Travelling with lithium batteries and lithium battery-operated devices

Many modern batteries contain lithium. All airlines, including Air New Zealand, treat lithium batteries with caution. When not carried safely, these batteries can pose a danger to an aircraft and its passengers.

For everyone's safety, we have rules for bringing lithium batteries on your flight. It is important you check whether your battery or device can be carried, and how to pack them safely. 

Quick lithium battery guide

Below is a quick list of battery examples, if they're allowed to be carried and where to pack them. All you'll need to know is your battery or device's power rating. Find out how to locate this. 

If your battery is allowed on your flight, it's important to make sure it is packed securely, meeting our requirements.

  • ✘ = prohibited
  • ✔ = allowed

Low Watt hour (Wh) rating or lithium content

Lithium-ion (polymer) batteries not exceeding 100 Watt hours (Wh)
Lithium metal batteries not exceeding 2g lithium

Often used in e-cigarettes, laptops, mobile phones, power banks, power tools and shavers.

If your battery is allowed on your flight, it's important to make sure it is packed securely, meeting our requirements.

Not exceeding 100 Watt hours (Wh) or 2g lithium 

Installed in devices

Checked-in 

Allowed if not possible to pack in carry-on bag

Carry-on 


Not exceeding 100 Watt hours (Wh) or 2g lithium 

Spare or loose batteries and power banks

Checked-in 

Carry-on 



Medium Watt hour (Wh) rating or lithium content

Lithium-ion (polymer) batteries between 100-160 Watt hours (Wh)
Lithium metal batteries between 2-8g lithium

Often used in commercial cameras, some drones, children's ride-on toys and jump starter packs.

You are approved to carry these batteries, if the following requirements are met:

  • 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 and protected from damage and short circuit. Limit of 2 per person

If your battery is allowed on your flight, it's important to make sure it is packed securely, meeting our requirements.

100-160 Watt hours (Wh) or 2-8g lithium

Installed in equipment

Checked-in

Allowed if not possible to pack in carry-on bag

Carry-on


100-160 Watt hours (Wh) or 2-8g lithium

Spare or loose rechargeable lithium-ion batteries

Checked-in

Carry-on


100-160 Watt hours (Wh) or 2-8g lithium

Spare or loose non-rechargeable lithium metal or alloy batteries

Checked-in

Carry-on


High Watt hour (Wh) rating or lithium content

Lithium-ion (polymer) batteries exceeding 160 Watt hours (Wh)
Lithium metal batteries exceeding 8g lithium

Often used in e-bikes, self-balancing boards and some skateboards. These large batteries pose an unacceptably high risk. We cannot accept them on board.

Exceeding 160 Watt hours (Wh) or 8g lithium

Installed in equipment

Checked-in

Carry-on


Exceeding 160 Watt hours (Wh) or 8g lithium

Spare or loose batteries

Checked-in

Carry-on


What are lithium batteries?

Lithium batteries provide a lot of power from a small size. They're used for everything from small electronic devices to electric cars.

  • Lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries are rechargeable. We rate their power in Watt hours (Wh).
  • Lithium metal batteries can't be recharged. We rate their power by their lithium content, in grams.

Why are lithium batteries a risk on planes?

Lithium batteries can discharge their power very quickly if they short-circuit. This can happen when unprotected, spare battery and power bank terminals contact other metal items e.g. coins, keys etc.

The more powerful the battery, the bigger the risk. That's why we limit the size and number of batteries you can bring when you fly with us.

What devices contain rechargeable lithium batteries?

If you can recharge your device, it almost certainly uses a lithium-ion battery.

Chargers that only work when plugged in to a power socket do not contain a battery.

These devices will almost always contain lithium batteries:

  • Phones
  • Tablets
  • e-Readers
  • Laptops
  • Cameras
  • Video cameras
  • Gaming consoles
  • Power tools

Which devices contain non-rechargeable lithium metal batteries?

Most everyday lithium metal batteries look like silver coins or buttons. They're often used in watches, calculators, cameras and remote car lock fobs.

If a device's batteries can't be recharged, it probably has a lithium metal battery.

Which batteries and devices are prohibited on flights?

  • See "high Watt hour (Wh) rating or lithium content batteries" above for details
  • Loose batteries, battery packs or power banks in your checked-in bags. You can bring them in your carry-on bags
  • Personal battery-powered vehicles such as ebikes and some eScooters
  • "Smart bags" with non-removable lithium batteries rated higher than 2.7Wh or 0.3g of lithium

Which devices and batteries are allowed on flights?

Devices in your carry-on bags

We recommend where possible, your battery powered devices are carried in your carry-on bags.

You can bring up to 15 personal electronic devices on board. The batteries must not exceed 100Wh or 8g lithium. Devices can include: 

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Mobile phones
  • eReaders such as a Kindle
  • Personal gaming consoles
  • Power tools
  • Vaping equipment - must not be activated on board
  • Cameras

Please pack your devices so they are protected from damage.

If you use a powered wheelchair or mobility aid, see our special assistance section

A pacemaker doesn't count towards your electronic device limit. 


Batteries in your carry-on bags

You can pack up to 20 spare batteries and power banks. They must be in your carry-on bags.

  • Loose batteries need to show the original manufacturer's power rating. This will be in Watt hours (Wh), Amp hours (Ah), milliamp hours (mAh), or lithium content (LC).
  • Power banks and battery packs each count as one battery.
  • Pack your batteries and power banks carefully. Protect them from being damaged. Keep them away from metal objects like coins, keys, jewellery and zippers. Pack each battery in its own plastic bag, or cover its terminals with tape.
  • Your batteries must be for personal use.


Devices in your checked-in baggage

You can pack up to 15 battery powered devices in your bags. We prefer you to pack your battery-powered devices in your carry-on bags. If that isn't possible, you can pack them in your checked-in bags.

  • Protect your device from being damaged.
  • You must turn all devices off completely. They cannot be left on "Sleep" or "Standby" mode.
  • Ensure each device cannot turn on accidentally. Secure on/off switches in the off position with tape. Apply trigger locks where possible.
  • You cannot pack devices with batteries rated higher than 160Wh or 8g of lithium.
  • All spare batteries need to go in your carry-on bags.

FAQs for travelling with lithium batteries

Can I bring a battery pack or power bank on the plane?

Does my device's charger contain a lithium battery?

Can I bring a personal transportation device? Like a mini-Segway, solo wheel, balance wheel, eScooter or powered skateboard?

What are Watt hours?

My battery is built into my device. How can I identify it?

How many devices and batteries can I bring on the plane?

What types of batteries count toward my spare battery limit?

Can I take laptops, tablets, mobile phones or cameras in my checked-in bags?

How should I pack spare lithium batteries?

How can I find out my lithium battery's power rating?

More about baggage