Airline Travel with Foil Drive batteriesUpdated 3 months ago
Airline Travel with Foil Drive Batteries
Aside from weight reduction, the small battery was created for the Assist PLUS to allow for airline travel. Due to its smaller size, most airlines allow an individual to fly with multiple small batteries. You cannot fly with any other Foil Drive battery as they exceed the watt-hour limitations. The parallel Y lead allows riders to connect two small Assist PLUS batteries together for the equivalent capacity of a Medium 8.4ah Assist PLUS battery!
There are some important rules to follow when travelling with batteries, and when using the Y Lead that we will outline below!
Alternatively, you can take your battery to a freight company and ship your battery to your hotel or friends ahead of your trip.
Following the Dangerous Goods Rules and Restrictions correctly is extremely important and should be taken seriously. All information in this article is relevant as of the 14th of July 2022 and is in accordance with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
This article is a guideline only.
Each airline has different restrictions and requirements, please contact your airline prior to travel. It is your responsibility to check and follow the rules and restrictions set by your airline of choice. You can find up-to-date information from IATA on their website and in their official document. Click here or click on the image below to view this document.
If you are travelling with a Small Batteries, we recommend printing off the Small Battery SDS Document below:
How is the small battery airline friendly?
The Small 4.2ah Assist PLUS Battery is 120.9wh, falling under the 160wh energy limit set by IATA for airline travel. When packed and declared correctly, some airlines allow an individual to carry up to three small batteries.
Note: All other Foil Drive batteries are over 160wh and cannot be packed in checked luggage or as carry-on.
What information do you need to provide to the airline prior to travel?
When flying on your chosen airline, contact them well before you fly for prior approval and to clarify their exact requirements. Most airlines will allow a maximum of three batteries and (generally) must be in carry-on luggage. Batteries will need to be below 30% State of Charge (SOC) and have both charge and discharge plugs protected with electrical tape, with each battery in a separate Lipo bag for protection.
Note: This advice is generic and must be confirmed with your airline.
Warning: Dangerous Goods rules are taken very seriously. Failing to accurately declare your batteries will likely result in confiscation at the airport.
The airline (or shipping company) may ask to see the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
See below links to the MSDS for each of our batteries.
Quick checklist for flying with your batteries
1. Only the Assist PLUS Small 4.2ah (120.96wh) battery is under the 160wh limit set by IATA, this is the information you will need to provide the airline. You will also need to notify them how many batteries you plan to carry. Batteries must not be connected during flight and will need to be stored individually in a Lipo bag. You may need to purchase additional Lipo bags.
2. Check with your airline of choice before you get to the airport. Some airlines have higher restrictions than that outlined by the international and national regulations set out by IATA.
3. Check your batteries for any visual signs of damage before packing. Security officers at the airport may want to inspect the batteries. Any physical damage to the battery, plug or power leads is a sure way for them to deny carriage.
5. Ensure the Foil Drive label is legible on the battery, in particular the 120.96wh rating. This is the number security staff will look for on the batteries.
Warning: Falsifying the sticker on batteries is an offence and should not be done at any time. Lithium-Ion batteries greater than 160wh limit are restricted to Cargo Aircraft Only. Please do not risk the life of aircraft passengers by falsifying your battery stickers!!
6. Protect the terminals of the battery from short circuit by covering them with electrical tape. If using the Parallel Y lead, this must be disconnected.
7. Be prepared to declare and show airline check-in staff and security screening officers the batteries. Allow extra time at airport screening for this.
8. Maximum of two spare batteries per passenger. Technically speaking both the Australian CASA and USA FAA allow a battery under 160wh to be installed in a device as well. So, in some cases, you can take one small battery inside your Foil Drive™ + two spare batteries.
9. We recommend packing your Foil Drive™ kit (Electronics box and motor, no battery) and foils in your checked in baggage as sharp pointy foils, propellers, screw drivers and motor cables may attract unwanted attention at security check points and could be refused carriage.
Airline Specific Information (As of the 14th of July 2022)
USA FAA Advice "With airline approval, devices can contain larger lithium-ion batteries (101-160 watt hours per battery), but spares of this size are limited to two batteries in carry-on baggage only. Passengers can carry most consumer-type batteries and portable battery-powered electronic devices for their own personal use in carry-on baggage. Spare batteries must be protected from damage and short circuit. Battery-powered devices must be protected from accidental activation and heat generation. Damaged or recalled batteries, including when in a device, must not be carried."
USA TSA Advice "Spare (uninstalled) lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries, including power banks and cell phone battery charging cases, must be carried in carry-on baggage only. With airline approval, passengers may also carry up to two spare larger lithium-ion batteries (101–160wh) or lithium metal batteries (2-8 grams). This size covers the larger after-market extended-life laptop computer batteries and some larger batteries used in professional audio/visual equipment. There is a limit of two spare batteries per person for the larger lithium-ion batteries described above (101–160watt hours) per battery. For more information, see the FAA regulations on batteries."
AUS CASA Advice - Lithium Ion Batteries 100-160WH "These are more powerful batteries. You can find them in equipment such as power tools and mobility aids. They are usually between 100 and 160wh. If you want to carry these kind of lithium batteries with you, you must get approval from your airline before flying. If the battery is in a device, you may carry it in either checked or carry-on baggage. If the battery is a spare and not in the equipment, you must carry it in your carry-on baggage only."
Hawaiian Airline Advice "Spare lithium and lithium-ion batteries must be transported in carry-on baggage only and must be packed as follows:
- Each guest is permitted to carry-on two (2) spare batteries, not to exceed regulatory limits.
- Spare batteries must be kept away from metal objects, such as coins, keys, and jewellery.
- Spare batteries should be kept in original retail packaging. If original packaging is not available, tape should be placed across battery terminals, or each battery should be placed in its own individual plastic bag or protective pouch."
How to use the Parallel Y Lead - ONLY with the Assist PLUS Small 4.2ah Batteries
When using the Parallel Y Lead, it is very important to ensure you:
- Only ever connect 2x Small 4.2ah Batteries together.
- Both batteries MUST be fully-charged to 100% when connected. (+/-5%)
- Batteries must be charged individually, do not leave 2x Small batteries connected with the Y lead when charging. Charge each battery 100% before re-connecting.
- When flying on airlines, all batteries must be disconnected and carried/packed according to the specific airlines specifications.
- Strictly No E-foiling with one Small Battery or two joined together
The small batteries are not able to be used for flatwater sessions even when two are connected together.
As mentioned, this information is to be used as a guideline only. You will need to check with your individual airline prior to travel, travelling with your kit is your own responsibility.