Are Power Banks Allowed on Flights? Here’s What Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Other Airlines Say.


I recently bought a 25000 mAh power bank — figuring it would come in handy while travelling — and only later wondered if I would actually be allowed to take it with me on the plane. If you’ve been wondering the same thing, here’s what I found out.

First of all, power banks are considered lithium-ion batteries, so if you’re looking for your airline’s policy on power banks but did not find anything specifically using the term “power bank” try searching for their policy on lithium ion batteries instead.

Second, whether or not power banks can be brought on the plane usually depends on their watt-hours (Wh). Most — but not all! — major airlines allow their guests to bring on board power banks that are less than 100 Wh. Only a few airlines set a mAh limit.

If your power bank does not specifically say how many watt-hours it can hold, you can use this online calculator.

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Below is a summary of the power bank policies of some of the airlines frequented by Filipinos:

  • Philippine Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Cebu Pacific
  • Air Asia

Philippine Airlines

All lithium batteries — whether inside equipment or as spares — are prohibited in checked baggage and only allowed in carry-on baggage.

Limitations on lithium batteries in carry-on baggage:

  • No more than two spare batteries
  • Non-rechargeable batteries – limited to 2 grams of lithium per battery
  • Rechargeable batteries
    • Limited to a rating of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery
    • Larger batteries (101-160 watt hours) may be carried by passengers but only with airline approval

Source: Philippine Airlines website

Cathay Pacific

Portable battery chargers, including power banks, are considered spare lithium batteries and must not be placed in check-in baggage.

Spare batteries (those not in equipment) are not allowed in check in baggage.

Spare batteries may be carried in cabin baggage subject to the following conditions:

  • They must be adequately protected against short circuit by:
    • Enclosing them in their original retail packaging OR
    • Taping over the terminals OR
    • Placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch
  • They must be under 100 Watt-hour (Wh) / 2g Lithium content (LC)
  • Only 20 spare pieces are allowed per passenger

Non-rechargeable batteries with more than 2g of lithium (such as ‘C’ size batteries) are forbidden in any baggage.

Source: Cathay Pacific website

Emirates

Spare/loose batteries, including those for portable electronic devices, must be carried in carry-on baggage only.

Power banks are considered as spare batteries and must be individually protected to avoid short-circuit. Each passenger is limited to a maximum of 20 spare batteries.

Airline approval is needed for spare/loose batteries for consumer electronic devices or portable medical electronic devices (PMED) that exceed 100 watt hours or exceed 2 grams of lithium content.

  • Maximum of two spare batteries in carry-on baggage only
  • Must be individually protected to prevent short circuit
  • Must not exceed 160 watt hours or 8 grams of lithium content

Source: Emirates website 

Qatar Airways

  • ≤ 100 Wh (2g)
    • In equipment:
      • Hand baggage: Allowed (maximum of 15)
      • Checked baggage: Allowed
    • Spares
      • Hand baggage: Allowed (maximum of 20)
      • Checked baggage: NOT allowed
  • > 100 to ≤ 160 Wh
    • In equipment
      • Hand baggage: Allowed with operator approval
      • Checked baggage: Allowed with operator approval
    • Spares
      • Hand baggage: Allowed with operator approval (maximum of 2)
      • Checked baggage: NOT allowed
  • > 160 Wh
    • Must be presented and carried as Cargo in accordance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Qatar Airways further note:

  • “To convert amp-hours (Ah) to watt-hours (Wh), multiply (Ah) by voltage.
  • Passengers can carry up to 15 portable electronic devices containing lithium ion batteries. The watt-hour rating for batteries should not exceed 100 (or 2g, for lithium metal).
  • Maximum number of batteries allowed is 20 per passenger, regardless of the type of battery.
  • Spare batteries may not be placed in checked baggage. The terminals of all spare batteries should be protected from short circuit by enclosing them in their original retail packaging; taping over the terminals; or using separate plastic bags for each battery.
  • Batteries contained in equipment such as laptop computers, cameras or mobile phones, must be switched off and measures taken to ensure that they cannot be accidentally activated when placed in checked baggage.”

Source: Qatar Airways website 

Singapore Airlines

How your lithium batteries are stored and their watt-hour (Wh) ratings determine whether or not they may travel by air.

  • Less than 100Wh – such as laptops, mobile phones, and digital and video cameras
    • IN EQUIPMENT
      • Cabin: Allowed – maximum of 20 devices per passenger (combined with checked baggage)
      • Checked in: Allowed
        • Maximum of 20 devices per passenger (combined with cabin baggage)
        • Must be completely switched off and protected from inadvertent activation
    • NOT IN EQUIPMENT (SPARE)
      • Cabin: Allowed
        • Maximum of 20 pieces per passenger
        • Must be protected from damage and short circuit
      • Checked in: Not allowed
  • 100 to 160Wh – such as video equipment and portable medical devices
    • IN EQUIPMENT
      • Cabin: Allowed – maximum of 2 devices per passenger
      • Checked in: Not allowed
    • NOT IN EQUIPMENT (SPARE)
      • Cabin: Allowed
        • Maximum of 2 pieces per passenger
        • Must be protected from damage and short circuit
      • Checked in: Not allowed
  • More than 160Wh – NOT ALLOWED

Source: Singapore Airlines website

I couldn’t find an official policy page regarding power banks for Cebu Pacific and Air Asia so I reached out to them on social media. (Just click on the links below to see screenshots of Air Asia and Cebu Pacific’s respective replies.)

Cebu Pacific

According to “Charlie of Cebu Pacific” — the official moniker of Cebu Pacific representatives on Facebook Messenger — they only allow power banks of up to 20,000 mAh.

Air Asia

AirAsia’s Twitter representative, on the other hand, said that they allowed a maximum of 32,000 mAh per power bank.