Rules for Flights in the USA
Phone and laptop chargers that don’t contain a lithium battery are allowed on planes within the US. You can pack them in hand and checked luggage, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re plug-in type or wireless. The only requirement is that the wires should be securely wrapped, in case they need to be removed for additional screening. That said, this rule is rarely enforced by the TSA, so you don’t need to pay too much attention to it.
Rules for Flights in Other Countries
Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and China
Chargers aren’t specifically mentioned in the list of allowed items by Canadian, European, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Chinese air regulators, however, generally, they’re allowed. Although the final decision rests on each security officer, pretty much 99.99% of the time, you won’t experience any issues with packing phone or laptop chargers in your hand or checked luggage.
Australia and India
Sources: For writing this article, we took information only from official sources, like airline regulators, government websites, and major airlines. If you want to confirm that our information is accurate and up to date, click on any of the links mentioned above. We linked out to where we found this information for each country.
Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring corded and wireless chargers onboard airplanes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Corded and Wireless Chargers on Planes
Can I bring any corded charger on planes (for laptop, iPad, tablet, car, etc.)?
Theoretically, you can bring any plug-in type charger on planes in hand and checked luggage. That’s because air regulators usually only restrict electronics that contain lithium batteries and ones that could be used as weapons. Regular chargers, regardless of whether it’s a car or a cell phone charger, usually don’t fall within these categories, so they’re allowed. When no electricity is flowing through them, they’re completely safe.
Can I bring wireless chargers on planes (with a magnetic field)?
Wireless chargers usually are treated identically to wired, plug-in type chargers that use USB, Type-C, Micro USB, lightning, or any other port. They produce a magnetic field when in use, which could potentially interfere with the hardware on airplanes, but their magnetic field is so small that it’s completely safe for air travel. You can pack wireless chargers in checked and hand luggage, as long as they don’t contain lithium batteries.
Can I bring portable chargers on planes (power banks)?
Portable chargers, other called power banks, are allowed only in hand luggage and have additional restrictions. Depending on which country you’re traveling to, they’re limited to certain mAh capacities, as well as the total amount of power banks each passenger can bring. Usually, you can bring one or two batteries for personal use, and they must be under 100-160 watt-hours (for 5V power banks, that would equate to 20 000 – 32 000 mAh). Power banks are usually banned from checked baggage, and they must be charged when going through security.
Tip: If you’re looking for a new power bank specifically for traveling, consider getting the Anker 10 000 mAh portable charger, which is lightweight, affordable, and one of the most popular options for traveling due to its improved durability and lifespan.
Can I bring solar chargers on planes (power banks with solar panels)?
Solar power banks are treated as regular portable chargers, so the same rules apply. Because they contain a lithium battery, you’re allowed to pack solar chargers only in hand luggage, and they’re banned from checked bags. Furthermore, depending on your travel itinerary, only solar chargers with 10 000 mAh -32 000 mAh are allowed, and they must always be charged when going through security (to show that they work and aren’t defective). If you’ll be traveling on a lot of international flights, we recommend getting a power bank with a maximum capacity of 10 000 mAh, such as the Qi portable solar charger.
Can I bring wireless earbud chargers on planes (AirPod charger case)?
Wireless earbud chargers with lithium batteries are allowed only in hand luggage. They’re banned from checked bags due to the risk of spontaneous explosion. Pretty much all of them have a smaller battery capacity than 10 000 mAh, so no additional restrictions apply.
Wired earbud chargers, which don’t contain a lithium battery are allowed in hand and checked luggage without any additional restrictions.
How do I pack chargers for air travel?
According to the TSA (for flights within the USA), all wired chargers should be securely wrapped, in case they need to be removed from the bag for additional screening. That said, this rule is pretty much never actually enforced, so you shouldn’t really worry about it too much. For flights in other countries, no restrictions like that are set in place, and you can pretty much pack your chargers however you want.
It’s worth noting that even though you aren’t required to pack your chargers in any special way, it’s a good idea to organize your belongings so that it’s easier to find what you’re looking for during your travels. Instead of cramming up all of your chargers in a small pocket and untangling them at the hotel, consider investing in an electronics organizer bag, where you can neatly stack all of your chargers, wires, SD cards, flash drives, and other smaller electronics.
Do I need to take chargers out of my bag when going through security?
Typical, wired chargers don’t need to be removed from your hand luggage when going through security. If, however, you’re bringing portable chargers (power banks) that contain a lithium battery, you need to take them out of your bag and place them in a separate bin. They also need to be charged to show that they’re working and aren’t defective.
That said, it’s a good idea to remove your wired chargers anyway, especially if you’re traveling with a lot of them. That’s because wires clutter the x-ray images of the security scanners, so quite often, the security agents will ask you to open your bag for additional inspection. If you want to avoid that, just pack all of your chargers, wires, cables, and other electronics in a dedicated electronics organizer, which you can easily remove during security, place in a separate bin, and put it back inside after you’re done.
Can I use chargers during the flight (charging phone, laptop, tablet, etc.)?
On most flights, you’ll be allowed to use chargers, except for the critical stages of the flight (takeoff, landing, and turbulence). When the seatbelt sign is turned on, you’ll be asked to switch all of your devices to airplane mode and stow them all away so that they don’t cause issues in case of an emergency. A lot of airplanes nowadays have built-in power sockets, where you can plug in your wired chargers and charge your laptop, mobile phone, and other devices.
Portable chargers (power banks) are also allowed to use during the flight. In fact, I pretty much always travel with a power bank, and I’ve never had any issues. On longer flights, they help me keep my phone battery topped up while watching tv series. As a rule of thumb, if you’re allowed to bring your power bank through security, you can also use it during the flight. That said, remember that the rules are different all across the world and if the cabin crew asks you to stop using it, be understanding and follow their directions.
It’s also worth mentioning that the same rules apply to wireless chargers, which charge your devices through a magnetic field. Theoretically, magnetic fields can interfere with the hardware on airplanes, but the magnetic field from wireless chargers is so little, that it doesn’t cause many issues. In fact, some luxury class airlines even plan on adding wireless chargers to airline seats, which shows that they’re as safe as regular, wired chargers.
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