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Jim Rillie

Lithium batteries on board

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Hi Jim,

 

While the boundaries seem to vary depending on what airline I've flown with, FAA regulation states a battery can be a max of 100-wh & (2) spare batteries of 100-160wh each.  Most of the time I travel for work, I carry on my sound kit with batteries onboard, and the only people to check are TSA/security.  Only once (in the U.S.) has someone called to my attention that I've exceeded the max amount of lithium, only to let me through with a warning.   

 

Just did a job and 3 airports pulled all 3 of my NP's out for inspection in U.S. and in Europe.  While I think they were more concerned about what I was packing in my kit and weren't calculating my watt hour totals, I feel like its only a matter of time before they enforce the rules of lithium on flights.  

Always good to have a copy of airline and FAA rules handy in case a conversation needs to take place though!

 

Safe travels Jim!

 

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1 hour ago, Jim Rillie said:

Just got on an Air Canada flight Newark to Ottawa,

Captain claims I'm only allowed 2 lithium battteries. Comments?

No quantity limit if under 100wh.  101-160wh, limited to 2 spares.

Also, the rules say "with airline approval"

 

So, obviously they can override the rules of they want to.

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Along with checking baggage, did the captain also issue tickets and clean the restrooms?  Just how small was this plane?  In other words, how did the captain get involved?

 

I fly a lot and such issues usually involve people other than the captain who I seldom even see except when I'm leaving the plane.  It's normally a TSA thing -- and once through that checkpoint, there's no discussion of what's in my bags unless I bring it up.  That only happened once when they insisted on gate-checking my rollerboard, so I transferred some lithiums to my carry-on backpack.

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Yes, it was a small plane and everyone was required to Deposit their Carry-on luggage for pick up on arrival. I revealed there were Lithium batteries in the bag, nothing to carry them in otherwise. The Flight attendant asked the Captain, he immediately said 2 only- no matter what capacity. We just spread them out amongst our crew to cover it. Lucky I was’t travelling alone.

But they were all Inspired Energy batteries - 2 x 98 Wh, and 3 x 49 Wh, so Jason is right - no maximum amount of these allowed on board stated. The rule of 2 applies to batteries between 100Wh and 161Wh. This is in the airline guidelines, Captain didn’t know the difference between capacities. I’ll carry a printout of the guidelines in future to settle these things.

TSA or security in Canada always spot batteries on their scans, and know what they are. Never had an issue at security checks.

 

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I recently flew out of Oakland and they stopped me at security and said I couldn’t take the batteries on board. I tried

explaining the rules and they sent it up to their supervisor. She had to call the airline to see if they would allow them onboard. They eventually let me through after asking if they were for a hover board. They didn’t are about capacity and didn’t even know the rules concerning lithium batteries in flights. I even showed them the rules and they didn’t care. 

 

They really need to train their employees (airlines and TSA) on what the rules are. 

 

Ive noticed that it really depends on which airport as some don’t care at all. 

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About a month ago I was flying through Pearson and one of the ACs was carrying approx 8 Anton Bauer Dionic HC batteries (capacity less than 100Wh) in his carry-on. He was pulled aside at security after the bag was scanned. He was told by 4 screening officers that he wasn't allowed to cary any of the batteries onboard. After about 10 minutes of back and forth dialogue between the AC and the screening officers, and the screening officers flipping through a number of policy/regulation binders, someone from our crew looked up the Air Canada policy for carrying on Lithium Ion batteries on their phone and showed the screening officers. The published Air Canada policy was (hopefully still is) as described above - max 2 batteries between 100 and 161Wh, and no maximum specified if batteries are under 100Wh capacity. Reading the published policy did not change the screening officer's opinions. A screening supervisor was called in and settled the matter in less than 5 seconds. The AC was allowed to proceed with all of the batteries in his carry-on, as they were below 100Wh capacity. By this time there were about 6 of our crew members standing on the post screening side watching the situation unfold. I was one of those crew members and I had 6 X 73Wh Lithium Ion NP1 batteries in my carry-on bag. I had passed through a different security line without issue a couple of minutes before the AC was stopped.

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Hi Dan,

 

I can confirm, the published Air Canada standards are still the same. I am carrying a copy with me from now on when travelling.

I will also try to find an IATA? ruling, which is the same, I believe.

 

Jim

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I've flown domestically and internationally with four NP-17 batteries and not had problems.  Printing the rules is always a good idea.

 

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