This Is Why You Are Not Allowed To Carry Power Banks In Your Check-in Luggage

Even if you have carefully kept your power bank in your handbag or the cabin luggage, the last minute question about your power bank is always there. Not only does the crew keep on asking the same question again and again but now they also get your signed statement that your check-in luggage does not have a power bank! Else, you will be made to go back all the way to the belt area and fish out your power bank with an embarrassed face.

So why is this little savior, who has nothing to do but add bits of power to your devices, dreaded by the airline crew, and that too only in the case of check-in baggage? You can take your power bank up in the air but it is not allowed in the cargo luggage. Well, here is the reason:

Power banks are basically lithium cell batteries and have a tendency to combust. It is hence, for the air cargo safety that they are prohibited in the cargo.

As per the IATA (International Air Transport Association) document, for the ”Transport of Lithium Metal and Lithium Ion Batteries Revised for the 2017 Regulations”, the following is stated about carrying power banks:

‘(Power banks) are portable devices designed to be able to charge consumer devices such as mobile phones and tablets. For the purposes of this guidance document and the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, power banks are to be classified as batteries and must be assigned to UN 3480, lithium ion batteries, or UN 3090, lithium metal batteries, as applicable. For carriage of passengers, power banks are considered spare batteries and must be individually protected from short-circuiting and carried in carry-on baggage only.”

Why are power banks allowed in the cabin then?

According to the airline employees, they would want to handle the risk of lithium batteries in the cabin rather than the cargo. Even if they catch fires, they can be dealt more easily inside the cabin due to the presence of fire extinguishers and more visibility. The same if happens in the cargo, the fire cannot be noticed until it is already out of hand. 

According to Hindustan Times, at least two passengers are stopped each day at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, and their power banks checked, if they give the impression of an explosive device, when running through the scanner at the security check.


”Some power banks are filled with clay or similar material. When scanned, they give an impression of a bomb. But, the good quality ones do not give any problem,” a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official was quoted as saying by the website.

Well, as long as the rules are meant for the overall security of the passengers, we don’t mind abiding them, even if that means carrying our power bank is our handbags!

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