Traveling with lithium batteries.

Old Mar 31, 16, 9:55 pm
  #1  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: CPH
Programs: Delta SM
Posts: 497
Traveling with lithium batteries.

I recently purchased a portable drill gun with two 18 volt lithium batteries. According to Delta's Sky magazine, lithium batteries need to be in their own plastic bags or their contacts covered with tape and brought onboard in your carry-on.

Drill guns aren't allowed in a carry-on, so I will be placing it in my checked luggage, hoping that it makes it through without being pilfered somewhere between check-in and the airplane.

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with these types of lithium batteries brought onboard. With the drill gun placed in my checked bag, I can't demonstrate that they are for that device, if this is important to the TSA. The batteries have a button on the back that can be pressed to show the charge of the battery. I noticed something on the UPS web-site today that stated that after April 1, the FAA is changing rules regarding lithium batteries being shipped that requires them to be discharged to some degree. Would I also need to do this with these batteries?

Because of the size of these batteries, I'm assuming there will be some concern by the TSA and the danger they might pose on the plane.
FredAnderssen is offline  
Old Mar 31, 16, 11:09 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 31,903
I just looked at an 18V Ryobi battery (a high capacity one) and it's labeled 72Wh. That's within what you're allowed to carry on. You're allowed 2 batteries in the 101-160Wh range and any number below that. Going past 160Wh is a pretty big battery!

What the TSA will say about them I can't address, though.
Loren Pechtel is offline  
Old Apr 1, 16, 8:11 am
  #3  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: CPH
Programs: Delta SM
Posts: 497
Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
I just looked at an 18V Ryobi battery (a high capacity one) and it's labeled 72Wh. That's within what you're allowed to carry on. You're allowed 2 batteries in the 101-160Wh range and any number below that. Going past 160Wh is a pretty big battery!

What the TSA will say about them I can't address, though.
Mine is a Bosch 18v at 2.0 MaH which puts it within a healthy range according your figures, of 36 Wh.

Here's a quote from the UPS web-site for anyone curious about the new rules:

New Lithium Battery Regulations Effective April 1, 2016

Service Update

Posted March 4, 2016

The international regulations applicable to air shipments of lithium batteries have changed. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has approved amendments to the lithium battery provisions in the ICAO Technical Instructions. Compliance with the new regulations is mandatory effective April 1, 2016. These amendments include:

Passenger Aircraft Ban for Lithium Ion Batteries: All shipments of lithium batteries without equipment are prohibited as cargo on passenger aircraft. As a result, all lithium ion battery shipments must display the Cargo Aircraft Only label. Due to UPS's reliance on passenger aircraft to transport packages in some parts of its network, this change will restrict the origins and destinations available for lithium ion batteries. This limitation does not affect lithium ion batteries packed with or contained in equipment.
State of Charge Limits: A 30 percent state of charge (SOC) limit on lithium-ion cells and batteries, including Section II cells and batteries, will now apply. This does not apply to batteries packed with or contained in equipment.
Restrictions on Package Quantity: A shipper is not allowed to offer more than one Section II package (batteries only) per consignment.
Restrictions on Overpacks: Overpacks may contain no more than one Section II package - 8 cells or 2 batteries - (batteries only).
Battery Package Separation: A shipper must offer lithium battery shipments (batteries only) separately from other cargo.

These amendments are detailed in a lithium battery update document found on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website:http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/d...ery-update.pdf.
FredAnderssen is offline  
Old Apr 1, 16, 10:00 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: AA exp, Marriott Amb
Posts: 225
I fly with random power tool batteries all the time with no issue. Just put them in individual bags in your carry on and you'll be fine.
ClimbingCook is offline  
Old Apr 1, 16, 10:47 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 396
FAA guidance on batteries

Batteries are batteries, TSA has no business futzing about with drill battery packs.
gingersnaps is offline  
Old Apr 3, 16, 2:09 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 3,480
I flew internationally last year with a custom scientific instrument that was powered by LiIon battery packs. We brought three 99Wh UN38.3 certified battery packs in carry on luggage and had the airline verify that they were acceptable in the cabin (they were). TSA didn't care about the batteries at all but were curious about the electronics inside the instrument. Since it required a screwdriver to open they said "eh, I'll just swab it" and sent us on our way. We did have various shippers and IDs and photos of the insides and published papers related to it as backup material.
chrisl137 is offline  
Old May 4, 16, 2:40 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: LAX/BUR/SJC/SFO/MMH: Thousand Oaks, Sunnyvale and Mammoth Lakes
Programs: SWA A-List Preferred, TSA Pre
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by FredAnderssen View Post
I recently purchased a portable drill gun with two 18 volt lithium batteries. According to Delta's Sky magazine, lithium batteries need to be in their own plastic bags or their contacts covered with tape and brought onboard in your carry-on.

Drill guns aren't allowed in a carry-on, so I will be placing it in my checked luggage, hoping that it makes it through without being pilfered somewhere between check-in and the airplane.

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with these types of lithium batteries brought onboard. With the drill gun placed in my checked bag, I can't demonstrate that they are for that device, if this is important to the TSA. The batteries have a button on the back that can be pressed to show the charge of the battery. I noticed something on the UPS web-site today that stated that after April 1, the FAA is changing rules regarding lithium batteries being shipped that requires them to be discharged to some degree. Would I also need to do this with these batteries?

Because of the size of these batteries, I'm assuming there will be some concern by the TSA and the danger they might pose on the plane.
A few years ago, I traveled with a very large lithium battery used to power my laptop so I wouldn't need AC power. I do not know the dimensions, but it is likely larger than the battery used for a drill. I put it through the Xray by itself and nobody had a problem with it either at LAX, Heathrow or EDI. The only time someone said something was when I was pulled aside for secondary inspection *at the gate* in Heathrow, but they just asked what it was.

On our way back EDI->LHR and then on a separate day LHR->LAX my mom did not follow my advice and went ahead and packed a bunch of lithium batteries (for cameras etc.) into our checked luggage. Still, nobody said anything.

A battery as large as yours would probably get flagged in checked luggage though.
DataJunkie is offline  
Old May 13, 16, 12:48 am
  #8  
KCK
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 314
Originally Posted by gingersnaps View Post
Airline_passengers_and_batteries.pdf

Batteries are batteries, TSA has no business futzing about with drill battery packs.
Have you ever seen a lithium battery fire?
yogeshrao08 likes this.
KCK is offline  
Old Jul 12, 16, 1:24 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 970
Carrying battery packs on board

Do any of you carry a large portable battery pack in your carry on gear?
Specifically, something as large as a 30000mAh pack?

Ever had a problem with it at security checkpoint?

Do you know a specific site/source that addresses this?

Thanks.
Kensterfly is offline  
Old Jul 12, 16, 1:59 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AS MVP Gold 75K, UA Gold, Marriott LTT, Avis President's Club
Posts: 1,348
I carry a larger Anker battery pack that is 26800 (2nd Gen Astro E7) and a smaller one as well. Never had any issues with TSA.

However, going through security at PEK the staff there were asking questions and rescanned it by itself.
JHake10 is offline  
Old Jul 12, 16, 2:03 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Programs: UA, Starwood, Priority Club, Hertz, Starbucks Gold Card
Posts: 3,865
If the human scanners do their job correctly, you are supposed to have more trouble sending them as checked baggage instead of carrying them onboard. I once got called back because I had left a SLR battery in a bag that I checked.
sinoflyer is offline  
Old Jul 12, 16, 2:18 pm
  #12  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
2020 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 48,855
As a generic non-UA question and given there are existing threads in Technology Tools and Practical Travel Safety & Security, seems best to move this thread where it can be merged with earlier discussions. As the OP seems most concerned security issues, will move to Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues

WineCountryUA
UA coModerator
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jul 12, 16, 2:42 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: DEN
Programs: UA MM 1K; AA MM Gold; HHonors Diamond
Posts: 15,410
Lithium-Ion?????

That's 30 Amp-hours, which is a lot. What is the voltage? The absolute limit is 160 wh (Watt-Hours). Voltage x Amp-Hours = Watt-Hours.

...In most cases, up to two larger lithium batteries (more than 100 watt hours, but not exceeding 160 watt hours) are permitted in carry-on baggage if the terminals are properly covered or insulated. If you are traveling with a battery-operated mobility device, please see our Special Travel Needs section....

For reference, I want to buy one of the new E-Bike 500 wh battery packs that are just now available in the UK, but there's no way to get one back to the US on a plane (even shippers like FedEx won't touch the thing). The current 396 wh batteries are 36 volts and only 11 ah, so I strongly suspect that your 30 ah battery is a bit much unless it's a much-lower-voltage unit than I'm talking about. For example, the Anker unit mentioned above would be ok. Specs:

Capacity :26800mAh
Output :5V / 4A (total)

So 134 wh

Again, the above discussion pertains to Lithium-Ion batteries.

Last edited by Bonehead; Jul 12, 16 at 2:53 pm
Bonehead is offline  
Old Jul 12, 16, 2:43 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 110
The TSA has never inspected any of my extra power packs. Here is the link to the FAA standards: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org..._batteries.pdf

PEK is another story. The power supply must be clearly marked and meet the following standards or they will seize the battery. http://en.bcia.com.cn/news/news/141223/news1070.shtml
too2early is offline  
Old Jul 12, 16, 3:11 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Programs: UA/CO GS, PP, MM
Posts: 349
Agree. PEK has a very strict process of inspecting these battery packs.
Eadward is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: