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06-11-2019, 08:15 AM   #1
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Airport security/shenanigans

Just got back from Tunisia - had a great time... Except... On the way home, security confiscated all my Sony eneloop batteries! What the florp?

Seriously, I went through Glasgow security with them, I came into Tunisia with them, but on the way home they got taken off me?

Not all of them though... There were some in my camera too... _those_ were okay though!

Any of you guys had any similar shenanigans?

06-11-2019, 08:40 AM   #2
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Generally loose batteries up to a certain capacity are allowed in carry-on luggage, but it's possible that certain countries ban such batteries for safety reasons. What's puzzling is that only lithium batteries pose a big safety concern, and eneloops are not lithium AFAIK.

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06-11-2019, 09:33 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by cprobertson1 Quote
Just got back from Tunisia - had a great time... Except... On the way home, security confiscated all my Sony eneloop batteries! What the florp?

Seriously, I went through Glasgow security with them, I came into Tunisia with them, but on the way home they got taken off me?

Not all of them though... There were some in my camera too... _those_ were okay though!

Any of you guys had any similar shenanigans?
Oh yeah...batteries are the favorite confiscation item now...China for me. I had ALL my Sony LP batteries taken from me, even though they were marked safe for airlines and checked...yeah I know..."checked". At the time you could check "safe for flight" batteries, but no more.

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Generally loose batteries up to a certain capacity are allowed in carry-on luggage, but it's possible that certain countries ban such batteries for safety reasons. What's puzzling is that only lithium batteries pose a big safety concern, and eneloops are not lithium AFAIK.
Now, since I pretty much travel to all my shoot destinations (globally), my carry-on(s) now contain mostly batteries, lenses, laptop and only the most vital of gear.

It really sucks to lug all that weight.

Once I used to carry some Pentax gear with me, just in case...but because video is my primary reason to travel for work...I need unified batteries and gear and only what I need. Sony has the most unified system where I can do what I need to.

It was a sad day...when zero Pentax gear started to happen on my travels.

But now that I have a 645z...Pentax went to Japan and the first time in a while Pentax was with me (again).

Last edited by LaurenOE; 06-11-2019 at 02:24 PM.
06-11-2019, 06:31 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cprobertson1 Quote
On the way home, security confiscated all my Sony eneloop batteries! What the florp?

Seriously, I went through Glasgow security with them, I came into Tunisia with them, but on the way home they got taken off me?
Japan <->Dubai <-> Italy trip last month and the advice I got from the airline was to carry all battery + device with battery including power bank with me (carry-on). I didn’t have a problem with the airport security in all 3 countries.

06-12-2019, 01:05 PM   #5
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I once had a problem flying back home from Mauritius with a tripod despite having initially flown there from the US to France to Mauritius with it as a carry-on. The airline told me to check it, leave it, or ship it back. Their reasoning was that it could be used as a weapon.

Not having the time to ship it nor wanting to leave it, I chose to have it placed in the cargo hold. Of course by the time it arrived on the luggage belt at JFK, the ball head knob and some leg tensioners were broken. The airline ended up having to pay for repairs but it was still a huge inconvenience.

06-12-2019, 01:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by amstel78 Quote
I once had a problem flying back home from Mauritius with a tripod despite having initially flown there from the US to France to Mauritius with it as a carry-on. The airline told me to check it, leave it, or ship it back. Their reasoning was that it could be used as a weapon.

Not having the time to ship it nor wanting to leave it, I chose to have it placed in the cargo hold. Of course by the time it arrived on the luggage belt at JFK, the ball head knob and some leg tensioners were broken. The airline ended up having to pay for repairs but it was still a huge inconvenience.
It always makes me laugh the things airport security regard as potential weapons,yet large glass bottles of duty free booze are freely available airside!
As ever the chance to make a $ trumps any common sense.
06-13-2019, 12:24 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Generally loose batteries up to a certain capacity are allowed in carry-on luggage, but it's possible that certain countries ban such batteries for safety reasons. What's puzzling is that only lithium batteries pose a big safety concern, and eneloops are not lithium AFAIK.
Yup, the eneloops are (very modern) Nickel-metal-hydride batteries - you can cut them open, you can crush them, you can overcharge them, and they don't really do much... now, if you open one up and unroll its electrodes, the semidry electrode paste dries out very quickly and then oxidises in the air... and in doing so it glows red for a little bit - but even then, it's got very little thermal capacity in it - it'd be difficult to start a fire - and I'm pretty sure the cabin crew will be like: "yo, gonnae no dae that, son" as soon as you take the side cutters out of your hand luggage...

Likewise, if they did pose any real sort of risk... why where the batteries in my camera okay?



QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Oh yeah...batteries are the favorite confiscation item now...China for me. I had ALL my Sony LP batteries taken from me, even though they were marked safe for airlines and checked...yeah I know..."checked". At the time you could check "safe for flight" batteries, but no more.

Now, since I pretty much travel to all my shoot destinations (globally), my carry-on(s) now contain mostly batteries, lenses, laptop and only the most vital of gear.

It really sucks to lug all that weight.

Once I used to carry some Pentax gear with me, just in case...but because video is my primary reason to travel for work...I need unified batteries and gear and only what I need. Sony has the most unified system where I can do what I need to.

It was a sad day...when zero Pentax gear started to happen on my travels.

But now that I have a 645z...Pentax went to Japan and the first time in a while Pentax was with me (again).
It just infuriates me that there seems to be very little justification for it (theatre, Security; et al.; 2001-present)!

So far, all my equipment has ran on AA batteries (I modified my O-GPS-1 to have an external AA battery compartment)

QuoteOriginally posted by tokyoscape Quote
Japan <->Dubai <-> Italy trip last month and the advice I got from the airline was to carry all battery + device with battery including power bank with me (carry-on). I didn’t have a problem with the airport security in all 3 countries.


QuoteOriginally posted by amstel78 Quote
I once had a problem flying back home from Mauritius with a tripod despite having initially flown there from the US to France to Mauritius with it as a carry-on. The airline told me to check it, leave it, or ship it back. Their reasoning was that it could be used as a weapon.

Not having the time to ship it nor wanting to leave it, I chose to have it placed in the cargo hold. Of course by the time it arrived on the luggage belt at JFK, the ball head knob and some leg tensioners were broken. The airline ended up having to pay for repairs but it was still a huge inconvenience.
You know what else can be used as a weapon? Anything.... I'm glad you got compensation for the repairs - I know a lot of people who haven't been so lucky!

Side note for everybody else in the same boat, when contacting the airline after they've have been inconsistent with security they will often argue that "it's company/airline policy"; it is usually worth pointing out that you have been the victim of opinion rather than policy, since if it were policy driven it'd be consistent.

This actually reminds me of the time I took a domestic flight to advise on and witness a welding test piece - two little blocks of metal about the size of a calculator with a weld joining them; the end gets cut off so you can examine the cross-section of the weld. I only had carry-on luggage, and the higher-ups (bizarrely) wanted to see it (they were totally qualified to examine it: "ah, looks good" they said. They weren't even engineers let alone part of the weld engineering team).

Anyway, on the return flight, the guy at security tried to say I could break it along the weld and use it as an edged-weapon! Really!? Funny that, because this weld was qualified on the basis of being able to support 5-tonnes, and had a failure weight of 20-tonnes... and if I were capable of "just breaking it" then I am a superman and if I were able to exert more than 20-tonnes worth of pressure with my Hulk-Smash, then I am clearly more of a threat to the aircraft than the calculator-sized bit of metal is!



QuoteOriginally posted by timb64 Quote
It always makes me laugh the things airport security regard as potential weapons,yet large glass bottles of duty free booze are freely available airside!
As ever the chance to make a $ trumps any common sense.
Capitalism vs security theatre - I like it! It's like some sort of battle of giants: both totally full of themselves; both a huge nuisance; both claim to be good for you; and both are the best we've got even though they're pretty terrible when you actually examine them, and yet whenever one gets the upper hand, they cancel the other out and leave a lot of debris - it's like matter and antimatter annihilating each other in a burst of gamma rays yet potentially existing as neighbours the rest of the time.

Ah, what a ripe topic for discussion that would be! You can get all the pro/anti-capitalist crowd riled up, and then pit them against the critics of security theatre, and tag team them both with various liberalists, libertarians, and assorted activists on both sides.

In fact, that'd make quite an awesome TV show! Both sides have to pass through security and into the duty-free: and after that, it's a battle to the death. I'll get the popcorn!




Moving on, time to start battling the airlines - fingers crossed!

Last edited by cprobertson1; 06-13-2019 at 02:25 AM. Reason: corrected NiCad to NiMH - whoops! Wrong generation of batteries!
06-13-2019, 04:37 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cprobertson1 Quote
Likewise, if they did pose any real sort of risk... why where the batteries in my camera okay?
It's starting to sound like the security people in Tunis weren't clear either on their own rules, or on what your batteries were.

Batteries installed inside devices are seen to pose less of an aviation safety risk- this is why they can be shipped by air in packages, whereas loose batteries cannot.


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08-03-2019, 03:01 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by amstel78 Quote
I once had a problem flying back home from Mauritius with a tripod despite having initially flown there from the US to France to Mauritius with it as a carry-on. The airline told me to check it, leave it, or ship it back. Their reasoning was that it could be used as a weapon.

Not having the time to ship it nor wanting to leave it, I chose to have it placed in the cargo hold. Of course by the time it arrived on the luggage belt at JFK, the ball head knob and some leg tensioners were broken. The airline ended up having to pay for repairs but it was still a huge inconvenience.

United Airlines lost around 180 million dollars because of this.

Broken Guitar Has United Playing the Blues to the Tune of $180 Million
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