mobile devices for international travel - photo by PIXNIO under public domain (CC0)
mobile devices for international travel - photo by PIXNIO under public domain (CC0)

POWER BANK TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS: FLYING WITH YOUR PORTABLE CHARGER

These days, it is not unusual for travelers to have power-hungry mobile devices in tow. Whether it is a mobile phone, travel camera, tablet, laptop or some other mobile device, there is definitely a battery that needs to be recharged. Imagine the frustration of not having a portable charger with you during your trip. Here are some power bank travel restrictions to keep in mind so you can always fly with one:

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POWER BANK TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS – CARRYING A POWER BANK DURING FLIGHT

Yes! You can now take a power bank with you aboard a plane – provided you carry it with your luggage into the cabin. Power banks cannot be checked in along with your luggage. It is no secret that batteries have that tendency to react chemically during a flight and when they do, they can be promptly managed when they are in the cabin versus in the cargo hold.

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POWER BANK TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS – CAPACITY

Avoid carrying a power bank that is enough to energize an entire neighborhood. If you do not want to go through the hassle of obtaining airline approval to take your portable charger on flight, make sure that you are bringing one with a capacity of no more than 100Wh. A power source above this capacity but less than 160Wh will require you to obtain approval from the airline that you can take it aboard the plane. Anything more than 160Wh cannot be hand-carried.

How to Calculate Power Bank Capacity

Perhaps your primary concern is the capacity of your power bank being indicated in mAh instead of Wh. If your portable power source does not indicate capacity in terms of Wh, you can compute it using the following formula: (mAh/1000) x voltage = Wh. Generally speaking, you are safe to hand-carry a power bank with a 10400mAh to 20000mAh capacity. But to be sure, it never helps to double check using the formula given earlier.

OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

How many power banks are allowed in-flight?

With most airlines, you can bring more than 1 power bank with you, provided that they meet the capacity regulations. However, it does not hurt to check with the airlines you will be flying with.

What other safety precautions do I need to observe concerning my power bank?

It helps that you keep the terminal ends of your power bank from short-circuiting. Some power banks have built-in safety features that allow you to take them in-flight. If you are not sure, you can always store your power bank in a protective case during the flight. Another option is to cover its ports with a tape while you are up in the sky.