2008 Airport Battery Rules

From the same people who brought you the alternative minimum tax comes something all new for 2008. It’s what you have been waiting for. It is the equivalent of the tax code for gadget freaks. It is – virtual drum roll please, the new airport battery rules for 2008.

If you thought the security procedures weren’t confusing enough, just wait… 2008 promises to be full of surprises, starting with the first time you encounter a TSA agent who starts to ask you probing questions about the lithium content of your batteries.

Yes, we now have new limits on the batteries we can take with us on flights. How many, what sizes and the rules – in typical government fashion are so confusing, you will likely need an attorney and CPA to decipher them all.

After starting at the government’s DOT web page for far too long I think I may be able to share some wisdom with you.

From now on, you can no longer take individual batteries with more than 8 grams of lithium content. Moreover you can only have 2 spare batteries with 8 grams of lithium each. Total lithium content must be below 25 grams.

Lithium metal batteries can have no more than 2 grams of of lithium metal. How many of these can you have? No matter how many times I read the government’s site, I still can’t figure it out.

Worse yet, you cannot pack spare batteries in checked bags.

Which sort of batteries do you have? Who knows? Will the typical TSA agent know? Will there be lithium detectors, scales and burly rubber glove-laden agents ready for us at airports nationwide?

These rules will just make life more confusing for those who travel and the person who wrote this web page can do us travelers all a favor and go back to writing IRS tax code to keep the fine people at H&R Bock busy.

I for one am not looking forward to my next business trip where I suppose I will have to trash at least some of my batteries.

What’s your take?

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