Did anyone try this? I am about to buy a folding ebike and was wondering whether anyone has experience flying with such a thing. As the battery is way over the 160 Whr limit at least the battery needs to be air-freighted but then perhaps the whole thing should be air-freighted.

Edit: perhaps I was not clear enough. I mean sent on a cargo plane and not just as checked luggage. The answers so far completely miss this. It is not per airline, it is an IATA regulation.

  • Even if it's just the battery that has to go as cargo, my guess is that's enough to make the whole exercise unfeasible. If you have to make a dangerous-goods air cargo shipment every time, it's not going to take very many flights before the cost of shipping exceeds the cost of the bike. It also means that you can't expect your bike (or all its parts) to arrive at your destination at the same time as you do, so you'll have to make extra trips to the airport to pick it up. Apr 16 '16 at 4:31
  • I must correct your edit . Regulations as regarding to batteries can vary depending on Airline approval Example source . Further more , Batteries for mobility devices or aiding devices ( ex . electrical wheelchair ) can also be approved by airline . Singapure airline can allow up to 300Wh meeting some conditions. Cathey pacific allow industrial grade batteries pending pre-approval 48 h. Apr 16 '16 at 5:04
  • @ObmerkKronen no, sorry, my edit is correct, what you linked just underlines this, again, lithium batteries are regulated by the IATA and no airline can deviate from it and none you linked does.
    – chx
    Apr 16 '16 at 5:20
  • If you read carefully the example link you will see under "size limit" the words " With airline approval" . this is just to demonstrate that the airline DOES have a say. Read regulations of airlines to see other examples of different regulations that can and are enforced by the AIRLINE.. Or Ignore at will . Good luck with your Bike. Apr 16 '16 at 5:28

Most US based airlines no longer transport any objects with larger lithium-based batteries at all. They have informed their customers some months ago; see for example here: http://money.cnn.com/2016/02/23/news/companies/lithium-ion-battery-ban-airplanes/

Hoverboards for example are completely banned; that includes as checked luggage.

Make sure to check with your airline, but chances are you simply cannot take it.

  • I mentioned this in my question, it needs to be cargo...
    – chx
    Apr 13 '16 at 16:46
  • I don't think the article you link is relevant. It says only that bulk freight shipments of Li-ion batteries cannot go on passenger planes but only on freight planes (passenger planes often carry freight as well as passenger luggage). That says nothing at all about what passengers are ale to put in checked luggage. Apr 16 '16 at 7:22

You did not not mentioned in your question what are the destinations ( Departure - arrivals ) , what is the airport, and what is the Airline .

Regarding batteries or electrical appliances , you have IATA regulations, Local country regulations ( including customs ) Airline regulations AND Local Airport regulations ( In more or less that order - All Apply and differ . Surprisingly so - also in relation to the AIRCRAFT itself ! ).

IATA-> Airline-> Airport-> Customs - they are all factors .

If you really want to know the exact answer in your case - you should ask the respective authorities regarding your itinerary and bike .

That being said - you have already identified the problem yourself - and it is the Battery. Without the battery, the bike itself should have no problem - I might even venture and say that technically you could even take it into the fuselage ( depending on size ) .

I fly a lot with batteries and electronics ( work related ) and I must say that there is no ONE rule that I could identify to fit all situations, except that the bigger ( physically - not necessary capacity ) the battery is - the more problems you will potentially have .

For example - In Guangzhou Airport in China they do not allow any type of " power bank " on board - and on the contrary they do not allow any kind of battery in cargo if not certified and sent by private ( not company ). My laptop battery and the "power bank" are of same capacity and kind . one was allowed - one was not . When I tired to cargo my spare laptop batteries - It was disqualified sent back to my home . When I cargo a whole laptop ( with battery ) it was OK .Note that in that case I mean CARGO and not HOLD LUGGAGE.

In India they confiscated 9V batteries from my devices . but allowed A much higher capacity Power bank.

Regarding the mentioned capacity. I have already flew ( on board ~! ) with large batteries - One being 320 W and one 200 W . I was pre-approved and checked with local office before the flight.

When I ship cargo with company and Valid Certifications ( CE, CL, UL etc ) - there is no problem usually.

Go figure ...

  • "you could even take it into the fuselage" I don't know what that means. Anything that's in a plane, except the fuel in the wing tanks, is in the fuselage. Do you mean "in the cabin"? Apr 16 '16 at 7:29
  • @DavidRicherby ..So you DO know what I mean.. :-). Apr 16 '16 at 10:08
  • @DavidRicherby - No, seriously this is not what I meant . I meant that You can take it with you on the same flight in a passenger flight ( No need special cargo plane ) - Both in Cabin ( under certain conditions ) and Cargo area of passenger aircraft. Apr 16 '16 at 10:10

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