Safe Travel

Traveling with Lithium Batteries

  Type Of Battery/Batteries spacer In Checked Baggage In Carry-On Baggage
 
photograph of a hoverboard Lithium-Ion Battery, installed in a device (more than 100 but less than 160 watt-hours). Operator approval required.

Lithium-Ion Battery, installed in a device (more than 160 watt-hours).
  Permitted


Forbidden
Permitted


Forbidden
photograph of a digital camera Electronic smoking devices Lithium metal battery (up to 2 grams lithium), lithium ion battery (up to 100 Wh). Charging not permitted on the aircraft   Forbidden Permitted
photograph of a digital camera Lithium Metal Battery, installed in a device (up to 2 grams lithium)   Permitted Permitted
photograph of two AA batteries and one 9 Volt Spare Lithium Metal Battery, not installed in a device (up to 2 grams lithium)   Forbidden Permitted
image of a lithium metal battery Lithium Metal Battery, spare or installed (over 2 grams lithium)   Forbidden Forbidden
photo of a cell phone/PDA Lithium-Ion Battery, installed in a device (up to 100 watt-hours )   Permitted Permitted
photo of a spare lithium ion battery Spare Lithium-Ion Battery, not installed in a device (up to 100 watt-hours)   Forbidden Permitted
Laptop computer and battery Up to 2 Spare Lithium-Ion Batteries, not installed in a device (more than 100 but less than 160 watt-hours) Operator approval required.   Forbidden Permitted
Lithium-ion battery Lithium-Ion Battery, installed in a device (more than 100 but less than 160 watt-hours). Operator approval required.   Permitted Permitted
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What are lithium batteries?

If you're planning a trip, you may bring your laptop computer, cell phone, camera, personal digital assistant, or other battery-powered devices as these items are still safe to fly! Batteries pose little risk when contained within the devices they power if steps are taken to prevent inadvertent activation. Spare batteries can be packed in carry-on baggage if steps are taken to protect against short circuits.

How do I protect my batteries?

A battery's electrical connections (also called contacts or terminals,) must be protected from contact with metal or other batteries, which may cause the battery to short circuit. You can do this several ways:

  • Keep batteries in their original packaging. This packaging is specifically designed to protect batteries during transportation, at the store, and in your home or worksite.

  • If original packaging is unavailable, tape over the electrical connections (contacts or terminals). Electrical tape is great for this job, but all adhesive tapes not made of metallic material will work! Placing each battery in its own individual plastic bag also will isolate the battery's terminals.

  • Every rechargeable battery-powered device comes with a charger that is right for that device. When you travel, locate the charger that is compatible with the device - don't mix and match!

  • Use protective packaging and safety measures such as trigger locks to prevent inadvertent activation of power tools, especially in checked baggage!

  • If you must carry a battery-powered device in any baggage, package it to prevent inadvertent activation. For instance, you should pack a cordless power tool in a protective case, with the trigger lock engaged.

What about large batteries?

Larger Lithium Ion Batteries exceed a Watt-hour rating of100 watt-hours but do not exceed 160 watt-hours. Some very large after-market laptop computer batteries, and some batteries used for professional audio-visual application, fall within this definition. Larger Lithium Metal Batteries contain more than two grams of lithium, and are forbidden in air travel. (No common consumer lithium metal batteries are in the "larger" category.) Most laptop batteries are rated below 100 watt-hours and are not considered to be large batteries.

May I travel with a damaged lithium battery?

Recalled or damaged batteries are forbidden in air travel. Check battery recall information at the manufacturer's website, or visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov.

Lithium metal batteries are non-rechargeable batteries you discard once they are depleted. Larger lithium metal batteries contain over 2 grams of lithium, and are forbidden.