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Re: Batteries and airlines

Overall, the TSA is vastly more consistent about permitted hand-carried items than the pre-TSA (post-9/11) security people.  They all have the same training, and they all use the same list of prohibited items.  Evidently the Canadian airport security is not as consistent as the U.S. airport security.  The "two batteries per person" thing is very strange because dry cell batteries are NOT on the list of prohibited items.

I have never heard of ANYBODY having an HT confiscated by airport security.  Telescoping whip antennas may be confiscated, though.  In February I hand-carried my FT-847 on flights to Guadeloupe and back.  No problems with the TSA inspections in Chicago and San Juan, and no problem with the French security inspection at Guadeloupe.  At the security checkpoint I put the radio in a plastic bin, assuming that they would want to X-ray it separately.  None of the inspectors asked me any questions about the FT-847.

I recommend putting gel-cell batteries in checked luggage.  I'm not sure if they are prohibited from hand-carried luggage.  But there is always a chance they it could be rejected because it is heavy enough to be used as a weapon, and it is capable of starting a fire when short-circuited.  Besides, gel-cell batteries are so heavy that most people don't want to hand-carry them.

In general, all antenna parts with metal tubing should be put in checked luggage.  When I flew to Dallas/Fort Worth for the 2002 AMSAT symposium I traveled light.  But I checked the carry-on bag because it contained my 7x7 UHF Arrow antenna.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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