Lithium madness

1 01 2008

Photo Attorney: New Travel Restrictions Affect Photographers: “Beginning January 1, 2008, the U.S. Department of Transportation is changing how and how many extra lithium batteries we pack for our flights (such as those for cameras and computers). In sum, you may not pack extra lithium batteries in your checked luggage, but you can put them in your carry-on bags”

And so they started 2008 by making the life of everyone who travels just a little bit more miserable. Especially if one reads what the original advisory says:

Whether in checked or carry-on baggage, ensure that devices remain switched off, either by built-in switch/trigger locks, by taping the activation switch in the “off” postion, or by other appropriate measures.

If I read this correctly, it means that devices using lithium batteries (effectively almost every electronic device with a rechargeable battery made recently) must remain switched off, even if carried on. Does this mean that we cannot use laptops, cameras, iPods, etc. anymore during flight? I sure hop this is not the case.

Suddenly the prospect of traveling to the US became much less pleasant, as if it wasn’t already unpleasant enough. The sad thing is that these kind of regulations tend to be adopted all over the world very quickly (witness the scare over liquids) so we Europeans are probably not safe from lithium-induced madness either.

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