PackSafe - Portable Electronic Devices Containing Batteries

Cell phones, cell phone battery charging cases, laptops, cameras, smart phones, electronics, data loggers, PDAs containing lithium batteries, games, tablets, watches, etc.

Devices containing lithium metal or lithium ion batteries (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) should be carried in carry-on baggage. Flight crews are trained to recognize and respond to lithium battery fires in the cabin. Passengers should notify flight crew immediately if their lithium battery or device is overheating, expanding, smoking or burning.  When portable electronic devices powered by lithium batteries are in checked baggage, they must be completely powered off and protected to prevent unintentional activation or damage. In electronic devices capable of generating extreme heat the heating elements must be mitigated by removal of the heating element, battery, or other components.

Most consumer personal electronic devices containing batteries are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, including but not limited to cell phones, smart phones, data loggers, PDAs, electronic games, tablets, laptop computers, cameras, camcorders, watches, calculators, etc. This covers typical dry cell batteries, lithium metal, and lithium ion batteries for consumer electronics (AA, AAA, C, D, button cell, camera batteries, laptop batteries, etc.)

Spare (uninstalled) lithium metal and lithium ion batteries are always prohibited in checked baggage and must be placed in carry-on. When a carry-on bag is checked at the gate or at planeside, any spare lithium batteries must be removed from the bag and kept with the passenger in the aircraft cabin.

See separate entry in this chart for electronic smoking devices. These are always prohibited in checked baggage.

Quantity limits: There are no quantity limits for "personal use*," except that larger lithium ion batteries and spare nonspillable wet (gel cell, absorbed electrolyte) batteries are limited to two per person. For size restrictions on lithium metal, lithium ion, and nonspillable wet (gel cell, absorbed electrolyte) batteries, see separate "Spare batteries" entries in this table or consult "Airline Passengers and Batteries" link below. * "Personal use" does not include items for resale or distribution.

Spare batteries must be protected from damage and short circuit.

See the regulation: 49 CFR 175.10(a)(18)

Damaged or recalled batteries and battery-powered devices, which are likely to create sparks or generate a dangerous evolution of heat must not be carried aboard an aircraft (e.g. carry-on or checked baggage) unless the damaged or recalled battery has been removed, or otherwise made safe. The airline may offer further public guidance on transporting individual recalled products.

For additional information on recalls, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission, manufacturer, or vendor website.

View our illustrated guide at Batteries Carried by Airline Passengers FAQ.


Last updated: Wednesday, January 24, 2024