This is a question we see a lot with sometimes ambiguous answers; whether or not you can take your 18650/lithium/vape batteries on holiday with you.
The short answer, is yes! There has never been a regulatory issue with taking batteries on holiday/abroad via air. That’s not to say there wont be in the future should people not abide by regulations set out by airlines. Should there be a rise in the number of incidents involving them, its probable that airlines will move towards a blanket ban or more harsh restrictions on them for the safety of the aircraft and its occupants.
We’ve done some digging and looking into the internal regulations from the Top 5 airlines leaving the UK to Europe and further afield and they have no issue with it, providing the following points are adhered to (and most of it is of course common sense!).
How to store the batteries for transport;
- Pay special attention to ensuring that the packaging of batteries is secure and prevents short circuit (all of our cases are more than sufficient and are free with any order)
- Protect spare batteries from ingress of liquids (this should be easy, as all liquids should be in plastic bags)
- Ensure that any batteries travelling in a device are isolated (in other words, make sure the device is switched off and cant be accidentally turned on/activated)
The next part is specifically related to how they can be transported via air.
In your hand bagged/carry on luggage;
- Batteries must be kept in the device, or;
- Maximum of 4 spare batteries per person kept in original/secure packaging (max of 2 with Flybe)
- Lithium metal batteries (Liion/Li-Ion) must not exceed a rating of 100 watt hours (i’ll come to this shortly)
In your checked baggage (hold luggage);
- Batteries must be kept in the device and powered off.
- No spares
Exceptions to the above are all Virgin, EasyJet and FlyBe flights where no batteries can be carried in the aircraft hold. Hand/carry on luggage only.
How to calculate Watt Hours
Almost all airlines, whether taking batteries on holiday or shipping them abroad place restrictions on batteries/cells above 100 Watt hours. To calculate watt hours, you take the mAh (millamp hour) rating of the cell, divide it by 1000, then multiply by the voltage. For the Samsung 25R, the calculation would be 2500/1000 (2.5) x 3.7, making the total watt hour rating 9.25W/h. Well under the 100W/h limit!
Please note that in the unlikely event that you are searched and the cells are discovered, it is your responsibility to be able to provide the ratings of the cell for calculation. With our compliance marking this of course isn’t an issue but if you are buying non-compliant cells elsewhere, the onus is on you as the passenger to prove the specification and output. Failure to do this will result in the airline confiscating and either destroying or charging for the storage of your batteries until your return.
18650 UK has collated the information in this blog post from the Restricted Baggage and associated pages from the websites listed above and while correct at the time of writing, may be subject to change without warning or update here. Always contact your airline directly if you are unsure.
Hope this helps!
Ben – Sales Director