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Powerbank Limit in Carry On Luggage

Powerbank Limit in Carry On Luggage

Old Nov 19, 2021, 1:19 pm
  #1  
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Powerbank Limit in Carry On Luggage

So I travel internationally from the US and out. I will be flying to Mexico which I have many times previously. I have my laptop with me and I also carry two powerbanks as well... these are for specifically my laptop. But I also have a tiny small powerbank that I have in my carry on as well. Its rated as 5000 mAh and used to connect to my old iphone when im low in battery. Not once when traveling outside the US or back to the US I had any issue with this. From what I read online, if the mAh of your powerbank is over the specified limit, then you cannot bring it in correct? I am 100% sure that my laptop powerbanks are below the specified mAh as I remember I googled the powerbank and its below that mAh a while back.


From reading online, it seems like some articles say you cannot carry more than two powerbanks on you in carry on. Is that true or not? But I saw some article that said there is no limit to it as long as each powerbank is below 10000 mah? So which is correct? I'm asking this because when Im traveling again, im planning to bring the same things, but this time Im going to bring in another iphone since my old one is acting up. Thus my old iphone is like a backup iphone in case. But I do not believe my old 5000 mAh powerbank would be compatible with it so I need to buy another powerbank. I know for a fact that my laptop powerbanks will not work on the new iphone because my new iphone will have usb c etc.


So If i buy a powerbank that is specifically for my new iphone that uses usb c, what is the max mAh limit it could be? But would i be able to carry my new powerbank and old 5000 mAh powerbank and also my two laptop powerbanks without any issue? Note, when I travel, I always have lot of electronics on my carry on luggage such as hard drive and lot of cables etc. But I haven't any any issues at all with me having three powerbanks. So would the better thing be make sure this new powerbank is compatible with my new iphone and old iphone so that way, i only bring three powerbanks as oppose to four etc? I also read which country you go to will matter such as I read if its Thailand, they are stricter with the powerbank limit?
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Old Nov 19, 2021, 7:22 pm
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Probably belongs in Travel Technology

But the short answer is that the limit is in watt-hours (abbreviated Wh), which is a unit of energy, not mAh, which is a unit of charge. The FAA limit is 100 Wh per Li-ion battery in the cabin, and you can carry more than one.

To get from mAh to Wh, you need to know the battery voltage. For a typical USB charger, this probably 3.7V. The capacity in Wh is then 3.7*(capacity in mAh)/1000.

Last edited by NewbieRunner; Nov 20, 2021 at 7:48 am Reason: Redacted reference to deleted post
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Old Nov 20, 2021, 7:43 am
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So if a powerbank is rated as 10,000 mAh, is that allowed? So one could carry literally a few of these if they wanted?
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Old Nov 20, 2021, 8:34 am
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https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/more_info/?hazmat=7
Quantity limits: None for most batteries but batteries must be for use by the passenger. Batteries carried for further sale or distribution (vendor samples, etc.) are prohibited. There is a limit of two spare batteries per person for the larger lithium ion batteries described above (101160 watt hours per battery).
Might want to check Mexicos requirements to be doubly sure.
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Old Nov 20, 2021, 9:27 am
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There is a good discussion of travelling with lithium batteries in the Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues forum:
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Old Nov 21, 2021, 11:00 am
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Can you move this thread there instead or should i copy/paste this there?
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Old Nov 21, 2021, 4:25 pm
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You should be able to carry multiple power banks as long as they're below 26000 mah each (I think that's the 100wh limit converted). That said, I would check with the airline to see if they have any limit. I've carried three in the past, but rules can always change.

Also, your old power bank should work. Typically they're either USB-A or USB-C to whatever your connector is (so currently lightning, but not sure about iPhone 13s)... The cables can be swapped out. Just make sure you take the usual precautions when carrying any batteries out of devices (eg, some sites recommend wrapping the terminal heads to prevent contact.... no cables in the same package, etc.).
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Old Nov 22, 2021, 9:15 am
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I travel with two power banks, one that is about 20000 mAh (slightly less than 100WH) and one that's about 10000 mAh for phone charging. I'd also suggest you check the limits for coming in and out of Mexico, the Airline's limits and the FAA limits. Also you need to be sure that what you're carrying is very clearly marked from the manufacturer. I have, sadly, had two of them confiscated at the airport on a return trip home (China, of course, both times) because the person doing the security screening couldn't read the printed info on the power bank on one case, and on the second one, just didn't care to bother doing the math or accepting my explanation that it was below the IATA recommended limit for battery packs. Here's an article that provides some info for both FAA/TSA requirements and international requirements based on IATA recommendations.
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Old Nov 22, 2021, 10:42 pm
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Originally Posted by StuckInYYZ
You should be able to carry multiple power banks as long as they're below 26000 mah each (I think that's the 100wh limit converted). That said, I would check with the airline to see if they have any limit. I've carried three in the past, but rules can always change.
Depends on the country and inspector. I was leaving PTY (Panama City, Panama) and they had a secondary screening section for all flights departing to the USA. The inspector went nuts over the amount of batteries I was carrying. I had ~ 16x AA Eneloops, 4x 18650s, 2x 10,000mAh battery packs. He wasn't going to let me on the plane with them. Ironically he seemed most upset about the AA Eneloops than the Lithium-Ion batteries.

Fortunately the Delta purser saw what was going on and stepped in, saying he had no problem with it nor did the airline, as long as I was carrying it inside the aircraft and not checking the bag.
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Old Nov 23, 2021, 1:21 am
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Originally Posted by Dread Pirate Jeff
I travel with two power banks, one that is about 20000 mAh (slightly less than 100WH) and one that's about 10000 mAh for phone charging. I'd also suggest you check the limits for coming in and out of Mexico, the Airline's limits and the FAA limits. Also you need to be sure that what you're carrying is very clearly marked from the manufacturer. I have, sadly, had two of them confiscated at the airport on a return trip home (China, of course, both times) because the person doing the security screening couldn't read the printed info on the power bank on one case, and on the second one, just didn't care to bother doing the math or accepting my explanation that it was below the IATA recommended limit for battery packs. Here's an article that provides some info for both FAA/TSA requirements and international requirements based on IATA recommendations.
China is weird. I had the same thing (one of my first power banks that had seen lots of use)... the serial number on the power bank had rubbed off due to wear and tear.... the security guard would not let me take it with me. Since it had seen LOTS of use by that time and wasn't holding anywhere near 60% charge, I just let him toss it. There was one of those large garbage cans right beside him full of power banks.

Generally I'd rather carry two 10000mah for phone charging (although I do have larger). The reason being, if drained enough, the larger ones (at least back in the day) could take more than eight hours to charge to full (especially if outside of it's "manufactured for" region ... think taking a NA power bank to China or vice versa). I alternate charge them, but don't always have the time to wait for them to get to full. I do keep two larger ones at home just in case of power failures.

Originally Posted by KRSW
Depends on the country and inspector. I was leaving PTY (Panama City, Panama) and they had a secondary screening section for all flights departing to the USA. The inspector went nuts over the amount of batteries I was carrying. I had ~ 16x AA Eneloops, 4x 18650s, 2x 10,000mAh battery packs. He wasn't going to let me on the plane with them. Ironically he seemed most upset about the AA Eneloops than the Lithium-Ion batteries.

Fortunately the Delta purser saw what was going on and stepped in, saying he had no problem with it nor did the airline, as long as I was carrying it inside the aircraft and not checking the bag.
I can see them freaking out and why. But it would also depend on how they're being carried. I usually travel with a few spare AAA batteries (mix of rechargables and not) for my NC headset) on top of my power banks. But I keep the AA in a rigid battery carrier and the power banks in ziplocks. The reason being is to prevent circuits being formed (which is how many battery fires start) and in the case of the power banks, to prevent things getting into the plugs (dust, long sharp things that can damage the plugs themselves). The screeners usually seem to be fine with that... had a few strange looks but then let them pass.
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