Traveling has picked up immensely in the past few decades. With that, electronics have also seen a similar if not a cut above rise simultaneously. We all carry our mobile phones and other portable electronic accessories every time we go out of town. And in this article, we will answer your question – Are Power Banks allowed on Flights?
While there is no doubt in saying that these gadgets provide great assistance in uplifting our travel experience, there comes a time when their battery dies. Adding to that, more often than not, you will found yourself unable to access a charging point to recharge your device. This is why you need to get a good quality power bank.
What Is A Power Bank?
A power bank is a portable charging device that can charge your electronic items such as mobile phones, Bluetooth headset, etc. For doing so, it uses USB technology wherein the data cable's end connected to the power bank is standard USB while the one connected to your electronic item is the one that it uses for charging. It is quite convenient to use a power bank since most brands (like Ambrane and others) provide a USB to chargeable type data cable with the product itself.
Similar to your chargeable devices, a power bank also has a battery capacity that is defined using milliamp Hour (mAh). The higher the mAH of your power bank, the longer it can last on a single charge.
Are Power Banks Allowed On Flights?
Well, the short answer to this is, yes. According to the Civil Aviation Administration in China, flying passengers can carry power banks for personal use on any given flight. But there's a catch. They must follow the following rules:
- Power banks must be carried for personal use only.
- They must only be carried within the user's hand luggage.
- Power banks with a power less than 100 Wh can be taken in directly without any scrutiny. However, if that figure is exceeded, direct approval must be taken from the airline.
- Power banks with a power higher than 160 Wh or with an unassigned power level are not allowed in most flights.
What Is Wh And How Is It Calculated?
Now that you know the legal limitations one has to adhere while carrying a power bank on a flight, the first question that probably comes to mind is what exactly the “Wh” parameter is. For starters, it stands for Watt Hour. This tells us that it is used to calculate the power consumption of one watt for one hour. But how do you calculate the Watt Hour of a power bank? Well, you just use this formula.
(mAh)/1000 X (V) = (Wh)
where mAh = Hours electric charge can be supplied through a source; basic data known to every user.
V = Nominal voltage (Mid-point between a fully charged and fully discharged power bank on a 0.2C discharge); usually 3.75V for power banks but is usually written on the power bank and/or its box.
For example, let us calculate the Wh for Ambrane's P-1310 13000mAh Power Bank:
It has an mAh of 13000 while its nominal voltage stands at 5V. as per our formula, we will first have to divide 13000 by 1000 which will give us 13. Now, this resulting number must be multiplied by the nominal voltage (5). Finally, we'll be left with 65 Wh which is comfortably under the 100 Wh mark that is required for carrying a power bank on a flight without approval.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Q. Does physical size matter while carrying a power bank on a flight?
Your power bank must be carried and fit into your hand luggage. As long as that is fulfilled, you are good to go.
Q. What if my power bank exceeds the 100 Wh limit?
In that case, you must directly talk to the airline officials if you wish to carry your power bank with you on your flight. However, if your power bank has over 160 Wh, even that wouldn't help as that is the limit to what even airline officials can approve of.
Q. Can I take more than 1 power bank with me on a flight?
Yes. Most airlines allow its passengers to carry multiple power banks as long as they do not exceed the Wh limit. However, it is worth mentioning that some airlines also have a set limit for this. For example, British Airways only allows its passengers to carry up to 4 batteries (<100 Wh).
Q. What precautions should I take apart from Wh limit?
It is recommended that you keep your power bank well-protected from short-circuiting. For doing so, simply use the retail packaging, cardboard case or any similar enclosure where electricity cannot pass.
A Final Word
As addicting as they are, electronic gadgets can be a burden when boarding a flight. That is because most airlines have extreme protocols for electronics which are unknown to most travelers. When it comes to power banks, although the rules aren't as draconian, it is still something many don't have the right intelligence on. In this article, we thoroughly discussed everything you need to know about traveling with a power bank on a flight.
If you're in need of a good power bank, here are some of the best selling ones on Amazon:
There are some cheaper Power Banks on the market too and you can check them out by clicking here.
Last updated on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API