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January 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 34, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Confused about Lithium Batteries?

from the January, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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The rules for flying with lithium batteries are tough, not always well understood, and enforced differently around the world. When one of our subscribers departed Cairo via Jet Blue for New York's JFK airport, screeners confiscated his wife's AA rechargeable batteries, "saying they needed to be in checked baggage." TSA wants batteries NOT to be checked, in case they short and cause a fire, so if we had put the batteries in our checked bags, they could have been confiscated when we got to the U.S.

"After finishing the screening, I asked to see a supervisor and find out how a diver could get to the Red Sea and take photos if batteries in checked luggage would be taken by the TSA and batteries in a carry-on would be taken by their checkers. The supervisor asked why we had so many rechargeable AA batteries (16). I told him that both strobes required four batteries, and we charged the second set while using the first set. The supervisor took my wife's batteries and put them in her strobes, then distributed the second set of batteries into each piece of carry-on luggage, and said we were good to go. As soon as we were away from the screening area, we took the batteries out of the strobes to prevent the strobes from accidentally powering up and creating a heating issue, then we put the batteries back into the original, and much safer, storage container."...

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