batteries. But the same rules apply.
Both alkaline and Lithium-Ion batteries should be allowed providing you follow the regulations of both the airline and the government policies. Remember to contact the airline beforehand if you have any concerns.
Also, there shouldn’t be any issues with airport security confiscating your batteries. So you won’t need to worry about that. There are several other topics on our site regarding carry onboard items, feel free to browse through the articles.
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