Power bank

Imagine landing in a new city, eager to explore, only to find your phone’s battery at 1%—a traveler’s nightmare. From getting directions to looking up the best restaurants in town, keeping your cell phone charged is crucial when traveling. Power banks can help with that. However, packing them isn’t as straightforward as just throwing one in your bag. Before heading to the airport, it’s important to understand the specific rules set by aviation and transportation authorities for carrying these devices.

What is a power bank?

A power bank is essentially a portable battery you can use to keep your devices charged when you’re away from outlets. It stores power and then delivers it through ports to recharge devices like smartphones, tablets, and cameras. Power banks are a must-have accessory for anyone who needs to stay connected while on the go.

Anker Power bank

Why travel with a power bank?

Traveling with a power bank means you can charge your devices whenever and wherever you need to. It is incredibly useful during long flights, unexpected delays, or when you find yourself far from power outlets. A power bank keeps you connected and comfortable. It also makes staying in touch with loved ones, managing digital tickets, and capturing memories hassle-free. Learn more about the benefits of power banks and portable chargers, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Can you bring a power bank on a plane?

There are strict guidelines for traveling by air with batteries and power banks. This is primarily due to safety concerns associated with their lithium-ion batteries. These batteries can pose a fire risk if they malfunction or are damaged. Air transport security authorities like the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) restrict power banks. In most cases, they’re allowed in carry-on bags with specific watt-hour limits. These regulations ensure that any potential issues can be quickly managed and helps keep flights safe for everyone onboard.

CATSA guidelines

According to CATSA:

  • Carry-on luggage: Power banks can be transported in your carry-on luggage.
  • Watt-hours limit: CATSA mandates that personal devices containing lithium-ion batteries should have a watt-hours (Wh) rating no more than 100 Wh without airline approval. Devices between 100 Wh and 160 Wh can be carried with airline approval, but generally, no more than two spare batteries within this range are permitted. Power banks over 160 Wh are not allowed in carry-on luggage.
  • Checked bags: You can bring one power bank under 100 Wh in your checked baggage. However, you need the air carrier’s approval for spares and portable chargers over 100 Wh.

TSA guidelines

The TSA’s guidelines complement CATSA’s:

  • Carry-on luggage requirement: You can carry power banks under 100 Wh per device in your carry-on bag. You can also bring two spare (101–160 Wh) batteries with airline approval.
  • Capacity restrictions: The TSA enforces similar watt-hour limitations as CATSA for lithium batteries and provides specific instructions for devices rated between 100 Wh and 160 Wh. Pre-approval from airlines is crucial for those intending to travel with power banks in this range.
Power bank

Tips for traveling with power banks

  • Documentation: Carry documentation for your power bank which clearly states the battery’s watt-hour rating, particularly if it is close to or within the 100 Wh to 160 Wh range.
  • Pre-travel charging: Ensure your power bank is fully charged before you travel.

International travel considerations

Different countries and airlines have additional or distinct rules regarding the transportation of lithium batteries and power banks. Before you travel abroad, make sure to check both the destination’s regulations on lithium batteries along with specific airline policies, as these can vary and may be stricter than general aviation guidelines.

Find the right power bank for your next trip

Traveling with a power bank ensures you’re always connected and ready, no matter where your journeys take you. By understanding and following the transportation authorities’ guidelines for power banks, you can easily navigate airport security and keep your devices fully charged during your trip. Make sure to check both general and airline-specific restrictions, especially when traveling internationally. With the right power bank and careful planning, you can meet all your travel tech needs and enjoy a seamless adventure.

This article was drafted using AI technology and then reviewed, fact-checked, and revised by a member of our editorial team.

Best Buy (assisted with AI)
Best Buy is exploring ways to use AI technology to help us craft engaging content for our customers and fellow tech enthusiasts. It is important to us that we provide you with articles that are timely, accurate, and helpful, which is why our amazing team of writers and editors review, fact-check, and revise any AI-generated content before we post it on our blog. Learn more about our Policy on the Use of Generative AI Content.


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