Here’s what to do if you Accidentally left battery in checked luggage

Here's what to do if you Accidentally left battery in checked luggage

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If you’re a frequent traveller, you know how important it is to pack your luggage following TSA guidelines. 

But even worst, you accidentally leave a prohibited item in your checked luggage. 

While not all batteries are prohibited, some are quite dangerous to be carried on board. In this article, we’ll discuss what you should do if you accidentally leave a battery in your checked luggage and the potential consequences of doing so. 

Accidentally left Battery in checked luggage: What Happens?

Firstly, let’s explore what could happen to you…

If your luggage is checked and the authorities seemed to discover a battery in it, you could face the panel.

Generally, the laws and regulations behind this depend on the particular airline. 

Some airlines might just charge you a certain amount of fee for not compiling with the rules while others would fine you for a criminal offense.

Note that there are some other severe penalties that might even lead to an arrest in complicated situations.

So, what then happens to your luggage?

Leaving a battery in your checked luggage can pose safety risks. Lithium batteries, which power many everyday devices, can catch fire if damaged or if battery terminals are short-circuited. 

If a battery catches fire inside your luggage, it can spread quickly and cause injuries or fatalities. 

Therefore, it is important to follow the TSA guidelines for travelling with batteries and to pack them properly.

In addition to this, the FAA prohibits passengers from packing spare lithium batteries in their checked luggage. If you violate this rule, you could face fines or even criminal charges.

Why Leaving Batteries in Checked Luggage is prohibited

Have you wondered why there’s this rage about batteries in checked luggage? I mean, why should it be bad? Well, below are some reasons…

1. Lithium batteries can catch fire

When you’re travelling, it’s important to know what you can and cannot bring with you on the plane. 

While not all batteries are prohibited in checked luggage, lithium batteries are considered hazardous and should not be packed in checked bags. 

If a lithium battery overheats and catches fire inside the cargo hold, the fire can quickly spread and become difficult to control. 

This can cause significant damage to the aeroplane and potentially endanger the lives of passengers and crew members. 

2. Prohibiting the airline regulations

Most airlines have strict regulations when it comes to batteries. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), damaged, defective, or recalled lithium batteries must not be carried in carry-on or checked baggage if they are likely to be a safety concern by overheating or catching on fire. 

You’re at risk of violating strict regulations if you accidentally leave batteries in your checked luggage.

3. You will likely be fined

Once a passenger packs a prohibited item in their luggage and it gets exposed. The passenger will most likely be charged a fine between $360 to $2090. 

Without making reference to the TSA fines, note that the charges might also depend on the particular airline.

What To Do if You’ve Already Packed a Battery?

If you’ve accidentally left a battery in your checked luggage, it’s important not to panic. Instead, you should follow the highlighted in this section below.

Report to the airline authorities immediately

The moment you realize that you have left a battery in your checked luggage, you should notify your airline or the TSA immediately. 

They will typically remove the battery from your luggage before take-off to prevent any safety hazards.

Additionally, it’s their job to also ensure that the battery is properly packed and does not pose a hazard during the flight. 

Actually, this is the most appropriate thing to do, which likely prevents you from getting fined and also the risk of danger in the aeroplane.

Follow these battery safety tips

Aside from following airline regulations, there are also some general battery safety tips that you should keep in mind when travelling or after discovering a battery in your luggage.

  • Always carry spare batteries in your carry-on luggage.
  • Keep batteries in their original packaging or in a protective case. 
  • Avoid packing loose batteries in your luggage.
  • Do not pack wet cell batteries, spillable batteries or car batteries in your luggage.
  • Remove batteries from devices that you’re not using during your trip.

What Type Of Batteries Are Prohibited And Allowed?

Not all batteries are prohibited in checked bags, there are also some that are allowed. We’ll be taking these batteries in this section.

The type of batteries that are
Lithium-ion batteries with more than 100 watt-hoursNickel Metal Hydride
Spare lithium metal batteriesDry cell alkaline batteries
Battery-powered devicesDry cell rechargeable batteries

If you are carrying devices that contain lithium metal batteries, they should be only carried in carry-on bags and switched off completely.


Generally, Irrespective of the type of battery, it’s recommended that you don’t pack it at all in your luggage. There are risks of damage and explosion occurring if you have them in your luggage.

We hope you’ve been provided with a detailed answer in the article above. Thanks for reading

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