Can you carry batteries on your holiday flight?

Travelling via air on your Christmas break?

What you need to know about carrying batteries on planes

Getting ready for the Auckland border to open, flying from elsewhere? Did you know that the International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods regulation was amended early on this year? Sometimes it gets a bit confusing about what you can and can’t bring on board or in your checked luggage, and while the new rules have been in force for nearly a year, the top items picked up at screening points are still batteries!

The change now includes dry-cell and nickel-metal hydride batteries with the Civil Aviation Authority stipulating that batteries pose a fire risk, not it’s no longer limited to just lithium battery varieties. All batteries need to be packed in your carry-on and not in checked bags where they will be removed after screening. If you have any any doubts at all about what you can take onboard an aircraft please contact your airline. 


Are small batteries ok?

Well if you think your garden variety AA and AAA batteries are ok floating around your handbag, note that they need to be enclosed and secured in retail packaging. The limit is 20, and the batteries must be in their own bag or pouch with the terminals all taped up.

What is the rationale behind not being able to take unprotected low wattage batteries to your luggage? There still is a potential for spare batteries rolling around in luggage to spark so it’s better to be safe than sorry when lives could potentially be at risk!

Can you take electronic items like phones, tablets, air pods or power banks with you?

You can take the first three as carry-on but you can no longer take power banks internationally as it’s considered to be a battery on its own. The reason why they are not allowed in checked luggage is because most of these have lithium batteries which are classed as “dangerous goods”. Even though, it’s relatively rare, there have been cases of lithium batteries exploding in cargo holds so it’s not worth the risk.

Can you take power tools?

Perhaps you need to do a bit of renovating on your holiday bach. . Some power tools can go in carry-on bags only but there are rules around wattage and metal shaft lengths on screwdrivers, chisels, and drill bits. These items are restricted as they could be used as weapons on a flight. Watt hours (Wh) are a key aspect to take into account as devices must not under any circumstance contain batteries if they’re over 100 Wh.  Find out more about these types of devices and sending escooters, larger drones, ebikes and more by calling your nearest Pack & Send for expert advice, or read our lithium battery article.

Batteries 3

What about toy guns or play weapons?

They often don’t contain batteries, but anything resembling a weapon even though it may be for a grandchild’s Christmas present (yes even water pistols planned for beach use only!) need to be carried in checked luggage. The airports will be heaving at this time of the year so why not prevent a security furore and keep the queues moving at pace – and don’t forget to take out your keys, coins etc so you don’t slow it down further!

Not carrying a checked bag and have items you may not be able to take with you?

Pack & Send can on occasion help transport batteries and other devices that can’t be taken on planes, please call your nearest Pack & Send to find out more.

Streamline Your Travel

Please always check what you can and can’t take on your carry-on, or add to your luggage full stop, before you leave and keep the security teams happy. Let’s stay safe this Christmas holidays – enjoy!