Travelling with sealed lead-acid batteries and sealed lead-acid battery operated devices

These batteries, also known as non-spillable batteries, contain lead acid and can discharge strong surges of power. This makes them a safety risk, so you need to pack them carefully.

For everyone's safety, we have rules for bringing sealed lead-acid batteries on your flight. It is important you check whether your battery or device can be carried, and how to pack them safely.

What are spillable or non-sealed lead-acid batteries?

If you can top up your lead-acid battery with water, it is a spillable battery. These batteries are not permitted on board our aircraft.

Powered mobility aids

We allow personal electric mobility aids with non-spillable batteries. We can transport them with their batteries in place. Please let us know about your mobility aid before you travel. For more information, see our Special Assistance information.

What are non-spillable or sealed lead-acid batteries?

Non-spillable batteries are rechargeable batteries. They deliver a strong burst of power, or a steady flow of power over a long period. They're often used in children's toy cars, some power tools, or to power the electronics on boats and RVs.

They are usually smooth black plastic blocks, with two terminals on the top. Most are at least 5cm wide, 15cm long and 10cm tall.

There are four common types of lead-acid batteries.

  • Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) and Valve Regulate Lead Acid (VRLA) and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)
    All contain a small amount of acid and are leak proof.
  • Gel Cell
    Contain an acidic gel and is leak proof.

Air New Zealand policy for packing sealed lead-acid batteries

These tables show you if you can bring a non-spillable battery on to your flight. All you need to know is its voltage (V) and watt hours (Wh). They should be shown on your battery, or on the device that uses it. If not, please look up your device on the internet.

Make sure your batteries meet our packing requirements.

 Non-spillable lead-acid batteries up to 12V and 100Watt hours (Wh)

These batteries are often used in children's ride on toys, household alarms and some power tools.

Up to 12V or 100 Wh

Installed in a device

Checked-in

Allowed if not possible to pack in carry-on bag

Carry-on


Up to 12V or 100 Wh

Spare or loose batteries

Checked-in

Carry-on

Two maximum


You can carry a maximum of two non-spillable batteries. They count toward your 20 battery maximum.

If your battery is within a device, please pack it in your carry-on bag. If that's not possible, you can put it in your checked-in bag. Please pack your device carefully to protect from damage or accidentally turning on.

You can only carry spare or loose batteries in your carry-on bag. You must:

  • Pack your battery to protect it from being cracked or damaged.
  • Ensure the battery's terminals can't contact anything metal, like coins or keys.

See more about our packing requirements.

Non-spillable lead-acid batteries over 12V and 100Watt hours (Wh)

These are often heavy batteries used in vehicles and uninterruptible power supply units (UPS).

You cannot bring these powerful batteries on board our aircraft, either as carry-on or checked-in items.

Why are non-spillable lead-acid batteries a risk on planes?

Non-spillable batteries create two risks.

  • Fire
    Non-spillable batteries can start a fire if their exposed terminals contact keys, coins, metal zippers etc.
  • Chemical discharge
    A damaged non-spillable battery could release flammable gas or leak acid.

The more powerful the battery, the bigger the risk. That's why we limit the size and number of batteries you can bring when you fly with us.

Which devices might contain non-spillable lead-acid batteries?

Most electronic devices now use lighter and more efficient lithium batteries. But you might find non-spillable batteries in:

  • Motorbikes
  • Petrol-powered scooters
  • Children's ride-on toys
  • Power tools
  • Mobility aids including mobility scooters

Which non-spillable batteries and devices can I carry on flights?

Batteries

  • You can pack up to two non-spillable batteries in your carry-on baggage. They must be 12V or less, and 100Watt hours or less.
  • Your batteries can show their power rating on their case.
  • You can't pack loose batteries in your checked-in baggage.
  • These non-spillable batteries count toward your 20 battery maximum.
  • Please pack your batteries carefully.

 

Devices

  • You can carry up to 15 devices powered by non-spillable batteries.
  • Please put your devices in your carry-on bag. If they're too big or heavy, you can check them in. Please pack them carefully to protect from damage and accidentally turning on.

If you use a powered wheelchair or mobility aid, see our special assistance section.

FAQs for travelling with non-spillable batteries

How should I pack spare non-spillable batteries?

How should I pack devices containing non-spillable batteries?

Can I bring my child's battery-powered ride-on car onto the plane?

What are Watt hours?

Can I carry non-spillable batteries on overseas flights?

How can I find out my non-spillable battery's Watt hours?

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