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Lithium batteries to be banned from air luggage

updated 03:35 pm EST, Fri December 28, 2007

Luggage lithium ban

Within days, air travellers will no longer be able hold loose lithium batteries in their luggage, the US Department of Transportation says. As of January 1st, batteries will either have to be inserted into a phone, notebook or other electronic device, or else dropped into a plastic bag, and bundled along with carry-on baggage in a limit of two batteries per passenger.

The issue, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, is that if a lithium battery catches fire while in a cargo hold, current extinguishing systems are unable to stop the blaze. The National Transportation Safety Board insists that it cannot rule out lithium as the source of a plane fire at the Philadelphia International Airport in 2006.

The ban may have its greatest impact on notebook users, who sometimes carry extra batteries in pouches to extend a notebook's typical two- to four-hour power supply. It may also affect people travelling with cameras for pro work or extended vacations, as pre-charged batteries may be a necessity in countries with different electrical outlets. [via The New York Times]




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    yagoddabekiddinmei

    Well, I'm not all that suprised, seeing all the other stuff they ban. However, I'm VERY certain this will be yet another moronic, ineffectual ban thanks to their small and varied sizes. Camera batteries could be stuffed down into the bottom of carry-on bags, for instance.

    However, the extra notebook battery will suck. I guess, you can try and fit it hard-up against your laptop (perfectly positioned behind your other battery) and hope the scanning ppl don't pick up on it. Mac laptops are thin enough to where this might work. Once you're in the air, what are they going to do, take away your battery when you pull the extra out?

    "Oh, we're not allowed to have an extra? Well, take this (dead) one," as you slide the other into place with a smirk.

    I truly don't see the purpose of banning laptop batteries WHEN THEY'RE NOT BEING CHARGED and not a risk of flammability. This smells of a politician with too much time on their hands...

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Idiotic

    Stupid Stupid Stupid. Irresponsible government interference.

  1. jameshays

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Family of 3

    For a family of 3, it's cheaper, and often faster, for us to fly a rented plane than to fly commercial. Plus you loose the headaches. The airlines are going to find themselves regulated out of business.

  1. David Esrati

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Dumbest thing ever.

    We should ban glasses in first class for the booze too- might drop and cut someone. I don't know how any professional videographer will travel. I typically carry a minimum of 6 batteries for every shoot. I'd say we've lost the war- the idiots have won and are running our country.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    appears dumb...

    ...so maybe one should ask "What is the REAL reason for this ban?" Who benefits and who suffers because the safety excuse is hogwash...?

  1. zl9600

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    i'm not sure

    that you guys aren't taking a viewpoint simply based on your perceived inconvenience without looking at all the facts. If you take a second to read the article, it does say you can bring them in your carry-on, up to two, in a plastic bag.

    I am not going to play scientist here or argue that 'two is better than three', etc., but there have been known cases of fires from the batteries, and therefore, I am willing to guess that there is a decent reason.

    Whether or not the monkeys in the government are attacking the problem correctly may be another argument. But I don't think you can say they aren't an issue--they are.

  1. howl

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Most Li-ions are OK

    If you read the web page that states the new rules (which is on the DOT site, not the TSA site) Li-ion batteries under 8 grams of lithium equivalent are allowed without a quantity restriction. By my calculations my 60 watt hour Macbook pro battery is about 5.5 grams, I could take ten of them on the plane if I wanted.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    scam

    The TSA and DOT heads all have big quantities of stock in the makers of Ziploc and other plastic bag companies. Nothing else explains the use, let alone the expansion of the 'no larger than a 1 quart plastic bag' rules.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: nah

    And since it is Firefox, it isn't as bloated as it's predecessors because of it's lacking of the email/newsgroup/composer modules.

    The hilarious thing was, back when v4 was released as Communicator, every yelled bloat and wanted Navigator back. So they released Navigator as just a browser. And then the public yelled because they removed the email program.

    So, apparently, bloat is in the eye of the beholder.

    Yet I never really figured out why they wasted the time with Netscape, since it was always just reskinned versions of Mozilla and then Firefox.

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: Most Li-ions are OK

    So, 10 MacBook batteries with 5.5 grams of lithium (55 grams total) are OK, but 3 batteries with 8 grams each (24 total) is not OK.

    Yup, sounds like the government is involved...

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