Front Page: Traficom
Front Page: Traficom

Mobile phones, laptops and tablets with their batteries are a fire safety risk on flights - pack them correctly

Everyday electronic devices with batteries, such as mobile phones and laptops, can pose a safety risk on an airplane. Therefore, it is important to carry certain items only in hand luggage and to follow the conditions set for their use during the flight. Some items may not be taken on the flight at all. Before your trip, check the airline's instructions and pack electronic devices and batteries safely.

Rechargeable lithium batteries are found in many of our everyday devices, such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets and cameras. If the battery is damaged, overheated or short-circuited, it can catch fire. Therefore, portable electronic devices should be transported on a flight in hand luggage and not in checked luggage. 

"Read the airline's dangerous goods instructions carefully before your flight to ensure you only take permitted items and pack them correctly. Objects that are prohibited or transported in violation of the rules are removed during airport security checks. Several hundred of such removals are carried out every year,” says Senior Inspector Tina Juslin

Spare batteries and power banks always in hand luggage

Spare batteries and power banks must always be transported in hand luggage and must not be placed in the hold. They must be kept separate from each other to prevent short circuits, and no more than two can be carried by one person. They may not be charged on the plane. 

The battery power must not exceed 100 watt hours (Wh) or the lithium content 2 grams. A permission from the airline is required to transport a battery with a power of 100–160 Wh. Batteries should only be purchased from original retailers and never from untrusted sources to ensure that the battery has been properly tested.

Monitor the condition of your battery

In general, laptops, smartphones and tablets can be used on flights other than during take-off and landing. However, it is good to remember that portable electronic devices can cause interference to the aircraft's equipment and this varies from one type of aircraft to another. Because of this, airlines usually require that the devices must always be set to airplane mode.

"During travelling, you should be on alert for disruptions. If the battery is swollen, too hot, or producing smoke, it is faulty. It is especially good to keep an eye on devices used by children. If you notice anything unusual about the battery during the flight or at the airport, contact the cabin crew or the airport staff immediately”, reminds Juslin. 

Read more:

European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA): Dangerous goods when flying (External link)

European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA): Dangerous Goods (External link)

Traficom: Air passenger security control and packing  

Traficom: Air transport of dangerous goods (in Finnish)

Finavia: Baggage (External link)

Additional information

Senior Inspector Senja Hakola,, tel. +358 29 534 6028