Recently, it was reported that AirAsia had issued a memo stating that the use of powerbanks are prohibited on all flights. It also mentions that you can’t carry a powerbank that exceeds 20,000mAh. The ruling was supposed to take effect beginning yesterday and all passengers are required to take additional steps including keeping the terminals in its original packaging and to separate each battery in a plastic bag or protective pouch.
If you’re flying with AirAsia very soon, you don’t have to worry for now. Passengers are still permitted to use powerbanks during flights.
We first spotted the news on PlacesandFoods.com and below is a copy of the memo:
To find out if the memo was legit, we’ve reached out to AirAsia for clarification and they informed us that this policy has been withdrawn. In short, there is no restriction on powerbanks at the moment so you can still recharge your smartphone and tablets during flights. As usual, passengers must hand carry their powerbanks on board and you can’t keep it in your checked-in luggage.
It isn’t clear if AirAsia would enforce this powerbank ruling in the future. If they do, we hope it won’t require passengers to tape up their powerbanks or to separate them in a different bag.
This powerbank ruling isn’t entirely new in the airline industry. In China, most airlines prohibit the use of powerbanks during flights and they also impose a capacity limit (e.g. 20,000mAh) that you can carry on board.
If this is enforced, you would have to ensure that your devices are fully charged before you board. Although this can be seen as an inconvenience, you must remember that safety is always a priority and airlines would do what it takes to minimise any potential risk.
As always, we recommend that you buy a powerbank from a reputable manufacturer. Most reputable brands have built-in safety layers that can prevent overcharging and overheating. It was reported that powerbanks will be regulated in Malaysia starting this year and manufacturers will be required to obtain SIRIM certification. If this is enforced, approved powerbanks will have to carry a SIRIM stamp or logo on the packaging.
What do you think of the powerbank ruling? Let us know in the comments below.