There has been some confusion over a recent memo issued by AirAsia regarding the use of powerbanks on flights. The memo states, amongst other things, that you are not allowed to carry a powerbank that exceeds 20,000mAh and you’re not allowed to charge your phone via a powerbank in-flight. Here’s the gist of it.
The memo issued on 30 July 2018 entitled “Re: Important Notification on Powerbanks Usage and Restriction on Board”, has since been circulating over social media and chat channels like WhatsApp. It stated that the use and charging of powerbanks are prohibited on board all flights, with immediate effect.
As you know, powerbanks are not allowed in check-in baggage. You are however, allowed to carry powerbank(s) on board aircraft in your cabin baggage.
What’s new are a few additional steps introduced as precautionary measures.
It states to enclose the terminals in the original retail packaging or tape all exposed terminals or place each battery in a separate plastic bag (or protective pouch).
It’s rather over-the-top, to be honest, but apparently it’s for your safety and the safety of other passengers.
Later, AirAsia clarified that the policy has been withdrawn. In summary, there is NO restriction on powerbanks at the moment and you’re free to charge your devices during flights. The restriction on powerbanks in check-in luggage still remains.
Many airlines limit powerbank capacity to 20,000mAh battery so as a general rule of thumb, keep your powerbank(s) to this number or below.
It is unclear if AirAsia will enforce this ruling in the future but if they do let’s hope it won’t involve taping up terminals or anything fiddly like that.