Any Issues with Camera Batteries in Cameras w/ carry-on in Planes?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by stemked, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    A friend told me there are going to be tougher regulations about allowing camera batteries in cameras or even as carry on. Its been a while since I've flown and will have a domestic flight Monday as well as a bunch of international fights coming up. I wanted to do everything as carry on. Further,I don't like the thought of having to separate and check in just my batteries. Is this a rumor or is there any validity to this?
  2. david_henderson


    No mention of this on the 6 European flights I recently had. Suggest you verify with your carrier though. Going to be a tough one if true since ipads, laptops, Kindles etc are largely battery dependent and there's a lot of use of those going on, and people will not like being told they can't work or entertain themselves on the plane. In fact Some security lines ask you to switch on your camera just so they can be sure its the real deal. That's going to be hard if you've already had to let the batteries go in checked bags.
  3. First, be wary of reports about what is going to happen in the future - you can't believe rumor.

    There are two general categories of rules regarding what can and cannot fly, and where it has to fly. One set of rules are security rules and are intended to prevent intentional mischief.

    The other category are the rules based on safety considerations. This includes rules regarding lithium-ion batteries that are known to be fire hazards under some circumstances. In general, devices that use lithium-ion batteries are restricted and cannot be placed in carry-on luggage. The fear is that if something bad were to happen within these devices, there is a possibility of reacting if the device is in carry-on luggage, but if its in checked baggage, there is nothing that can be done during the flight, and it is also possible that there will be no warning of the problem.
  4. Your following sentence makes it clear that you meant to write "cannot be placed in checked carry-on luggage". Even then, it's not entirely correct.

    So far, restrictions are only placed on spare Li batteries, which are only allowed in carry-on luggage and not in checked luggage (and on batteries whether installed or not that exceed a certain amount of Li but are not commonly found in consumer products and are prohibit to bring on board at all). Read more about it here:

    Still, check also with your particular airline as they might impose additional restrictions (some did with the recent Samsung Note 7 that passengers weren't allowed to turn on or charge on board).
  5. As of now, lithium batteries must be carried on; they cannot be placed in checked baggage. I have never had an issue flying inside or outside the US if I follow that policy. I have heard that in some places, the batteries must be packaged so that the contacts cannot short against another battery or other object. Here is an explanation of current rules directly from the TSA website. If you are concerned about it, you may want to print the page and take it with you.

    Batteries Allowed in Carry-on Bags:

      • Dry cell alkaline batteries; typical AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt, button sized cells, etc.
      • Dry cell rechargeable batteries such as Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Nickel Cadmium (NiCad).
      • Lithium ion batteries (a.k.a.: rechargeable lithium, lithium polymer, LIPO, secondary lithium).
      • Consumer-sized lithium ion batteries [no more than 8 grams of equivalent lithium content or 100 watt hours (wh) per battery]. This size covers AA, AAA, 9-volt, cell phone, PDA, camera, camcorder, Gameboy, and standard laptop computer batteries.
      • Up to two larger lithium ion batteries (more than 8 grams, up to 25 grams of equivalent lithium content per battery) in their carry-on. This size covers larger extended-life laptop batteries. Most consumer lithium ion batteries are below this size.
      • Lithium metal batteries (a.k.a.: non-rechargeable lithium, primary lithium). These batteries are often used with cameras and other small personal electronics. Consumer-sized batteries (up to 2 grams of lithium per battery) may be carried. This includes all the typical non-rechargeable batteries for personal film cameras and digital cameras (AA, AAA, 123, CR123A, CR1, CR2, CRV3, CR22, 2CR5, etc.) as well as the flat round lithium button cells.

    Batteries Allowed in Checked Bags:

      • Except for spare (uninstalled) lithium batteries, all the batteries allowed in carry-on baggage are also allowed in checked baggage; however, we recommend that you pack them in your carry-on bag whenever possible. In the cabin, airline flight crews can better monitor conditions, and have access to the batteries or device if a fire does occur.
    Prohibited Batteries:

      • Car batteries, wet batteries, or spillable batteries are prohibited from both carry-on and checked baggage unless they are being used to power a scooter or wheelchair. If you need to pack a spare battery for a scooter or wheelchair, you must advise the aircraft operator so that the battery can be properly packaged for air travel.
      • Spare lithium batteries (both lithium metal and lithium ion/polymer) are prohibited in checked baggage.
    Packing Tips for Batteries:

      • If you’re traveling with spare batteries in addition to the ones inside your devices, consider placing each battery in its own protective case, plastic bag, or package, or place tape across the battery's contacts to isolate terminals. Isolating terminals prevents hazards due to short-circuiting.
      • If you must carry a battery-powered device in any baggage, please package it so it won’t accidentally turn on during the flight. If there is an on-off switch or a safety switch, tape it in the "off" position.
      • Check out the Department of Transportation’s spare battery tips page for more information on safely packing spare batteries, and this FAA webpage for more information on permitted and permitted batteries that includes helpful photos.
    Battery Chargers:

      • You can pack battery chargers in carry-on and checked bags. If the charger has an electrical cord, be sure to wrap it tightly around the charger.
      • Don’t pack regular batteries in a rechargeable battery charger. Non-rechargeable batteries are not designed for recharging, and become hazardous if placed in a battery charger.
  6. Was on approximately 35 flights in Dec., Jan., &, Feb. in Australia, So. Pacific, the Philippines and to/from States with 3 cameras & 5 lithium batteries in carry-on bag on reputable and not so reputable airlines. Not a peep out of anyone. But the small pair of cuticle scissors packed adjacent to the batteries nearly landed me in the slammer.
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    You do not state where you are traveling? That detail is relevant - but as you do mention 'international flights" so: -

    Concerning Lithium Ion Batteries, there are restrictions in Australia. Some Li Ion batteries (or quantities of) are restricted or prohibited as carriage, and some require a permit to carry.

    In simple terms what is allowed depends upon the batteries rating. That stated, mostly all photography related Li Ion batteries would fall into the category of “Batteries under 100Wh rating”.

    Details about the carriage of Li Ion Batteries can be found at this Government website.

    Additionally, this page provides general information in respect of Dangerous Goods.

    Additionally, it is important to note that some Australian Airlines enforce their own company protocols concerning what can be carried on and what can be stowed in the hold; so it is wise to read the “carry on” and “hold luggage” details for each airline that you use as these regulation vary between airline carriers and will be additional to the Government regulations.

    Probably important to note the recent incident on Qantas flight China > Melbourne, where a passenger's noise cancelling headphones caught on fire: subsequent to investigation there is talk regarding restrictions similar to those in place now concerning the absolute prohibition of carriage "in hold" and "carry-on" of some Samsung products.

    Related to this topic and if you are traveling in AUS are the AUS airlines’ regulations concerning carry on weight: this detail is often missed.


    In respect of the comment about “scissors”: these are prohibited as carry-on luggage at all Australian Airports and must be declared as such before surrendering one’s carry-on baggage to the security screening.

    Traveling extensively and regularly with AUS, my observations have been that there is a prescribed security routine when a prohibited item of a personal nature is found (for example nail scissors or a swiss-army knife): the security office will ask if any prohibited item was packed; if the answer is no, then they will better describe the item, for example “any knives or sharp objects packed?”: my observation is that this is a common occurrence of honest forgetfulness and these items are almost always innocently or ignorantly packed. Of the many incidences like this I have observed, I have only observed one person removed under arrest, but he himself was the one to escalate the situation.

    As far as I am aware there are two options once a prohibited item (of less significant nature, like a small pair of scissors) is seized: the item is either confiscated or, some (but not all) airlines have the facility to load the item in a box and secure it as hold luggage, this service comes at charge.

    If “nearly landed me in the slammer” occurred in an AUS airport and the comment was not hyperbole, then that is an unfortunate incident, but such an incident has neither been my experience nor my observation.

  8. WW,
    I have a tendency to add flourishes when I write so as to engage and evoke readers.
    William Michael likes this.
  9. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    haha! I expected exactly that . . . and there should be more of it! It's needed to balance those who play a "straight bat" (but do appreciate humour)
    I have read many of your contributions over the years, Jim. I hope the scissors were not of any great value.

  10. They cost US$ in 2008. They had a good run. ;)
    William Michael likes this.
  11. The last time I flew they made me throw away my sunscreen. It kind of hurt tossing $12.00 in the trash. They almost made me throw away my toothpaste but reluctantly let me keep it. The people in front of me were not asked if they had sunscreen or toothpaste and they did not ask my wife behind me. They did not care about my electronic items. I'm not a big traveler anyway and was just going to Montana for my son's graduation as he earned his Masters. Everybody is out of college now and for vacation I just usually drive someplace as I live on the West Coast anyway. I am not going to fly to Montana and have some lady tell me I cannot have sunscreen again. That's for sure.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017

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