airline travel with li-ion cells?

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RAW74
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airline travel with li-ion cells?
I am going to be flying to Maine this next Sunday. This will be the first time I have ever flown with li-ion batteries.(except a cell phone of course) I am unsure if I should place my flashlights and batteries in check in luggage or to carry them on the plane. Also, should I take the cells out of the flashlights and keep them seperate? I don’t want to give our new “friends” at security an excuse to piss me off and cause a problem because they don’t know that the batteries I have are the same ones rolling past them in laptops. I am trying to narrow down to three 18650 lights, I think my s-mini, XinTD, and poss. a Romisen T601 or 602. Plus 2 extra cells and a charger should keep me busy at the lake at night. Thanks in advance to everyone here and all the good advice I have gotten, there is some real talent here and a bunch of great people! -Rick
raccoon city
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When I flew to Hawaii... I put my flashlights and batteries in checked luggage, and everything was fine.

It's be best to separate the batteries from the flashlights:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/11042

whokilledJR
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I flew domestic recently with 4 different xml flashlights, at checkin inspection I had to show them the lights and they were carefully examined, bit of a pain in the ass, but nothing more came of it. I would definitely remove the batteries and put them in a plastic carry case if you have one, otherwise they weren’t concerned so much with them (the batteries). Take them in your carry-on luggage, as it would be a bigger pain in the ass if they ask it to take them out of your suitcase.

Edit – despite my wording, there was no cavity searches Wink . I’m sure you’ll be just fine.

RAW74
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It looks like in the US “they” want you to have LI-ion and Lithium cells in your carry on. I think I will put the cells in plastic cases and bring a copy of the regulations from “their” website to remind “them” if there is a problem. I will be EDCing my S-mini so I’ll leave a cell in that one. I have gone through security many times with an EDC light and a lithium primary installed now that I think of it. As for a body cavity search…I hear that is when the real fun begins!
Sigster
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Looking around the web a bit I found these links

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/batteries.shtm

http://safetravel.dot.gov/whats_new_batteries.html

http://safetravel.dot.gov/index_batteries.html

And the most specific is probably this one
http://safetravel.dot.gov/definitions.html

Using 4.2V as voltage a
2400mAh 18650 would have ~10Wh —> 0.8g ELC
3000mAh 18650 would have 12.6Wh —> ~1g ELC
5000mAh 26650 would have 21Wh —> 1.7g ELC

Going by this
“Lithium Ion Batteries with more than 25 grams ELC are forbidden in air travel”
and even assuming it’s cumulative there shouldn’t be a problem taking a dozen or so cells on board.

I’m flying out for a countryside/camping wedding this weekend and am pondering myself if it’s worth taking the risk of the TSA people arguing about or confiscating the cells. In the end you’re always at the mercy (of the mood) of the people that do the checking.

Where I live there’s just too much light pollution to really appreciate some of the big guys I have…

-S

RAW74
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Thanks Sigster…it looks like it would take a lot more than I am bringing to get to 25g so I should be OK there. Now I am wondering if I should have my two lights that I am placing in my carry on, uh…loaded, with only two loose spare cells. Or, should I leave them both empty and bring the 4 cells in containers? I will be carrying my S-mini with a cell in it, but I don’t think they will even notice it. My previous EDC with a lithium aaa primary didn’t even get a second glance. But as you say, the mood and education( or lack of) the people involved could become a problem. I guess I’ll just have to see how this goes. And be calm and nice….as always!? -Rick
Sigster
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I think it would be good idea to bring print-outs of the guidelines.

The USPA always recommends skydivers do that when traveling with their rigs
(which, if they have an AAD, contains a tiny amount of explosives)
to keep the TSA from making them unpack everything at security checkpoints.
Because a lot of the TSA employees are not trained on the latest guidelines (or forgot soon after the training)

And else, yeah, be nice…

-S

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I flew to Missouri yesterday (there now) with a light and li-ions in a storage box in my carry on. What went right under the wire was my Ganzo 704 and a large triple flame lighter. I was really sweating that out as I wasn’t looking forward to them confiscating them. That bag will be checked as luggage on the way home. Smile

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As per last ATA regulations (valid from June 2012):
Lithium batteries (of any sort) have to be carried with you, in carry-on luggage.
Batteries should be installed, so the security can check if a flashlight is really a flashlight. I’ve always been asked to show them, they took them and checked on/off and give me back. (A few times I’ve also been asked which lights were those so powerfull, which is kind of funny if you are not in a hurry loosing the flight :bigsmile: )
Any spare battery must be in original package or in appropriate container electrically safe for storage and transportation.
The limit for max lithium content 25g is enormous for our kind of batteries so that’s not a problem.

Those rules are considered temporary, and it’s expected by summer 2013 to have a new regulation regarding safe means of transportation in luggage for lithium batteries, as well as for shipping lithium batteries.

Sigster
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within the US

Had 1× 26650, 3× 18650 & 1× 14500 in my carry-on in battery boxes.
Wasn’t asked about them at either security check.

After reading
>>>Batteries should be installed, so the security can check if a flashlight is really a flashlight.
>>>I’ve always been asked to show them, they took them and checked on/off and give me back.

I had thought of taking one of the lights with me in the carry-on on the return flight, but all of the ones I had taken with me had some variation of a strike bezel, and I didn’t want to risk getting it confiscated.
In the future will take a mellow 26650 with adapter-tube so I at least can show off the 26650 & 18650 cells.

Had 7 lights in my checked luggage, some with NiMH inside, suitcase wasn’t opened.

YMMV
-S

bfksc
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Rockspider wrote:
As per last ATA regulations (valid from June 2012):
Lithium batteries (of any sort) have to be carried with you, in carry-on luggage.
Batteries should be installed, so the security can check if a flashlight is really a flashlight. I’ve always been asked to show them, they took them and checked on/off and give me back. (A few times I’ve also been asked which lights were those so powerfull, which is kind of funny if you are not in a hurry loosing the flight :bigsmile: )

I’m not a frequent flyer, but I fly several times a year for vacations or family. I always carry a flashlight and spare batteries with my carry-on and have never had any issues (though my lights don’t have agressive strike bezels). I agree that leaving the battery in the light is a good idea as I’ve had security ask to check the flashlight for functionality. And once or twice I too have been asked where I bought the light as it’s very bright for something so small. I guess being in security, a small bright light is of interest to them. Smile
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take out batteries and keep them separately in a plastic box.
then carry it with your baggage and wont be problem

RAW74
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Well the trip went without issue. I decided to carry my s-mini and check a romisen t602 and Shiningbeam Blaze with the batteries installed but w/blue tape over the bases to prevent activation. The s-mini didn’t get a second glance going through the x-ray and no one fiddled with the tape on the checked lights. One thing I did notice when I got my bag at BWI was that it had a red and white striped tag on it with on words? Does anyone know what this means?My lights were exactly as I left them rolled up in my jeans…It dosen’t look like anything was moved for an inspection.
mags
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I recently travelled and had my batteries in a zip loc bag with electrical tape on both ends. No issues and no questions asked.