According to the new flight rule, loose primary lithium or lithium-ion batteries will not be allowed in checked baggage. This rule mainly applies to people who like to pack spare batteries for either long flights or vacations. The types of batteries that this rule applies to are notebook batteries, cell phone batteries, camera and camcorder batteries, etc.
In the TSA’s statement, which can be found on their website, it states that the potential fire hazard from these batteries is considered a security risk. Although lithium batteries are not allowed in checked luggage, they are allowed in unchecked carry-on luggage.
Please note that the new rule does not apply to laptop batteries that are installed in an electronic device. In other words, if you take an alarm clock with you or your cell phone, you can keep the battery inside your device. There is additionally a weight rule that applies to loose batteries. Spare notebook or cell phone batteries are limited to 8-25 grams of lithium content.
The following is a summary of some of the most important TSA rules and tips for traveling with lithium batteries:
1. Spare batteries must be kept in your un-checked baggage so that they can be closely monitored.
2. Purchase your spare battery from a reputable company because the likelihood of you getting a defective battery decreases.
3. Make sure your battery has not been recalled. Often companies offer a list of recalled batteries directly on their site. If not, you can check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s site for information.
4. Package your batteries well. They should be separated from each other and insolated so that they don’t touch any metal. Proper packing decreases fire hazards that could result from keeping your batteries near metal such as keys or coins.
5. You can easily damage a HP laptop battery by applying too much pressure to it. Make sure your spares are not near any heavy objects that could trigger a short-circuit within your baggage.
6. If any of your spares have an on/off switch, make sure to put them in the “off” position.