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Why NZ airports confiscated nearly 30,000 lithium batteries in 2022
Jay-Jay & Flynny
Jay-Jay & Flynny

Why NZ airports confiscated nearly 30,000 lithium batteries in 2022

That forgotten battery in your bag can become a massive risk for everyone
25 January 2023 5:34PM

Airports around New Zealand constantly remind passengers about packing lithium batteries in their check-in luggage. But nearly 10,000 vapes and 18,000 power banks were accidentally packed in luggage, which were found and confiscated before New Zealand flights in 2022.

These batteries, commonly found in electronic devices such as laptops, vapes, smartphones and power banks, pose a significant risk of explosion if they are not properly stored. 

And with two serious incidents in the last two weeks featuring lithium batteries on planes, Karen from Aviation Security says it's a strong reminder why the rule is there to protect both passengers and airport staff.

"Nearly 3000 lithium batteries [were] removed from those bags last year, which is really quite concerning, and I think that people just don't quite understand the rules," she told Jay-Jay & Flynny.

"On Christmas Day in JFK (John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City), there was a full plane evacuation because a lithium laptop battery burst into flames."

"And on the 12th of January this year, there was a flight that was midway between Taiwan and Singapore, where a power bank exploded. Imagine if that was down in checked-in luggage."

Lithium batteries are not banned from planes entirely, but it's important that they only travel in carry-on luggage with the passengers on the plane.

"When it's in the cabin, you know if you have power banks burst into flames and the crew are there immediately with the fire extinguishers and it's all put out."

"But if it was in the hold, I mean, that could have a catastrophic consequence."

Karen says that while they go through millions of bags a year looking for risky lithium batteries, they're not the only crazy items that get confiscated...

Hear in full detail from Karen what other bizarre items they confiscated from Kiwi suitcases in their highlight above!

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