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article imageLithium-ion batteries must now be in carry-on luggage

By Ken Hanly     Feb 27, 2019 in Travel
The United States Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are forbidding people from storing lithium ion cells or batteries as cargo on passenger planes the two agencies announced.
Companies are not allowed to ship batteries with more than 30 percent charge on cargo-only planes.
Most consumers will not be directly affected
You will still be able to bring spare batteries and electronic devices aboard in your carry-on bag. However, people who buy batteries online could be affected. Phones, rechargeable batteries, and electronic devices shipped by air will now only arrive not with a full charge but only 30 percent to lessen the risk of any fire or explosion that could damage a plane. You can always charge them after they are received. However, some people may wonder why the new batteries do not last too long before they need to be recharged.
Lithium ion batteries as a fire risk
The Federal Aviation Association in 2017 urged the global airline industry to reconsider allowing lithium ion batteries on flights due to their fire risk. The FAA conducted 10 tests in which it packed a fully-charged laptop into a suitcase and the checked out a number of scenarios in which the battery could catch fire. In one example an aerosol can of dry shampoo was strapped on the laptop. A fire immediately started causing the aerosol can to explode in a mere 40 seconds.
The US Department of Homeland Security banned tablets and laptops from 8 Muslim-majority countries. People were required to check their batteries rather than bring them aboard in carry-ons. The decision was to ensure that there were no explosives making their way on to planes.
Another case of a ban because of possible battery malfunctions is described in a Verge article: "A week after issuing a statement "strongly advising" airline passengers not to use or charge Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 — which has been formally recalled over a series of explosions due to battery malfunctions — the Federal Aviation Administration has officially banned use of the device during flight."
The appended video is from nine months ago so does not discuss the most recent changes.
More about Lithium ion batteries, rechargeable batters and air travel, FAA
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