Thursday, 3 January 2008

Update on Batteries

It appears that the flap on the recent pronouncement by the Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding traveling with lithium batteries was much ado about nothing.

Ken Geiger, Senior Editor for Technology at the National Geographic Society has just written a clarifying post on its blog, in which he essentially says that the checked baggage ban is directed only at large lithium batteries. According to his calculations, even high-end digital SLRs, like the Nikon D3 and Canon 1Ds MKlll, use lithium-ion batteries that are below the DOT's threshold.

He also learned that the DOT will restate the wording of the ban on Lithium batteries in checked bags, to make it clear that only larger packs are affected (much larger than typical digital SLR or notebook batteries).

Notwithstanding, I'll repeat my earlier advice: Pack your spare batteries in ziplock bags, cover the terminals with electrical tape if these have no covers and carry them in your hand luggage.

Ken Geiger's NGS Post