Whether you're packing short trip, an international vacation, or going abroad, some power-hungry devices are sure to tag along. You'll surely want your devices to keep you entertained on the journey there. Between your phone, laptop, camera and other devices, that's a lot of battery to keep charged.
Imagine if we couldn’t carry power banks with us on a long trip, it would be frustrating, right? The rules regarding power banks on flights have shifted over the years, but now we can usually bring our power banks along with us. Before we explore the power banks that we are allowed to carry on a flight, let’s see the reason why power banks were prohibited in the air first.
Currently, you are required to bring your portable charger and power banks in your carry-on luggage.
Why are power banks prohibited in the cargo hold on flights?
According to an IATA (International Air Transport Association) document, for the ''Transport of Lithium Metal and Lithium Ion Batteries Revised for the 2017 Regulations'', categorically states the following about carrying power banks:
‘‘(Power banks) are portable devices designed to be able to charge consumer devices such as mobile phones and tablets...For carriage by passengers, power banks are considered spare batteries and must be individually protected from short-circuit and carried in carry-on baggage only.''
You may wonder that how come the same device, which cannot be carried in cargo, can be taken inside an aircraft?
Airlines do not allow power banks in the cargo luggage for the purpose of safety. Power banks are essentially batteries that utilize lithium cells. Lithium batteries are more likely to combust, and are therefore prohibited for cargo transport, as part of air-transport regulations.
A further explanation is that airlines would prefer handling the risk of lithium batteries, in this case, power banks, inside the passenger aircraft rather than in the baggage compartment. As power banks are effectively batteries, and can in some situations catch fire. So you don't want them in the baggage compartment. If they're taken on board as hand baggage, in the rare situation that they may catch fire, they can be dealt with more easily as there are fire extinguishers in the cabin.
Now we have figured out the reason why there exists such regulation, we may want to explore what kind of power banks are allowed to take on a flight.
What kind of power banks are allowed on flights?
The following rules are according to the Civil Aviation Administration in China. These rules are standard for many airlines around the world:
- "Power bank must be carried for personal use.
- Power bank must only be carried in hand luggage or carried around. It is not allowed to carry power banks in checked luggage.
- If the rated power is less than 100Wh, power banks can be carried without approval; power banks with the power between 100Wh and 160Wh can be carried after approval of air carrier. However, each passenger is only allowed to carry no more than two power banks.
- It is not allowed to carry the power banks with power higher than 160Wh or the power banks without identified rated power and with rated power unable to be worked out with the marked parameters. Attachment: Calculation methods for the rated power of power banks.”
It’s heavily dependent on the capacity in Wh (watt hours), and under 100Wh is OK to bring on board. If they are loose spare batteries you can bring them in your carry on but not in the hold. It applies for batteries between 100-160Wh as well but you are restricted to 2 spare loose batteries and again not allowed to check in. If over 160Wh you have to declare it and it has to be packed in cargo under the Dangerous Goods guidelines.
How to Calculate the Capacity
Someone may feel confused about the calculation of the capacity. Here is the method to find Watt Hours: Just take Milliamp Hours/1000 x Voltage = Watt Hours
(MAH)/1000 X (V) = (WH)
Normally the output voltage is 5V, so the allowed capacity would be 20,000mAh. That means the capacity of power banks within 20,000mAh would be applicable. ALL Zendure portable chargers are under 100Wh and can be taken on a flight.
Here Zendure A3 would be a preferable choice.
The A3PD is one of the most compact and lightweight external batteries in the market for its capacity, thanks to the use of top quality components. With 10,000 mAh capacity, this little thing can easily extend your phone usage 2-3 times.
Have A LOT of power-hungry devices? SuperTank portable charger can recharge your phone 5-7 times and charge a MacBook at full speed. With 100W Power Delivery and a 27,000mAh capacity, SuperTank is hugely powerful and it can keep you going for a whole week!