New Safety Rule Prohibits Lithium Batteries in Checked Baggage

Lithium-Ion Battery for Nikon D40

Airline passengers – and that includes photographers – are no longer allowed to stash a spare lithium battery in a checked baggage. They may be allowed however to bring a spare battery in their carry-on baggage as long as the terminals are covered or insulated.

That’s a new federal safety rule that took effect January 1, 2008. Common consumer electronics such as travel cameras, cell phones, and most laptop computers are still allowed in carry-on and checked luggage. However, the rule limits individuals to bringing only two extended-life spare rechargeable lithium batteries, such as laptop and professional audio/video/camera equipment lithium batteries in carry-on baggage.

“Doing something as simple as keeping a spare battery in its original retail packaging or a plastic zip-lock bag will prevent unintentional short-circuiting and fires,” said Krista Edwards, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.


Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.