Checking batteries on the airplane? Delta Specifically...

Does anyone have a link or anything specifically prohibiting non-spillable batteries from being checked with luggage? We are wondering if we need to ship them with the rest of our tools, or if we are able to take them on the plane.

TSA and FAA allows them when used on a wheelchair, but I cannot find any other mention.

I know you are asking for a specific link, I do not have one. I do offer this (speculative) advice though:

Even if you find that link, and you find that it is technically legal to fly with you batteries checked, what do you think will happen when your bags are x-rayed after they are out of your sight, some guy sees something he doesn’t understand, they open the luggage and find your battery… I’d put my money on that battery not staying in your luggage and making the trip. Your luggage may not even make the trip. Personnally I wouldn’t take the chance.

Also, I’m sure you didn’t miss it, but from Team Update 7:

Special Note:

[left]Teams should be aware that, whether shipping by air or by ground transport, these 12VDC sealed batteries are classified as “Hazardous cargo” and will require special packaging, marking, and handling that fully meets Federal requirements. The packing requirements stated in section 6.2 for shipping containers, terminal isolation, marking, and shipping in an upright position will be valid in every case when transporting the batteries.

Teams should be aware that airlines most likely will NOTallow batteries to be transported on the plane (checked or not) when they travel to events. Teams are strongly encouraged to ship the batteries in the robot crate unless they are driving to an event. Following this advice could prevent a team from learning the hard way.



Another option is seeing if theres a team in your area thats driving there, and ask them if they would be willing to take your batteries down for you.

Good Luck!

Keep in mind, its not normal handling that is the problem. You put your batteries in a nice box, all taped up, and it seems like they should be okay on an airplane

the problem is what happens if something goes very wrong? Worst case scenario is: they dont want anything in the cargo section that can explode or ignite a fire in case the plane goes down. Its one thing to have a fuel tank rupture in a crash, its a whole nuther story if something ignites the fuel (your smashed batteries).

We flew Southwest to Houston. We packed our batteries in a Rubbermade tote with “Non-spillable Batteries” clearly labeled on multiple sides. When we checked them, they had us open the box. They inspected them right there and sealed up the box themselves with packing tape. They marked the box as inspected and sent it off with the rest of the checked baggage.

I’m not certain if Delta follows the same procedures, but Southwest had no problems with our batteries.

With the way I have seen some teams treat and pack their batteries, I know I wouldn’t want to be on an airplane that allows them. Those batteries can pack a serious punch, enough to start a fire. I hope any baggage checker is competant enough to check for well insulated terminals and no chance of a short.

The real answer is, call Delta and ask about their policy. Get the name of the person you spoke with, and ask if they have any advice if what they tell you doesn’t match up with what actually happens at the airport.

Alternatively, arrange with your hotel to receive a FedEx or UPS package for you, and ship it with an extra day to spare (e.g., ship for Tuesday arrival).

Good luck,

We shipped our batteries to our hotel in Las Vegas. They received the package a week before. It is what I would suggest doing. Good luck.

While you would assume that it is ok to transport these non-spill able batteries with you on the flight you have to realize that the screener has the authority to determine whether or not the item will travel even if you cannot find it on a list.

“The prohibited and permitted items list is not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary. To ensure everyone’s security the screener may determine that an item not on this chart is prohibited”

It also appears that if the non-spill able batteries meets these requirements then it would be ok’ed to travel on the aircraft, even though they are expecting that the battery be paired with an electric wheelchair.

I think it’s safe to assume that it would be easier to either pack the batteries with your tools or just have them shipped down to you’re hotel. Taking them on the plane could lead to a lot of hassle that you don’t want to mess with, and it could cause you to eventually miss your flight.

just ship them, that way you’ll have them and its less things to put up with at the airport.

Late last night we decided to just ship them with the rest of our tools in our tool crate.

Thanks for the help.

TSA allows each airline to make their own policy about whether or not they will accept non-spillable batteries in checked luggage. In 2004, Delta :mad: totally refused to accept them at the airport and we had to FedEx them.
In 2005 Northwest :slight_smile: had no problem taking our 12 batteries in checked luggage. This year we have gotten conflicting answers from AirTran :confused: so we sent some in the crate, we’ll ship some and we will see what happens at the airport.

Just an update… Delta let us take the 3 batteries we didn’t ship in our tool crate on the flight to Atlanta from LAX. Security seemed very relaxed. They didn’t open any of our 7 KOP bins with misc hardware, chargers, tools, and robot parts in them. Just something to be aware of. It seems to vary greatly depending on who you talk to and which airport and airline you use.