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U.S. DOT Bans Transport of Spare Lithium Batteries in Checked Baggage

  1. Jan 2, 2008 #1

    ZapperZ

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    This is something you might want to take a look before you go off on your next air travel in the US.

    http://www.powerpage.org/2007/12/us...are_lithium_batteries_in_checked_baggage.html

    This is going to be a bit annoying since we travel with spare camera and camcorder batteries. Now everything has to be in our carry-on.

    Oy vey.

    Zz.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2008 #2

    FredGarvin

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    I hate to say it, but that is one that I agree with. I don't think that this is as nit picky as the "no nail clippers" rule. Just like anyone in the Navy will attest, anything you can do to limit on board fires is a good thing, especially in areas of the aircraft that you can't really get to quickly in flight.
     
  4. Jan 2, 2008 #3

    ZapperZ

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    Oh, I can certainly understand the new regulation, especially when there's indication that such a thing is suspected of causing a fire. I just wish that they also go back and look at what they already are imposing and see if there's something that they can alleviate.

    For example, when I was traveling through Tokyo and Singapore a couple of years ago, you don't even have to take your laptop out of your bag to go through the security checks. I don't know if that has changed, but if it hasn't, what's wrong with the US system that such a thing is required? As far as I can tell, security at both Narita and Changi are extremely strict (at Narita, you go through another security check as you enter the terminal even if you're just changing planes and were not planning on going out of the secure area).

    Zz.
     
  5. Jan 2, 2008 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    I have to agree with this one as well.
     
  6. Jan 2, 2008 #5

    Moonbear

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    It makes sense, since fires sparked by laptop batteries are a more realistic threat than someone taking down a plane with a tube of toothpaste, but this has already gone into effect and I haven't seen it publicized anywhere! Meanwhile, they're already warning us on TV tonight about needing a converter if you're going to try to use a non-digital TV in 2009. Shouldn't this have been a bit more publicized before people start heading for airports with their spare batteries in the luggage they're going to check? I'm more likely to have put those things in my checked luggage with all the myriad of carry-on restrictions I already know about.
     
  7. Jan 2, 2008 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Yeah, it makes me wonder how many $100 batteries they'll keep...uh, I mean discard. :biggrin:
     
  8. Jan 2, 2008 #7

    Moonbear

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    When we start seeing DOT running eBay auctions of laptop batteries, we'll know where they're coming from!
     
  9. Jan 2, 2008 #8

    turbo

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    There is nothing wrong with taking steps to reduce the risk of fires, but some of the "rules" that have been instituted over the years are misguided. When I was doing a lot of private consulting, I traveled with a laptop computer, and like many business travelers at the time, I passed the laptop around the magnetometer/X-ray station for a check at the other side. The check? Turn on the computer so the screener making minimum wage could see a boot-screen, at which point, they would wave you through. How stupid! Anybody who wanted to take down a plane (and kill themselves in the process) could request a seat near places where critical control facilities ran in the aircraft's hull, and pack any spare battery docks/drive bays with plastic explosives. At least now, laptops are thinner and offer less volume for such materials to be stowed.

    The day after the Lockerbie (sp?) downing, I was trying to return home from a training session at Nine-Mile Point in Oswego, and I put all my metal stuff in the plastic tub before boarding, only to find myself in a weird confrontation with a couple of screeners. I was carrying a small high-quality pocket knife, and they were obviously looking for a nice freebie. One said "feel this blade", and the other said " wow! that's really sharp", giving me a disapproving look and they told me that I couldn't take that knife on the plane. I asked how I could resolve that, and they said that I could leave the boarding area, find a post office and mail it to myself, which would have made me miss my flight. I showed them my ticket, and said that I would put it in my carry-on (with all my course materials, etc, which I really didn't want to risk) and check that bag. I was able to do that, but an uninitiated traveler would probably have lost a $40 pocket knife to that shake-down.
     
  10. Jan 2, 2008 #9

    mgb_phys

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    I had worse, my laptop turned on and booted into Linux - that wasn't good enough, they obviously had a training video that showed Windows. I had to log in, start X and set the background to blue before they would let me on the plane!

    The battery one is ironic given that a couple of airlines insist that you put li-ion batteries in your carry-on because fires are quite common and easier to deal with in a overhead bin than in the cargo hold.

    Presumably the highly trained screeners will be able to determine at a glance the total mass of lithium in a battery in the same way that they can determine if a tube of toothpaste is explosive by simply placing it in a plastic bag.
     
  11. Jan 2, 2008 #10

    Moonbear

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    :rofl:

    Yeah, I'm wondering how they're going to determine which batteries have the required limit of lithium too. I'm guessing that it'll depend on whether their kid's laptop needs a new battery and if yours is a match.

    I think the 3 oz liquid rule is the dumbest one so far. So, if someone wants to carry explosives onto a plane, they just have to divide it up into 3 oz quantities in an assortment of types of container, then mix in their quart size baggie?
     
  12. Jan 2, 2008 #11
    I always thought that it was 3oz total :uhh:
     
  13. Jan 2, 2008 #12
    Moonbear, technically yes, and a simple one to make would be acetone peroxide. Figure out the ingredients.
     
  14. Jan 2, 2008 #13
    I would personally ban ALL forms of electonic entertainment and go back to the old system of air travel!

    [​IMG]

    Now thats in flight service, wink wink. I Love southwest airlines....

    Who would blow themselves up for 72 virgins when you can have 12 super hot stewardess RIGHT NOW?
     
  15. Jan 2, 2008 #14
    High five(Borat voice) Southwest rocks, cheap prices, hot stewardesses. On-time flights.
     
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