Guidelines for Batteries

Guidelines for Batteries

Most batteries are generally safe for air travel. Infrequently, batteries can short-circuit and overheat and in some cases cause sparks or a fire. This page provides tips for travelling with batteries, including how to properly pack spare batteries.

  • Keep all batteries and electronic devices containing batteries on you or packed in your carry-on baggage.
  • Not all airlines allow lithium batteries carried in personal devices such as laptops or cell phones in checked baggage. Please consult your airline for more information.
  • Not all airlines allow alkaline batteries (e.g. AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt, etc.) carried in checked baggage. Please consult your airline for more information. 
  • Do not carry damaged or recalled batteries on the plane.

Examples of lithium batteries

  • Small lithium batteries and cells (<100Wh) -  mobile phones, cameras, watches, portable music players, most original laptop computer batteries
  • Medium lithium batteries and cells (100-160Wh)  -  extended life batteries for laptop computers and batteries used by audiovisual professionals
  • Large lithium batteries and cells  (>160Wh) - found in some electric and hybrid vehicles, mobility devices or scooters

Spare battery or in device 

 Watt-hour (Wh) rating 

Carry-on 

Checked 

In device

<100Wh

Yes

Yes

Spare

<100Wh

Yes

No

In device

100-160 Wh

Yes, with air carrier approval

Yes, with air carrier approval

Spare

100-160 Wh

Maximum of 2 individually protected spares per person with air carrier approval

No

In device

>160Wh

No

Yes, with air carrier approval

Spare

>160Wh

No

Yes, with air carrier approval

Packing spare batteries

  • Don’t let a loose battery come into contact with metal objects (e.g. coins, keys, or jewelry).  
  • Place each battery in a protective case, plastic bag, or leave it in its original packaging when possible.  You can also place tape across the battery's contacts to isolate terminals (noted by the + and – symbols) to prevent short-circuiting.
  • Prevent crushing, puncturing, or putting a pressure on the battery, as this can cause an internal shortcircuit and result in overheating.

Batteries for wheelchairs, mobility aids and medical devices

  • Batteries for wheelchairs and other battery-powered personal mobility aids must meet yourairline’s approval and be shown to the screening officer. Please consult your airline for more information.
  • Batteries used to power portable medical devices, such as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device, may be carried onboard but may require your airline’s approval. Please consult your airline for more information.  

Battery-powered devices in checked baggage

  • If you must carry a battery-powered device in your checked baggage, such as a power tool like a nail gun or saw that isn’t permitted in carry-on, be sure to package it in a protective case to prevent it from turning on accidentally. If there is an on/off switch or a safety switch, tape it in the "off" position.

Want to know more about what you can and can’t bring on the plane? Use our What Can I Bring? search tool or visit the Travel Advice section of our website.

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