NEWS

Don't Fret on Lithium Battery Ban

By Matthew Harwood

Passengers on airplanes that routinely carry lithium batteries shouldn't worry too much about the new lithium battery ban which went into effect yesterday, says The New York Times' Bits blog.

Why?

Because as the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration explains, common consumer electronics don't have enough lithium in them to matter.

Common consumer electronics such as travel cameras, cell phones, and most laptop computers are still allowed in carry-on and checked luggage.  However, the rule limits individuals to bringing only two extended-life spare rechargeable lithium batteries (see attached illustration), such as laptop and professional audio/video/camera equipment lithium batteries in carry-on baggage.

According to the NYTs, if you're not an audio-visual professional, you'll be fine.

The DOT has instituted this rule to reduce the risk of lithium battery fires in checked baggage. The rule, however, will "allow lithium batteries in checked baggage if they are installed in electronic devices, or in carry-on baggage if stored in plastic bags."

To review the specifics of the new rule, please see this explainer from the DOT.

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