Whether you can bring batteries on a plane depends on the type of batteries, if they are installed in a device or not, and if you want to pack them in your carry on or checked bags.
Can You Bring Batteries on a Plane?
By Type of Battery
- Dry Cell Batteries
Dry cell batteries (alkaline, nickel metal hydride, nickel cadmium, etc.) include AA, AAA, C, D, button cell, 9-volt batteries etc. – i.e. they are non-lithium batteries.
Dry cell batteries are allowed to be packed in both your carry on and checked bags.
- Lithium Batteries With Less Than 100 Watts and Installed in a Device
Lithium and lithium-ion batteries that are less than 100 watts and installed in a device are allowed in both your carry on and checked bags.
This covers the batteries installed in common portable electronic devices like laptops, tablets, cameras, cell phones, watches etc.
- Lithium Batteries With More Than 100 Watts
Lithium and lithium-ion batteries with more than 100 watts but less than 161 watts are allowed in your carry on bags, but must not be packed in your checked bags.
With airline approval, you can carry up to two spare larger lithium-ion batteries (101–160 Wh) or Lithium metal batteries (2-8 grams).
This includes after-market extended-life laptop computer batteries and some larger batteries used in professional audio/visual equipment.
- Spare Batteries
Spare lithium and lithium-ion batteries must only be packed in your carry on bags.
This includes items like power banks and cell phone battery charging cases, as well as spare batteries for cameras, cell phones, laptops, tablets etc.
- Damaged or Recalled Batteries and Battery Powered Devices
Damaged or recalled batteries and battery-powered devices are not allowed in either your carry on or checked bags.
Carry on Bags
- Dry cell batteries
- Lithium batteries with less than 100 watts installed in a device
- Lithium batteries with more than 100 watts (but less than 161 watts)
- Spare batteries
- Dry cell batteries
- Lithium batteries with less than 100 watts
Domestic vs. International Flights
When it comes to bringing batteries on a plane, the rules apply worldwide.
The IATA, which consists of 290 airlines in 190 countries and accounts for carrying approximately 82% of the worldwide travelers, state that dry cell batteries, lithium batteries with less than 100 watts installed in a device, lithium batteries with more than 100 watts (but less than 161 watts), and spare batteries are allowed in your carry on.
Only dry cell batteries and lithium batteries with less than 100 watts are allowed to be packed in your checked bags.
Generally, what the TSA says goes.
But when it comes to batteries with a capacity of 101–160 Wh, you can bring up to two on a plane only with airline approval.
How Many Batteries Can You Bring on a Plane?
For most batteries, there are no restrictions for how many you can bring on a plane.
There is a limit of two spare batteries per person for the larger lithium-ion batteries that are 101–160 watts depending on airline approval.
Can You Bring Battery Chargers on a Plane?
If your battery charger contains a lithium-ion battery, it must only be packed in your carry on bags.
Can You Bring Power Banks on a Plane?
According to TSA regulations, you are allowed to bring a power bank on a plane in your carry on bags, but not your checked bags.
The power bank should not exceed 100 watts, but if it does, you may still be allowed to pack up to two power banks that are up to 160 Wh in your carry on with airline approval.
Why Aren’t Lithium and Lithium-Ion Batteries Allowed in Your Checked Bags?
Lithium and lithium-ion batteries aren’t allowed in your checked bags because they pose a risk to aviation safety due to the risk of overheating or catching fire.
How to Pack Batteries for Flying
For any batteries you want to bring on a plane, the battery terminals must be protected from short circuit.
What this means is that the battery terminals must not come in contact with other metal.
The FAA recommend that you:
- Leave batteries in their original packaging
- Cover battery terminals with tape
- Use a battery case
- Place the batteries in a plastic bag or protective pouch
See Also: Can You Bring a Speaker on a Plane?