Travelling with lithium batteries

Important information about travelling on Air New Zealand operated flights with lithium batteries, either loose or installed in devices.

Our requirements are based on either Watt hours or lithium content, depending on the type of battery.

Batteries and cells must be of a type proven to meet the requirements of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria:

  • For lithium ion (Li-ion) or lithium polymer batteries, which are usually rechargeable, we consider the maximum Watt hours (Wh) rating (Amp hours x Voltage)
  • For lithium metal or lithium alloy batteries, which are usually non-rechargeable, we consider lithium content (LC) within the battery

Ratings must be clearly marked

The Watt hour (Wh) rating or lithium content (LC) must be clearly marked by the original manufacturer on all lithium batteries.

Spare battery safety requirements

Spare or loose batteries are not allowed in checked-in baggage. If they are a size allowed as carry-on baggage (see below), they must be in the manufacturer's packaging or protected against a short circuit. You can do this by putting electrical tape across the terminals, or putting batteries in a strong plastic bag. Spare batteries must not come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys, or jewellery and steps taken to prevent crushing, puncturing, or pressure on the battery.

Portable electronic devices in checked baggage

Portable electronic devices that contain lithium metal or lithium ion batteries such as laptops, tablets, mobile phones or cameras should be transported in carry-on baggage. Where this is not possible, the devices must be completely turned off (not left in sleep mode); protected from accidental activation, and packed so they are protected from damage prior to check-in as hold stowed baggage.

Small recreational vehicles

Prohibited

  • Lithium battery powered small recreational vehicles are not allowed on our aircraft, either as checked-in, carry-on or cargo items
  • Small recreational vehicles include: Hoverboard, Mini-Segway, solo wheel, air wheel, balance wheel, Lithium powered skateboard or personal transportation devices with on-board storage and similar lithium battery powered small recreational vehicles

Wheelchair and mobility aid batteries

For wheelchairs or other mobility aids with lithium batteries, please see services for people with wheelchairs.

Up to 100 Watt hours (Wh) or 2g lithium content

Typical examples include batteries for laptops, mobile phones and digital cameras.

Prohibited

  • Spare batteries in checked-in baggage

Allowed

  • Installed in electronic equipment in either carry-on or check-in baggage
  • Spare batteries in carry-on baggage only, protected from damage and short circuit, for personal use only

More than 100Wh or 2g LC, but not exceeding 160Wh or 8g LC

Typical examples include video equipment and portable medical devices.

Prohibited

  • Spare batteries in checked-in baggage.

Approval required

You must let us know about any of these batteries when you book. Approval is usually given in the following circumstances:

  • Installed in electronic equipment in either carry-on or check-in baggage
  • Spare lithium ion batteries in carry-on baggage only, protected from damage and short circuit, limit of 2 per person
  • Spare lithium metal or alloy batteries for personal medical devices only, in carry-on baggage only, protected from damage and short circuit, limit of 2 per person

More than 160Wh or 8g lithium content

Typical examples include batteries for electric bikes, Segways, cars and underwater lamps.

Prohibited

  • Whether they are spare batteries or installed in a device, these batteries are prohibited on all our aircraft, either as checked-in or carry-on baggage items