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Baggage Ban on Batteries

Thinking of packing extra batteries for your vacation?

Gadget-toting travelers, listen up. In 2008, you'll have to rethink how many extra batteries you bring and how you pack them. Any spare lithium batteries (like the ones made by Battery BanBattery BanEnergizer and Duracell) will no longer be allowed to float loose in your checked luggage. Thanks to Beth for this update.

As of January 1, the Transportation Department will implement a new battery policy that limits you to 2 non-rechargeable lithium batteries in your carry-on, and they must be packed in a clear plastic baggie. Electronic devices with batteries in place won't be counted in your allowance.

"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," Krista Edwards, deputy administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, said in a release.

The reason behind the new rule stems from a cargo plane fire at Philadelphia International Airport last year. Apparently fire-protection systems in the cargo hold of passenger planes can't put out fires started by lithium batteries, and the National Transportation Safety Board hasn't ruled out these batteries as the fire source.

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Actually, the ban isn't restricted to non-rechargable batteries. Per the TSA, ANY "spare lithium batteries" fall into the new rules. For example, a spare laptop battery may no longer be transported as checked baggage.<br><br> The TSA does post additional discussion of the dangers when trying to charge a non-rechargable battery. They mention that re-charged non-chargable batteries should never be brought on a plane (good advice), This may have confused some readers, causing them to think the new ban was specific to non-rechargables <br><br>

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