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Re: Batteries and airlines

At 11:56 AM 6/11/03 -0500, Estes Wayne-W10191 wrote:
>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

My two cents worth:

I can pretty much agree with what Wayne says about the TSA.  Tighteness of
security still varies by airport, but with experience in traveling it
becomes acceptable....err on the cautious side when taking ham gear and you
will be fine.  If asked tell them it is ham radio equipment (have a copy of
your license in your wallet).  Almost anyone has heard of ham radio.

Further comment about checked luggage...you must not lock it now.  Security
must be able to open and search.  Never check valuables in your luggage.
Airlines do not cover loss/damage/theft of electronic devices...at all!
The $2,000 per bag insurance coverage does not apply for electronics,
jewels, furs, and other valuables.  If you insist on checking ham gear,
then get private insurance before going to the airport.

If I cannot carry-on my radios, then I ship them via FedEx or UPS to my
destination (which works fine for conference hotels).  It cost me extra but
I have iron-clad coverage and tracing.  No worry I will get half way and
not beable to bring it home.  {I have additional concerns with my home-made
microwave gear...commercial mfd ham radio equipment is not so bad....but
don't take long metal parts like antennas on-board}

Happy Trails!
Ed - AL7EB   

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