Airline passengers â€“ and that includes photographers â€“ 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.
Thatâ€™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.
â€œDoing 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,â€ said Krista Edwards, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportationâ€™s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.