Lithium Battery Policy for Domestic and International Flights

Can I bring my batteries on the plane? Lithium batteries are allowed on planes, but the rules vary by airline. We look at each major airline and summarize their lithium battery policy. These policies change, so if you’re planning on carrying on a lot of gear, please double check with the airline.

Voltaic Systems’ battery packs have all passed the UN 38.3 test required by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In addition, they have the following safety protections: short circuit, over charge, over discharge, over current and over temperature. Batteries contained in our solar backpacks are all easily removable if you need to check them. View our Traveling with Solar Guide for more information.

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United States Domestic Airlines Lithium Battery Policy

Airline Battery Packs & Loose Batteries (100 Watt hours or less) Battery Installed in Equipment (Laptop, phone, tablet, etc.) Large Battery Packs Smart Bags
Alaska Carry-on only, No specified quantity Carry on or checked 2 spares allowed in 100-160 Wh range, carryon only Lithium battery must be removed
American Airlines Carry-on only, “unlimited quantity” 2 of each device and 2 spare batteries per device for personal use. Carry-on only 2 spares allowed in 100-160 Wh range, carry on only with “airline approval” No policy
Delta Carry-on only, no specified quantity. Spares must be packed separately in carry-on as well. 160Wh per device can be checked or carried on, no specified quantity No more than (2) spares of 100-160Wh No policy
Frontier Carry-on only, limited to (2) batteries. Must be packed separately. Lithium metal max 2g, lithium ion max 8g Checked only Lithium metal max 2g, lithium ion max 8g No Policy
JetBlue Carry-on only, no specified quantity Carry-on or checked 1 spare max at 300Wh or 2 spares maxed at 160Wh each in carry on. Must notify flight crew No Policy
Southwest Carry-on only. Limit 20 per person Not specified Not specified Loose batteries can be “integrated” into smart bags
United Must be packed individually, not specified carry-on or checked 100Wh max in carry-on or checked bag Separately packed 100-160Wh allowed in carry on No Policy

International Airlines Lithium Battery Policy

Airline Battery Packs & Loose Batteries (100 Watt hours or less) Battery Installed in Equipment (Laptop, phone, tablet, etc. 100 Watt hours or less) Large Battery Packs Smart Bags
Air France Carry-on only Carry-on or checked luggage Approval required – allowed in carry-on (loose) or and checked luggage (installed in equipment). Max 2 per person No policy
Cathay Pacific Carry-on only, 20 pieces per customer. Allowed in carry-on or checked luggage 100-160Wh allowed in carry-on and checked luggage inside equipment Considered as a power bank or spare lithium battery. Remove the battery if checking.
Emirates Carry-on only, 20 maximum. Carry-on or checked, maximum of 15 devices Need approval. Maximum 2 in carry-on only Battery must be removed if bag is checked
Etihad Carry-on only, no specified quantity Carry-on Requires prior approval from Etihad Dangerous Goods team “Declare to staff” – remove battery for carry-on
Lufthansa Carry-on only, for personal use only Carry-on or checked Approval required, carry-on only, 2 maximum No policy
Qantas Carry-on only 100Wh max in carry-on or checked bag Must be declared, carry-on only No Policy
Singapore Carry-on only, up to 20 batteries Maximum of 20 devices, across checked and carry-on Maximum of 2 devices, carry-on only No Policy

A couple other common recommendations:
– tape or cover the terminals on loose batteries to prevent them from short circuiting
– don’t travel with damaged batteries

How do I know how large my battery is in Watt hours or Lithium Content?

The airlines break down batteries into sizes either by their “Watt hours” (Wh) or, less commonly, grams of lithium content. Almost all phones, tablets and laptops will be considered in the small category and well less than 100 Wh. If the battery is removable, pull it out and the capacity will most likely be listed on the battery. If not, you can calculate it by multiplying the Voltage by the mAh and divide by 1,000.

To get over 100 Wh, you are either dealing with a battery on a commercial grade video camera or a really large power bank. All power banks are required to have the capacity listed on the surface of the product.

If your airline breaks down batteries by their lithium content, 8 grams is equivalent to a 100 Wh lithium ion battery.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments.

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