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’Tis the Season to Be Jolly – And Careful – PRBA Reminds Holiday Flyers to Follow FAA Battery Safety Rules

’Tis the Season to Be Jolly – And Careful
PRBA Reminds Holiday Flyers to Follow FAA Battery Safety Rules

Washington (December 16, 2016) – With holiday travel approaching a crescendo over the next two weeks, PRBA –The Rechargeable Battery Association is strongly urging airline passengers to heed Federal Aviation Administration restrictions that apply to lithium batteries and battery-powered consumer products placed in checked and carry-on baggage.

“If airline passengers scrupulously observe FAA regulations while taking appropriate packaging and other precautions while traveling with lithium batteries, they can avoid problems that could undermine safe travel this holiday season,” said PRBA Executive Director George Kerchner.

The latest wrinkle for travelers this holiday season: Leave your Samsung Note 7 smartphone at home. FAA banned the Note 7 from all flights to, from and within the United States, effective October 15. Passengers should also be aware that hoverboards were banned by many airlines last year.

The FAA in September updated information for airline passengers traveling with batteries, including answers to frequently asked questions and a helpful chart. Please click here

“Holiday flyers should be aware FAA allows portable electronic devices powered by lithium batteries such as cameras, cell phones, medical devices and watches aboard the aircraft, either in checked or carry-on luggage,” Kerchner said. FAA prohibits spare lithium batteries and e-cigarettes in checked baggage, including packages and presents, Kerchner added. Spare lithium batteries may be placed in carry-on luggage, he said.

Airlines for America, an industry trade group, has projected 45.2 million passengers, up 3.5 percent from 2015, will fly globally on U.S. airlines during the 21-day 2016 holiday season starting December 16 and continuing until January 5.

Below is a summary of FAA lithium battery regulations applicable to airline passengers.

Prohibited in checked and carry-on baggage

  • Samsung Note 7 smartphone
  • Damaged or recalled lithium batteries

 Permitted in checked baggage

  • Virtually every consumer electronic product powered by lithium ion or lithium metal batteries, but the devices must be protected from accidental activation, damage and short-circuit
  • Dry cell batteries like nickel metal hydride, nickel cadmium, and alkaline batteries

Permitted in carry-ons

  • Spare lithium ion batteries with a Watt-hour rating of no more than 100 watt hours
  • Spare lithium metal batteries, typically used in cameras and flashlights, containing no more than 2 grams of lithium content
  • No more than two spare larger-sized lithium ion batteries up to 160 watt hours but only with airline approval.
  • Virtually every consumer electronic product powered by lithium ion or lithium metal batteries, but the devices must be protected from accidental activation, damage and short-circuit

Airline passengers can also improve safety by following the safety precautions listed below:

  • Keep spare batteries in their original packaging, a battery case, a separate pouch/pocket/baggie or tape over the electrical connections.
  • Prevent loose batteries from moving around or coming in contact with metal objects such as coins.
  • Charge only rechargeable batteries.
  • Every battery comes with a compatible charger. Don’t mix and match. Use only the charger designed for the specific battery.
  • If you must carry a battery-powered device in any baggage, package it to prevent inadvertent activation.
  • Take steps to prevent crushing or puncturing of batteries by keeping your batteries and battery-powered devices in your carry-on bag when not using them.

“Safety is PRBA’s No. 1 priority. Whether heading home for the holidays, traveling to a favorite vacation spot or flying for business, passengers should observe FAA rules and follow relevant safety procedures for batteries and battery-powered devices,” Kerchner urged.