Your interesting experiences of travelling/flying with flashlights

I’d be interested to hear if anyone has had any untoward attention from authorities while they have travelled or flown with their flashlights. My assumption is that the majority of us haven’t, though the reason I am curious is because I’m going on a month long safari with my girlfriend soon and I’m going to be carrying maybe more flashlights and batteries that the average traveller. I’ve flown all over Europe and recently flew Thailand with my trusty Manker U11 and had no issues at all. This time will be slighty different - my girlfriend will have the BLF A6 with a pack of 2 protected NCR18650Bs in this nifty pouch, I will also have a pouch with another two protected NCRBs, my Manker U11 with an 18650 already in it, my TM16GT with 4 protected NCRBs already inside, a big old PowerWave W7 30000 mAh powerbank, and a couple chargers. It’s quite a bit of stuff and asides from the general risk of my kit being stolen I’m wondering if this will draw attention from authorities in Kenya and Tanzania. My main concern is with the TM16GT as it’s quite a chunky bit of metal, it has a crenulated bezzle, and looks anything but timid. My other concern is the amount of batteries I’m carrying as it seems one of the carriers may have issues with it, so I’m reaching out to the directly to clarify.

I’m more inclined to believe it’ll be just fine but it would be interesting to hear the stories of others.

I’ve checked in bags with a L6 sized flashlight and it always gets opened to be searched because it possibly looks suspicious.
Regarding traveling with 18650’s and carry on, you might get stopped because there is a limit to the amount of unused batteries you can take onboard, if any.

I travel for a living and typically hit JFK, La Guardia, Heathrow, Gatwick, SFO, Arlanda/Stockholm

AA cell in my Thorfire TG06 is not a problem (coat pocket/carry-on luggage)
Lithium cells inside a light are “normally” not an issue with TSA, some EU airports do take a look after the scan though (they just want to make sure I know the risks of lithium cells in a cabin, I guess?)
Once I accidentally put Lithiums inside a checked bag and nothing happened, wasn’t called up or anything. My current knowledge is that lithium cells are not supposed to be in checked bags/in cargo.

No other stories than a TSA agent inspecting my bags and looking at a slightly modded C8 and turning it on while looking at the LED. It is not a TM16, but hey it was in my EDC/carry on bag…

I really wanted to warn him but with all the other agents giving me the stern look, I decided to let Darwin win the day.

Ah, interesting to hear that you’ve been stopped. with a large flashlight.

Concerning the 18650s, one of the carriers I’m flying with is OK with it, however, I’ve reached out to the other carrier with exactly what I intend on carrying along with corresponding datasheets, and they said they’ll get back to me with an answer. Fingers crossed it’s fine.

SC63W was pulled out of the XRAY tray and inspected. Brilliant TSA Agent looked at the emitter and turned it on to double check it was indeed a flashlight. Really made me appreciate the Zebralight single click to max UI :smiling_imp:

Had a similar experience in an airport, although I’ve instinctively shouted “watch out!” (I know, not really clever).
Fortunately after the guy going visibly stiffer and his hand moving a bit closer to his holster he asked me “why”.
After convincing him that the ceiling is a lot better place to point it at while turning it on, I was rewarded with a couple of awe-induced strong words and a “where, how, how much” triad :wink:

So in general, leave your 900mW blue laser at home, eh? :smiley:

I’m not sure if there is a limit as long as they’re “protected against short circuit”. I flew twice in the last month with a S2 triple and spares in my carry-on. Other than the x-ray machine they weren’t given a second look.
From what I looked up there was more of a restriction on what/how many you checked than carried on. IIRC.

apart from having had my blackshadow terminator singled out for inspection at Frankfurt customs and swabbed for drugs(what strange ideas…), i’ve had no problems with multi-emitter lights and 6 spare 18650’s. Even brought my TM16GT in my messenger bag and no questions asked. although i’d be very happy if some agent picking issues with it were to end up like those in the funny accounts above! not that i’d expect any easier a passage through customs after that