Are Mobile Cell Phone Chargers Allowed In Hand Luggage?

Last Updated on October 11, 2021

You’re packing for the flight and suddenly you think… Can I take my phone charger in my carry-on? Google help!

The short answer is yes. Chargers are allowed in hand carry luggage.

Panic over get back to packing your stuff!

You can also put phone chargers in checked hold luggage too. There are no restrictions around regular phone chargers when flying that you need to be aware of. They are not on the list of prohibited items.

The only type of phone charger that is special is the power bank. You are not allowed to put lithium batteries in checked luggage. This is because there is a chance they can go on fire.

Remember those exploding Samsung phones? The lithium batteries were exploding on flights. If something catches fire in the cabin people are around to put the fire out.

If you are traveling with a power pack portable charger remember that it needs to go in the cabin and that there is a limit to the size of battery allowed. The current limit is 100 wh per power bank.

But regular wall socket phone chargers don’t have batteries inside them. So they are fine in both your hand luggage and your hold luggage.

And if you are wondering where to keep your mobile charger you don’t even need to remove chargers from your bag when going through airport security.

So if your phone has enough juice to get you to your destination you can stuff them right at the bottom of your bag.

5 Phone Charger Travel Mini-Hacks

The Worlds Smallest Phone Charger (Chargerito) Charging An iPhone

When you are using restrictive carry-on luggage it’s always good to try to save space and weight wherever you can.

Here are a few tips regarding travel and phone chargers that you might not have thought about.

  1. Use your laptop charger instead – Another thing to consider is are you taking a laptop with you? If you perhaps you only need a USB cable to charge your phone. Some laptop chargers have a spare USB socket that you could plug your phone into. There is no sense in carrying on a phone charger if you also have a laptop charger that would do the job.
  2. Use the USB socket on a travel adapter – If you are traveling internationally where they have different sockets will you be taking a travel adapter? Many of these now have USB sockets that you can plug a phone charging cable into. If you are happy with the charging speed then you won’t need your phone charger just a cable.
  3. Use a short length charging cable – Speaking of cables… you can buy extra short phone charging cables on amazon that reduce the weight in your bag and don’t get into a tangled mess.
  4. Use an extra small phone charger – Did you know you can get a phone charger that fits on your keyring? The Chargerito is a tiny phone charger weighs less than 1 oz. It’s actually a handy thing to have on your keyring at all times.
  5. Zip-lock Bags – Pop your cables into zip-lock backs to stop them from scratching anything or getting coiled up. You can even buy travel organizers designed to hold your cell phone charger and any other charger that you are packing in your hand luggage. If you only have 1 charger you won’t need this but if you have many cables and chargers it’s a great way to keep things neat and tidy.
  6. Gear TiesThese are great for getting your cables organized for storage or travel.
Gear Ties in action

Sonia is my new favorite packing guru if you want to go even deeper about packing cables, chargers and electronics check her out.

What items are prohibited in hand luggage?

I won’t provide an exhaustive list here but just describe the types of things you need to worry about.

  • Liquids – All fluids are under strict regulation. That’s because liquids can be used to make explosives. All that annoying stuff about little travel bottles is for safety.
  • Creams, Gels & Pastes – That’s because these are basically just like liquids
  • Sharp Items That Could Be Used As A Weapon – Knives, razor blades, scissors etc. If you can hurt someone with it then it’s probably prohibited from your hand luggage.
  • Foods – Lots of foods fall under the liquid rule. If you are flying internationally you need to also think about food import laws. If you are packing any food in your carry on you need to do further research.

But you can’t eat a phone charger, and it would take a skilled ninja to use it as a weapon. So cell phone chargers on planes are permitted.

The Verdict

Most electrical items are permitted in hand luggage.

The TSA is not concerned about any item simply because it has wires, plugs in, or uses electricity.

An electrical item only becomes interesting to the TSA when it could be used as a potential weapon. So tools like hand drills or electric saws can be restricted, not because they are electrical but because they could be dangerous weapons.

Since your cell phone charger is neither a weapon nor a liquid then you can bring it on the plane.

The TSA also sometimes worries about items with lithium-ion batteries. Don’t pack anything with loose lithium batteries in checked luggage, because there is a fire risk. So portable cell phone chargers should always be packed in hand luggage. That way if there is a fire someone is around to put the fire out. Check out what you can’t bring on a plane if you want to learn more.

It’s only larger electronic items like laptops, tablets, or cameras that the TSA might want to scan separately.

This separate scanning helps the TSA to check that a laptop really is a laptop and not just a dummy item used to hide a weapon or liquid.

That’s also why it’s a good idea to make sure your laptop has some charge when flying. That way you can power it on to prove that it’s a real laptop.

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