Travelling Internationally with Power Banks

Just a quick question - anyone travelled with multiple power banks and how is this viewed?

According to legislation you may have a reasonable amount for personal use in carry on, but it doesn't state what a reasonable amount is.

I was thinking of taking a 20000mAh and 2x 10000mAh on an international flight. I'm not sure if this would be considered reasonable for personal use or not.

Note they're Xiaomi powerbanks, so they're sturdy casing with short circuit protection and an on button. This could mean they technically count as devices rather than spare batteries, but again, I have no clue.

Comments

  • +1 vote

    It will depend on the countries you are flying to/through as well as the airline's country of origin. Most seem to allow 2x battery packs up to a combined total of 32000mAh, with single units not exceeding 2000mAh. I don't think any allow them to be placed in the hold baggage.

    Some countries may be stricter, but I couldn't find any examples. I recently went through Thailand to Cambodia, and I'm sure on the Cambodia leg the mAh was lower, but I can't remember exactly.

    • -3 votes

      seen a lot of powerbanks thrown in the clear bins during hand luggage security checks at udonthani thailand domestic flight, don't know why but if ur going to risk it I'd check it in with ur luggage and not hand luggage.

      • +17 votes

        According to Australian legislation spare batteries are meant to be in hand baggage not checked baggage.

        • -3 votes

          This is correct due to the atmospheric environment

        • -2 votes

          @CI:

          What are you on about? The cargo bay is also pressurised. The atmospheric environment is irrelevant.

        •  

          All airports I went through last month (5 different airports in syd and around asia) required you to put powerbanks in with laptops and stuff, that is, separate tray through scanner.

        • +1 vote

          @ronnknee: I meant due to different temperature zones. Load bay is vented along the length of the plane to make sure there is no pressure difference.

        • +1 vote

          The reason is that a fire in the cabin can be quickly identified and dealt with.

          However most issues are from batteries being jammed in recline mechanisms.

        • +1 vote

          Yep this happened on a flight before take off -

          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-08/undeclared-batteries-s...

        • +2 votes

          @ronnknee:
          Dude, Most OZ carriers (actually all that I have flown with) will make you carry them on. I haven't ahd trouble with my 10,000maH but don't want to test the idea.

        •  

          @Naigrabzo:

          I know that. I'm just disputing CI's reason for it was due to "atmospheric environment". The pressure in the cargo bay is the same as the cabin. The temperature can be slightly lower, in the range of 7-18 degrees, but it's no different to a typical day during winter.

          The real reason why you cannot check them in is that: if the batteries unexpectedly catch on fire, you would notice the smoke immediately and could put it out much quicker.

          Nothing to do with the atmospheric environment.

        •  

          Cool, this is good news to me. Travelled last month to Fiji and took a 10,000mah Xiaomi charger on hand luggage, no one said a word actually. Was planning to use on the plane but ended up using the onboard usb charge point on the seat.

        •  

          @ronnknee: Thanks for that. I have looked this up and you appear to be correcto. https://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/8252/are-cargo-...

  • +1 vote

    Travelled through Europe and the US last year with 2x Anker 20,000 mAh no issues.

    It might be stricter now though.

    Seems like a lot of batteries though… Why do you need so many? My anker one lasted me 2-3 iPhone 6+ charges and a iPad charge.

    •  

      It could be upwards of 50 hours travel time including stop overs. I don't want to bother fidning charging ports at airports/on planes/etc. The single 20,000mAh should do it for the travels, but I want a powerbank for once I arrive too. The second 10,000mAh is more a 'just incase' overkill extra.

      (Note I'll be flying a few domestic flights + Sydney to Dallas)

  • +2 votes

    I travel with 5x Xiaomi 10,000mah Pro power banks with me in carry on, I don't think you're allowed to put them into your checked luggage in most places.
    Never had an issue anywhere*

    • = America, Canada, Mexico, Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand
  • +3 votes

    100Wh per device (assuming a voltage of 3.7, that works out as approx 27000mAh). Most airlines require them to be carried as hand luggage.

    So based on your capacities, you should be good. I travelled with emirates a while ago and they didn't specify a quantity limit for capacities under 100Wh. They only specified a limit of 2 units if the capacity was between 100 and 160Wh. Same with Qantas. However, best consult with the dangerous goods section of your particular airline.

    • -3 votes

      Nothing to see here…

    • +2 votes

      You're spot on.

      Table 2.3.A Dangerous Goods
      Start of second page.

      All major airlines comply with this, however some may make slight differences to it so it is also best to check with the individual airline/s as well.

    • +1 vote

      Some guidelines specify a reasonable amount for personal use though, which is the part I was concerned about. The batteries are all singly allowed, though I'm unsure if 150Wh of batteries to keep a single phone charged is a 'reasonable' amount.

      •  

        Perhaps you should contact them to clarify? This is not a legislative restriction, but one imposed by Virgin Australia. No one here will be able to explain their policy better than them.

  •  

    As far as I know, like laptops the limit has to be below 100W. So you can get away with 20000mAh. 30000mAh is over the 100W limit.

    • +2 votes

      That's correct, but it's per a battery. Individually all are fine, I'm just concerned about the 'reasonable amount for personal use' - I'm unsure if ~150Wh is really a reasonable amount lol.

    •  

      I took a 30,000mAh 111wh on QANTAS, had to acquire a declaration of dangerous goods but that was simple and straight forward

  •  

    I was thinking of taking a 20000mAh and 2x 10000mAh on an international flight.

    That's a complete overkill. Maybe spend more time enjoying your trip than on your phone.

    • +4 votes

      It's one of (the?) longest routes Qantas has - Sydney to Dallas, plus multiple domestic flights before and after. Including stopovers it could potentially be 30-50 hours travel time overall. I'll possibly be taking a Chuwi Hi10 (5V USB charged tablet, easily pulls 2Ah), alongside my phone. The 20,000mAh could easily be used on the main flight alone (~15 hours) with the tablet. I don't think I'd need all the power banks as I won't be using my devices constantly, but I'd use at least the 20Ah and possibly the first 10Ah. The second 10Ah is semi-overkill.

      tl;dr:
      Tablet PC pulling 10Wh+
      ~30hrs+ travel time

      • +4 votes

        If your trip is indeed 50 hours I'd be more worried about where I could get a shower and sleep rather than worrying about whether you have enough juice to power your gadgets…

        • +1 vote

          It's about 24 hours in the air, realistically I would estimate 32-35hrs total travel time with the stopovers between flights. One of the flights is 15 hours in the air, I assume I could get at least some sleep then.

      • +14 votes

        You'll be flying on a A380 which has power/USB ports for charging, even in economy. Relax.

  • +1 vote

    I took my 15000mAh and 2 9000mAh battery packs on a flight to Japan in June. no problem

  •  

    I have travelled heaps with powerbanks. The only issue I ever had was once an air hostess saw me plugging my tablet in and said that I wasn't allowed to charge on the flight. So I just made sure I kept it hidden

    •  

      Was this just a very out of the loop hostess? That doesn't seem right lol

      •  

        You can't charge from a seat socket during take off and landing. Maybe a misunderstanding from this?

      • +1 vote

        This is not a very strict rule but for safety concern you will be asked not to use power bank during the flight. The airline will not check if your power bank is fake or not. Therefore all power banks are considered as fire hazard during flight.

  •  

    unfortunately the fear-mongering this country has inherited from USA means that you can't take toothpaste one a plane.
    Powerbanks will be confiscated unless declared

    • +2 votes

      What? I take toothpaste on the plane everytime I fly! That's 70+ times in the past year and never am issue.

    •  

      Declare them to who exactly, nothing in this comment is correct, you can definitely take toothpaste, though some places have amount restrictions and you don't have to declare powerbanks

    • +2 votes

      Toothpaste falls under the fluid/gel group so is fine as long as it's 100gm/ml or less. A half used 200gm tube is still seen as 200gm and will be binned. Can get suitable travel tubes from the likes of Coles, or use the freebies you get from the dentist.

      •  

        The container must be not more than 100ml, yes.
        Steal them from hotels (lets be honest, have you ever been given a half used tube of toot paste there), and another good source is airline lounges.

        I usually nick all the toiletries from a hotel when they're good, way too many hotels give out shit. They're always under 100ml.

        I did manage to get a tube of 200ml Banana Boat sunblock on carry on for a good six months through dozens of airports, until I left Mexico City and they took it off me.

  •  

    I travelled through Europe including England with my 30k one just fine, no one even looked twice never mind checked levels and such, one gate made me prove what it was after an x-ray but they barely looked at it long enough to verify it was a powerbank never mind anything more.

    As long as you don't have eyebrow raising numbers of them, which 3 is not, you'll be fine, just leave em in your bag as it goes through security no issues.

    You're not supposed to have (lion I think) batteries checked either so don't check them, you should check that and everything else with every airline you fly with

  • +1 vote

    I had one in my carry-on and one in my luggage on a trip to Amsterdam via China.
    The one in my luggage was confiscated. Carry-on, OK.

    • +3 votes

      "confiscated" and put up on ali express shortly thereafter "as new" :P

    •  

      When they confiscate your stuff, is it labeled for you so you can get it back when you return, or do they dispose of it?

      •  

        I received a note in my bag saying what had happened.
        There was no mention of getting it returned.
        Goodbye forever favourite power bank :(

  •  

    I've travelled to thailand , Vietnam and a few other places with 4 power banks exceeding 50,000mah in hand luggage many times and no issues

  •  

    Do planes have USB charging?

    •  

      Majority of international flights I've heard do, but I often hear stories of them being in awkward spots, slow charging, etc etc. Would be fine for my phone (can use longer cord and slower charging is fine), but if I take my tablet it could be problematic.

      •  

        I've never seen them in awkward spots but the slow charging is true (on Qantas planes anyway). Charging my mobile phone was fine but charging up my Nintendo Switch took so long that i just gave up.

        •  

          This is problematic for the tablet I have as it easily manages 10Wh power consumption, you need an actual full 2.4Ah charger (and one that can actually sustain that at 5V) to charge it properly while it's on. Even my phone may struggle if they're too slow, it barely charges on computer USB ports (2.5Wh) while in use.

      •  

        If you're really unlucky, the charging ports at your seat don't work.

    •  

      Some do but they can be low amperage and will charge devices very slowly.

  •  

    I'd take the 20,000mah and 1x 10,000mah. That's reasonable to me. The 2nd 10,000mah is definitely overkill (even you think so), that would not be seen as reasonable by most people.

    •  

      Overkill for the flight, but I may need it once I arrive/if I cbf charging powerbanks at hotel for first day.

      •  

        I'm sure you'll be able to find a powerpoint in your hotel. Plus all your stuff should be fully charged if you've been using the powerbanks the whole flight.

  •  

    I took an Innori 22000mah and two laser 2200 mah in July. When I went through Bejiin they asked to take out of bags. The security officer took both laser banks because it did not say how powerful on them. What a shame as they were new, but not in packaging. I didn't even know of restrictions tbh.

  • +1 vote

    DO NOT put it in check-in luggage (at least with JetStar)
    Travelled to NZ earlier this year with a Xiaomi 20000mah powerbank.
    TO NZ i had it in hand carry and had no issue
    TO AU i moved it to check in as i had plenty of weight allowance left, and would rather have a light backpack.
    While on the plane a stewardess got me to sign a form for security to check my luggage (at this point I had no idea why). When i arrived in AU, I was told my luggage would be sent to my home the day after, as it was held up due to the security check.
    When it was returned there was a note saying the powerbank had been confiscated and was not allowed in check-in luggage. Called them up asking for it to be returned or reimbursed but was told no.

    NOTE: I find it strange why battery packs aren't allowed in check-in, when there is no issue with other battery operated devices in there (camera, toothbrush etc) I can only suspect it was due to capacity (20,000) but as someone else mentioned above, they have an on/off switch, short circuit protection and other preventative features.

  •  

    1x large power bank, 2x camera batteries carry on (one in the camera) international HK, Paris, Rome, Singapore, Vietnam in the last few years no issues (2015 & 2016)

  •  

    I have travelled overseas multiple times with multiple power banks as a hand carry and no issues at all. No one cares about what brand you carry as it is not about the brand. It is about the capacity and about batteries. You need to declare it if the batteries are industrial types like for power tools or for medical equipments and if so, you need approval from the airline. If you carry spares, it has to be hand carried and protected from short circuits. I wrap them individually.

  • +2 votes

    A few months ago at BigW I bought that Belkin powerbank (-50% off) for my parents overseas. I packed it in the in-laws luggage that was later checked in at the Sydney airport. They arrived back home without the powerbank…

    Won't make that same mistake again.

  •  

    In the end batteries are batteries. If they aren't allowed in checked baggage (I get why) then technically all other lithium based battery devices should be confiscated too like cameras, tablets, laptops, or a torch.

  •  

    PSA - Do not check in spare lithium batteries! It is both unsafe and illegal.

    The reason is if they have a runaway the procedure is to drop them into a water jug or wet them down to stop the fire.

    How many you can carry on and if you can use them in flight is up to the airline/country. Take a reasonable amount, declare them and only take a amount you're willing to have confiscated if required.

    Enjoy the holiday.

  •  

    have never had an issue travelling overseas with multiple power banks in my carry on luggage.

    generally have 3 or 4 powerbanks in my carry on luggage

  • +1 vote

    China doesn't allow power banks that are greater than 10000mah AFAIK.

  •  

    My partner and I recently flew to Phuket from Melbourne. Going there we had no problems. Flying back, my partner forgot she had a power bank in her checked-in luggage (It was there the whole time and wasn't used whilst on holiday). She was called out at the boarding gate and taken away by security to open her luggage and locate the power bank. It happened to another person as well. The Thai authorities gave her a warning and confiscated the item. Not a nice experience so please ensure you take you power banks in your carry-on.

  •  

    you're going a bit overboard i think.

    My trip to Japan with the wife and 5yo using a single 20k xiaomi unit (hand carry); it powered 2 phones, a tablet and a mobile Wifi unit all trip without even coming close to being empty. There are USB charging ports on the plane and the trains. Relax a bit and enjoy your trip.

    Although, on the return flight I did forget two 18650's in my checked in suitcase. They called me over the PA and got me to put them in my carry-on. No drama or fuss.

  •  

    I have never checked in battery packs and i know you're not meant to. I have always held one or two in my backpacks/carry on as I keep my personal/electronics on hand for use - so it never crossed my mind to check them in. I have a 10,000 mah to 12,000 mah usualyl and a second one, usually the same size or down to 8000 mah.

    I never even thought they would confiscate them, abit conecrning if there are bins in airports with them? Can anyone confirm if any airports even confiscate them in hand carry? I had never given it a second thought tbh. Have travelled throught to Japan, through Aus, the US, malaysia, taiwan, hong kong and into china and never been stopped. I assume if they scan your backpack they would have seen it, so I never thought they would ever stop you for it?

  • +1 vote

    I'd bring just two powerbanks and charge them during layovers.

    I used to bring heaps of electronics with me and it was hard to locate things in the bag (stuffed way too many). I also have the Chuwi Hi10. They do drain power fast, but considering non-ergonomic plane seating, you can't use it for extended periods.

    Personally I prefer to bring my own noise-isolating/-cancelling headphones and use it with the in-flight entertainment system. Aside from the better ergonomy (eye-level screen), it's less hassle to pack/unpack the tablet and hold it upright.

  •  

    Some countries do not allow powerbanks over 20,000mAh (and possibly less) on board and they can be confiscated. I know someone who had a 20,000-ish mAh one confiscated in China. Just be reasonable, if you're able to charge the powerbank nightly, you don't really need to that much juice in one powerbank anyway.

    Personally, I'd go with lower capacity powerbanks per person, (I have 10,400mAh ones). When everyone has their own powerbank, they charge at their own discretion instead of everyone being tied together on a single one. You're also less likely to run afoul of countries with more stringent restrictions on the maximum capacity.

  •  

    No issue travelling with aukey 30000mah powerbank in many countries i visited. There was a time when i was in the US, they opened up and checked the powerbank. Just looked at it and put it back. Still no issue, no question being asked.

  •  

    I have traveled extensively with a 20000mAh, through Asia and Europe. Never had any problems. I don't think I have ever used it on a flight though. I usually have my phone on the USB socket charging for the whole flight and plug a wall socket charger into the universal power socket on the seat arm and charge tablet/laptop/GoPro/camera whilst flying, I got a couple of 2M USB cables to make this a bit easier. Never really had much trouble finding charging spots in the airport terminals either.

    TLDR: Stop worrying, take one power bank and you will be fine.

    •  

      Wait, there's wall chargers available on planes now? As in 240v outlets?

      Edit: and/or 120V

      •  

        Yeah mate, usually located at the end of the seat arm or under the seat.

        The power on the plane is typically 110V AC and features a semi-universal receptacle that accepts the following types of plugs:
        US non-polarized 2-blade plug (both blades are the same size)
        US polarized 2-blade plug (one blade is bigger than the other)
        US non-polarized 2-blade plug with Ground (aka three-prong)
        European standard 2-cylindrical prong plug (two round prongs)

        From memory, Qantas sockets are located in the middle of two seats directly under the arm rests.

        Edit: take a universal adaptor and you will be fine.

  •  

    I travel regularly between Thailand and Australia, and within Thailand. The limit for each unit is 13000mAh and yes you can take several, I had 3 in my bag last trip. Carry on only, don't leave them in your checked bags.

    •  

      Seeing a few comments saying 20000 is ok and that you never get checked etc. Just for the record, I've been asked to show my batteries every single time I go through the gates, once they pass through the x-ray machine, and every time they look for the rating. If you take anything over 13000mAh to Thailand you definately risk having it confiscated.

  1. LoopyLou on 13/08/2017 - 19:19
  2. dyl on 12/08/2017 - 16:24
  3. ronnknee on 12/08/2017 - 19:35
  4. buckster on 13/08/2017 - 14:00
  5. Allan Thomas on 13/08/2017 - 11:51
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