Can I Take a Jump Starter, Power Bank, or Charger on a Plane?

These days, there are many accessories that make our everyday lives complete and go without a hitch.

If you are a techie person who cannot part ways with your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, even for a minute, it is a must to have a power bank or charger with you.

Newer portable jump starter models can also power up your favorite mobile devices.

You are now wondering if you can take a portable jump starter, power bank, or charger on a plane to make sure that the batteries of your mobile devices won’t run out of juice while you are thousands of feet in the air.

So, can you take a jump starter, power bank, or charger on a plane?

Portable jump starters and power banks have lithium batteries in them. Lithium batteries are only allowed by airline companies in carry-on luggage. They cannot be checked in. Traditional chargers can be taken on a plane, but not all planes have power outlets that can accommodate them.

Keep on reading if you are about to fly soon. Below you will come across some of the most important matters you need to know about bringing a portable jump starter, power bank, or charger on a plane.

And if you have techie family members and friends, ensure that they get to read this article, too, by sharing it on social media later on. They will surely appreciate your letting them know whether or not they can take some of their essentials on a plane.

Why You Can Put Lithium-Ion Batteries in Your Carry-On But Not Check-In Luggage

Many people think that portable jump starters, power banks, and chargers are best placed in their check-in luggage to avoid unnecessary problems before boarding.

However, it is the other way around. If you stash your portable jump starter or power bank in your check-in luggage, it is when you are likely to encounter a problem.

The reason for this is simple: it is for every passenger’s safety.

Inside portable jump starters and power banks are lithium batteries, and they are the main reasons why these charging accessories can charge an assortment of mobile devices.

While they are good at what they do, the trouble with lithium batteries is that they can explode. This is especially true if they are found inside portable jump starters and power banks with poor quality or lack of safety features.

If a portable jump starter or a power bank suddenly explodes in the cargo, no one is around to spring into action right away to prevent a fire. On the other hand, if the same mishap takes place inside the cabin, a flight attendant armed with a fire extinguisher can show up without delay.

Placing a charger, the traditional kind with a cable and charging brick, in your check-in luggage, on the other hand, is fine. That’s because it doesn’t have a lithium battery in it.

So, in other words, it is not as risky as a portable jump starter and power bank. However, it applies only to a smartphone or tablet’s charger.

It does not apply to a laptop charger, the kind that has an external power source. That’s because the battery in the power brick may be lithium kind.

To avoid unnecessary problems at the airport that can leave you stressed or anxious and even make you miss your flight, it is a good idea to contact the airline company beforehand.

Ask which accessories for your mobile devices you can and cannot place in your carry-on and check-in luggage.

But as a general rule of thumb: if it is something that has a lithium battery, it should be stashed in your carry-on luggage so that you can keep an eye on it.

How to Make Sure That Your Portable Jump Starter or Power Bank Won’t Cause Trouble

Although portable jump starters and power banks are generally safe, they are not impervious to encountering problems.

In some instances, problems regarding these mobile device accessories can cause damage to properties and injuries to their owners as well as other people around them.

Because of this, today’s manufacturers of jump starters and power banks include an assortment of safety features in their products. Such is to avoid tainting their reputation and facing expensive lawsuits.

Whether you prefer a portable jump starter (as it is versatile enough to be used on an automobile’s battery, too) or a power bank, it is a good idea to check that it comes with an assortment of features that can help keep problems at bay.

Some common examples are overcharge protection, overheat protection, overvoltage protection, and short circuit protection. Alas, the more feature-packed a portable jump starter or power bank is, the higher its price tag.

Here are some other things that you may do to stay safe while using your preferred mobile device accessory:

  • Never use the portable charger without first reading the user manual. Even if it is a time-consuming process and you feel that you already know everything, it is a must, especially if you are cautious.
  • Keep your portable jump starter or power bank in a cool and dry place. Avoid placing it where it is hot, like in a parked car in the middle of the day. Avoid placing it near sources of heat, too.
  • Do not leave it on your bed, couch, or any upholstered piece of furniture that can collect heat and potentially catch fire while charging it or using it to charge your mobile device.
  • Refrain from placing the charger of choice near metal objects. Similarly, never insert any metal object into any of the available ports as it may cause a short circuit that may lead to an explosion.
  • Avoid dropping your portable jump starter or power bank, or applying excessive force or pressure on it. Always check that it is not deformed, discolored, leaking, or emitting a strange odor before using it.

When it comes to a charger, there is one thing that you should always keep in mind: never wrap the cable too tightly around the charging brick.

Otherwise, the section where the cable and the charging brick meet may get damaged, which may cause a short circuit or leave the charger completely useless.

It is a good idea to do what’s called the roadie wrap.

Here’s how it is done: you wind the cable in a loose circle, then secure it to the charging brick with a Velcro tie.

Just Before You Pack Some of Your Mobile Device Essentials

Especially if you are a techie person and tend to end up with a panic attack imagining your mobile device out of juice, you will be happy to know that you can take a portable jump starter, power bank, or charger with you on a plane.

In fact, airline companies permit the passengers to keep them in their carry-on luggage only, not in their check-in luggage. Due to this, not being able to use your laptop, smartphone, or tablet on the plane should be the least of your worries.

However, just see to it that you have fully charged your portable jump starter or power bank before you head to the airport, especially if you are about to embark on a long-haul flight.

Related Questions

Can I plug my charger on a plane to charge my smartphone?

Some airplanes have dedicated power outlets for every seat, such as in the case of most American Airlines planes. However, some airplanes don’t. To be sure, it is a good idea to check before you get on the plane or book a ticket.

Is it normal for my portable jump starter or power bank to get hot?

While you are charging it or using it to charge your mobile device, it is perfectly normal for a portable jump starter or power bank to get hot. It is a completely different story; however if it gets hot while it is not being used.

Reed Harris

Reed is a traveler and blogger. He's planning to visit all states in the USA. He's been in 31 states so far.

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