What Power Bank should you take on a plane?
Airline restrictions – helpful tips to avoid surprises
Increasingly often, we decide to travel via airplane. This applies to vacation trips, as well as shorter, weekend excursions. Frequently, we have to take our electronic devices – computer, telephone or camera, including their charging units – with us. Can we take all of them on-board a plane?
What electronic devices can you take on a plane?
When boarding a plane, you can take electronic and electrical devices, but when deciding to take them with your carry-on luggage, it’s necessary to remember to take them out of the luggage and place in a separate container during the safety check. Not all devices can be used during a flight. The transit rules are established by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a worldwide trade organization gathering approx. 290 airlines. The association issues guidance documents containing rules which, among other things, govern the transport of electronics and devices with lithium-ion batteries.
Telephones on a plane
The most popular electronic device taken on-board a plane is the telephone. You cannot use your phone during take-off and landing. When the indicator signifying that the aircraft has reached the appropriate height lights up, you can unfasten the seatbelts and use your device in “offline” / “airplane” mode, in which mobile data transmission is turned off. This regulation is due to the potential interference that can result from using telephones during take-off and landing.
Laptop during air travel
Similar to a telephone, you can only use a laptop after the aircraft reaches the right altitude. The laptop also needs to be set to offline or airplane mode. You should not take the battery out of your device during air travel. It should be installed in the mobile computer throughout the flight’s entire duration. A laptop can also be transported in in the checked baggage (you need to make sure that it’s completely off, not just in hibernation mode), however, any spare batteries can only be taken in your carry-on luggage.
Photo-cameras and traveling by plane
Photo-cameras should be transported in your carry-on luggage. This also applies to any spare batteries which, of course, need to be properly secured. This is important, because some carriers currently allow very small carry-on luggage dimensions, therefore, if you want to take your photography gear with you, you’ll have to buy additional carry-on luggage. On low-fare airline websites you can find information that in exceptional situations photography equipment (mainly due to its large size) may be placed in checked baggage, however, when making this decision, it’s necessary to consider the transport conditions for baggage put in the hold (low temperature, even reaching 0 degrees Celsius, and the possibility of the airport staff damaging your baggage).
Chargers and other electronics
On the airplane you can have telephone chargers, as well as laptop chargers, but they cannot be used during flight. If you want to take other electronic devices on-board an airplane, it is necessary to thoroughly check the terms and conditions of the carrier whose services you’re using.
Power bank – in your carry-on or checked baggage?
Power banks can be carried only in the carry-on luggage. Power banks brought on-board an airplane shouldn’t have a capacity exceeding 100Wh (which is approx. 27000mAh), however, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If the capacity of your power bank is in a range of 100 – 160 Wh (approx. 27000mAh – 43000mAh) , then you need to report this fact to the airline staff, who may permit transport of the power bank depending on the airline’s own regulations. However, a passenger may carry a maximum of two power banks. Power with a capacity of more than 160Wh cannot be brought on-board the aircraft.
How to calculate a devices capacity in Wh, if the most common parameter we know is the capacity shown in mAh? To do this, just use a simple formula:
mAh x V / 1000 = Wh
mAh – the power bank’s capacity in milliampere hours
V – the power bank cell’s voltage, which is usually 3,6 or 3,7 V
Wh – the power bank’s capacity in Watt hours
If the power bank’s capacity is given in Ah, then the value needs to be divided by 1000. All data concerning your power bank can be found on the packaging or in the specification available on the store’s or manufacturer’s website. In case of doubt, consult customer service at the store where you made your purchase or contact the device manufacturer.
For safety reasons, power banks cannot be used during flight – they must be turned off.
Batteries on-board a plane
Sometimes you may want to take spare batteries on your travels. You need to pay attention to whether they are properly packaged and secured against short-circuiting. Lithium batteries can be transported only in the carry-on luggage. Secured lithium batteries (e.g. nickel-metal-hydride, or popular AAA or AA batteries) may be placed both in the carry-on and checked baggage.
In the carry-on and checked baggage you can also transport a maximum of two non-leaking (so called ‘dry’) batteries with a voltage of no more than 12V and 100Wh capacity. Batteries must be properly secured against damage and short-circuiting.
If you have any doubts as to what electronic devices can be taken in your baggage (both carry-on and hold), it’s worth checking the terms and conditions on the carrier’s website or contacting the customer service of the airline you are traveling with. This is particularly important, because not all airlines are part of the International Air Transport Association – this especially applies to low-fare airlines. Their terms of service are often very similar to those issued by the IATA, but it’s worth looking through them before travel.
If you have or are planning to purchase products at our store, it’s a good idea to check the “specifications” tab available on each product page. There you will find information on the capacity, voltage and other parameters of each device. In case of any doubts or questions, we encourage you to contact us directly.
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