Flying With Spare Rechargeable Batteries May Require Preparation
FAA regulations let you travel with dry cells in either your carry-on or checked baggage, but prohibit loose lithium batteries in checked baggage. But what about rechargeables in carry-on luggage? Stu Martin, K2QDE, reports that he ran into a small hitch when attempting to carry his spare hand-held transceiver battery in his carry-on bag. A notice within his boarding pass declared: “Lithium Batteries: Carriage of spare lithium batteries is not permitted in checked baggage. If you put a portable electronic device in checked baggage, you may still do so with the batteries installed in the device. Spare lithium batteries in carry-on luggage must have the terminals insulated and must be placed inside a protective case or plastic bag.” Martin taped the battery’s terminals and stowed it in a bag. The FAA rules apply to “consumer-sized lithium ion batteries,” including “larger, extended-life laptop batteries.” The FAA adds this caveat, however: “Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.” More information is available on the FAA Web site.