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What you need to know when flying with electronic devices

Keeping track of which electronic devices you can and can’t take on board flights is becoming increasingly difficult.

One of the more recent safety concerns for airlines is lithium batteries. The batteries are a potential fire risk, so you can understand why airlines are cautious. This is the reason for the introduction of new conditions and why devices such as older MacBook Pros have been banned by many carriers.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has prepared a list of tips to help you fly safely.

The following items must only be packed in carry-on baggage:

    • Portable power banks – these are portable power supplies that allow you to charge other electrical devices.
    • Electronic cigarettes – including e-cigarettes, vapes, e-cigars etc.
    • Spare batteries of any type

Checked baggage

We recommend that you keep all your electronic devices in carry-on baggage. If you prefer to pack these in your suitcase, please check with your airline first and make sure that they are completely switched off – not in ‘sleep’ or ‘hibernate’ mode.

What is a PED?

A PED is a Portable Electronic Device. This is any piece of lightweight, electrically-powered equipment. These devices are typically capable of communications, data processing and/or computing. Examples are laptop computers, tablets, e-readers, smartphones, MP3 players, drones and electronic toys.

Did you know?

PEDs are more prone to failure when in use and/or when charging. You should be aware of this and monitor any devices that you have in the cabin. Never leave them unattended while charging. It is better to completely switch off when you are not using the device.

Ask for help

Take care not to let your portable device fall down the side of the seat. You might have heard the safety announcements that now commonly include the message to call a flight attendant for help if you drop your phone. This is because of the lithium battery fire risk.

What is a portable power bank?

Portable power banks are a battery with a special circuit to control power flow. They allow you to store electrical energy and then later use it to charge another electronic device. They come in many shapes and sizes and you may not be aware that you are carrying one. However, if you have a device that allows you to charge another electrical device, you have a power bank.