Expert Opinion: Alex Kidman, tech guru, on travelling with lithium-ion batteries

Alex Kidman is telco editor at He's been writing about technology for more than 20 years and enjoys breaking down complex topics.

 What can air travellers do to ensure the safety of devices equipped with lithium-ion batteries?

A Smartphones exploding in flight is fresh in our minds after the Samsung Note7 debacle. There's also been a recent case of it happening to a passenger's headphones on a flight from Beijing to Melbourne. It's a timely reminder that batteries are delicate objects that should be treated with care. You can't cover every eventuality, but you can take precautions to stay safe in most cases. Make sure you check the condition of your batteries and gadgets, especially before a flight. If your battery or phone is bulging, leaking fluid or getting unusually hot when charged, it's almost certainly on the verge of failing and definitely not worth taking on the plane. Don't check larger batteries into stored luggage, and if you need to travel with a large-capacity battery, check with your airline beforehand. Generally, if you're in doubt, don't travel with it.