Can you bring portable chargers on a plane?

Many people wonder if it is possible to bring a portable charger or power bank on a plane, and the short answer is yes, they are allowed in carry-on baggage.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in its Dangerous Goods Regulations, the power bank is “considered” as a spare battery and is governed by the following rules:

  1. It must be packed in carry-on baggage.
  2. A maximum of 20 units may be carriedΒ without prior approval of the flight operator, provided that the total rated capacity does not exceed 100 Wh.
  3. A maximum of 2 units may be carried, subject to the approval of the flight operator, if the rated capacity is greater than 100 Wh but not exceeding 160 Wh.
Powerbank Capacity Carry-on baggage Checked baggage Operator approval
<= 100 Wh Yes (max 20 ud) No No
>100 Wh to <= 160 Wh Yes (max 2 ud) No Yes
> 160 Wh Not allowed on passenger aircraft

Although these regulations govern the airlines, you can check their documentation on dangerous goods if they include other restrictions for portable chargers:

Airline Carry-on baggage Regulations
Alaska Airlines βœ… Check
Allegiant Air βœ… Check
American Airlines βœ… Check
Delta βœ… Check
Southwest Airlines βœ… Check
United Airlines βœ… Check
JetBlue βœ… Check

How to check if your power bank is allowed on a plane?

Typically, the power bank specification sheet usually indicates its rated capacity in Ah and Wh but if you can not find it you can always calculate it for yourself:

A power bank consists of a set of lithium-ion batteries of a certain capacity and a common voltage of 3.7V (note that it can also be at another voltage: 3.6V, 3.8V or 3.85V!)

To know the rated capacity in Watt-hour (Wh), you must multiply the power bank’s total capacity indicated in mAh by this voltage and divide it by 1000:

Rated Capacity (Wh) = (mAh x V) / 1000

You can also use our own mAh to Wh converter below:

mAh to Wh converter

To understand it better, let’s see some examples to know if we can bring a portable charger of different capacities on a plane:

Case study

1) If the portable charger has a capacity of 20000 mAh at a voltage of 3.7V:

Rated capacity = (20000 mAh x 3.7V) / 1000 = 74 Wh < 100 Wh βœ…

If the rated capacity is less than 100 Wh, we could carry this portable charger and up to 20 units* according to IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. Also, no prior approval from the flight operator is required.

*However, some airlines tend to limit this number, such as Iberia Express, which reduces this number to only 4 units.

2) If the portable charger has a capacity of 30000 mAh at a voltage of 3.7V:

100 Wh < Rated capacity = 111 Wh < 160 Wh βœ…

The rated capacity is between 100 Wh and 160 Wh, therefore, we could carry up to 2 units but, in this case, prior approval by the flight operator would be required.

3) If the portable charger has a capacity of 50000 mAh at a voltage of 3.7V:

Rated capacity = 185Wh > 160 Wh ❌

In this case, the rated capacity is greater than 160 Wh, we cannot carry a 30000 mAh portable charger on a passenger aircraft.

Power banks for air travel

Here are some ideal power bank options that you can take with you on air travel:

These are the power banks for air travel recommended by our team. Remember that you can also check out our ranking of the Best Power Banks of 2024.

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