Lithium-Ion Batteries No Longer Allowed in Luggage on US Flights
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The US is known for sometimes dramatic safety precautions, especially when it comes to flights in a post 9/11 world.
While other developed countries will allow you to travel almost security free , like in the case of the E.U., you need to be especially aware of what is packed in your luggage in the US.
Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash
Now, lithium-ion batteries are a no go. The rule change was announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elain L. Chao and has some odd caveats.
While lithium-ion batteries are not allowed to be transported in the cargo hold with your luggage, they can be transported as carry-on items.
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It's already a good idea to bring all of your expensive camera gear on the plane with you as carry-on baggage, but this move now makes your precautions a legal requirement.
Additionally, the Interim Final Rule (a kind of rule that an agency uses when it thinks an issue is immediate enough to require attention now, without a proposed rule) requires that lithium-ion cells shipped on cargo planes can't have more than 30% charge.
The FAA published a warning back in 2015 about storing your lithium-ion batteries in checked baggage, and the US started getting airlines to ban cameras in checked bags back in 2017.
While this especially effects photographers, many smartphones and laptops also have lithium-ion batteries (that are prone to random combustion, at times).
The UN International Civil Aviation Authority passed these laws in 2016, so it appears in this case the US is finally catching up.