DOT / TSA Battery Restrictions Clarified For Airline Travel – We Can Fly With As Many As We Want (sort of) — E-Mail:

02/01/08 – DOT / TSA Battery Restrictions Clarified For Airline Travel – We Can Fly With As Many As We Want (sort of)

The U.S. Department of Transportation sees to have slightly clarified the text of the new battery restrictions on their Safe Travel web site

The new wording reads as follows
– Under the new rules, you can bring batteries with up to 8-gram equivalent lithium content. All lithium ion batteries in cell phones are below 8 gram equivalent lithium content. Nearly all laptop computers also are below this quantity threshold.
– You can also bring up to two spare batteries with an aggregate equivalent lithium content of up to 25 grams, in addition to any batteries that fall below the 8-gram threshold. Examples of two types of lithium ion batteries with equivalent lithium content over 8 grams but below 25 are shown below.

With this clarified wording, all Nikon and Canon DSLR batteries are well in the clear. All batteries produced by both Nikon and Canon (and Sony and Olympus) are well under 8 grams . The most commonly used battery by photogs, at the moment, with the highest lithium content is the Nikon EN-EL4a with 2.22 grams lithium content. Given that this battery is well under 8 grams there is no limit to how many you can pack to bring on board in your carry on bags.

All checked lithium batteries should have their terminal contacts covered and be packed in plastic bags to avoid being found as “loose batteries.” in checked baggage.

To avoid conflict I plan on placing gaffers over my battery contacts for carry on bags for a while just until the dust of this situation clears.

Happy Flying!


  1. The point of placing gaffers tape over the batteries is two fold
    1) It protects the contacts of the batteries and will eliminate this cause for questions at the TSA screening check point
    2) Gaffers can be easily torn with fingers and leaves virtually no residue on the batter, where as electrical tape does not tear easily, it melts easily and it leaves residue on almost everything it gets stuck to.

    So for my purposes gaffers is for a practical reason only. I have never had a problem with batteries and personally would have never taped my battery contacts ever if it were not for this.

    Happy Flying


  2. all these new regulations on what you can and cannot bring on a plane are starting to border on the absurd. i am reminded of a joke that i heard a standup comic say in n.y.c. recently about people not being allowed to bring nail files on board; “anyone who can hijack a plane with nailfile DESERVES that plane”

  3. Just wanted to say thanks. I’m heading out to New Zealand tomorrow for a wedding (flight got canceled today because of the snow) and was doing a last minute check on your blog for the battery rules for carry-on’s.

    Thanks for sharing your know-how! It helps me breathe a little easier, when I think about traveling for work. 🙂

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