TSA and travelling with batteries

ALJ

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I recently visited Belize. We flew from Washington Dulles. I had 3
cameras and an assortment of batteries. The Minolta uses AA so I had
several charged and ready. The lady at security commented but didn't
do anything.

When we left Belize, they too commented. They confiscated half of my
AA batteries and busted up the sets. I figure they cost me $50 in
batteries. Some are left as full sets but others are 1-1600, 1-1800,
1-2100, etc. No warning no anything.

I suppose next time I will leave them in my checked luggage on the way
home but really like to carry them when I'm leaving town.

I guess we're all safer but I'm poorer and irritated.
Al
 
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AlJ wrote:
> I recently visited Belize. We flew from Washington Dulles. I had 3
> cameras and an assortment of batteries. The Minolta uses AA so I had
> several charged and ready. The lady at security commented but didn't
> do anything.
>
> When we left Belize, they too commented. They confiscated half of my
> AA batteries and busted up the sets. I figure they cost me $50 in
> batteries. Some are left as full sets but others are 1-1600, 1-1800,
> 1-2100, etc. No warning no anything.
>
> I suppose next time I will leave them in my checked luggage on the way
> home but really like to carry them when I'm leaving town.
>
> I guess we're all safer but I'm poorer and irritated.
> Al
>

When one travels to countries where tech is decidely low, one often
encounters such strange things. Thanks for the warning as my wife
mentioned going there recently. How many batteries were you carrying?
Is there some threshold?

--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
 

ALJ

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The lady was trained by TSA to do this. It wasn't an issue with
Belize. She explained herself clearly and was apologetic. She said
TSA audits them every 2 months. I really didn't have an issue with
her. The fact that eyebrows weren't raised in the past appears not to
matter. This is a fairly new issue.

I agree that i could have taken one set of batteries and put the rest
in checked baggage. I would have been stuck though if the baggage
didn't get there. I don't think I could have replaced them anywhere I
was.

Sorry about the confusion on the 1-1600 MAH, etc information when I was
talking about sets.

My main issue was the ever changing security rules.
 
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If batteries are banned, why did they only take half of them? Why not all,
assuming they want to be safe? I'll bet you will find them for sale in the
airport gift shop.

It sounds like the list of banned items are different for each country, and
why can you check them in your luggage yet not carry them on the plane?
What are you going to do? Stab somebody with a battery.

You can probably make a key fob out of C4 and nobody would notice, but a
battery? This is getting nuts.


"AlJ" <al_johnson1@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1109767581.110874.267350@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>I recently visited Belize. We flew from Washington Dulles. I had 3
> cameras and an assortment of batteries. The Minolta uses AA so I had
> several charged and ready. The lady at security commented but didn't
> do anything.
>
> When we left Belize, they too commented. They confiscated half of my
> AA batteries and busted up the sets. I figure they cost me $50 in
> batteries. Some are left as full sets but others are 1-1600, 1-1800,
> 1-2100, etc. No warning no anything.
>
> I suppose next time I will leave them in my checked luggage on the way
> home but really like to carry them when I'm leaving town.
>
> I guess we're all safer but I'm poorer and irritated.
> Al
>
 

ALJ

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Batteries not banned. They felt I had too many. Afraid I might hook
up with the other person with whatever other components might be needed
to cause problems. Not sure what constitutes too many.
 

ALJ

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The check was done at the security checkpoint. They scanned and
searched my carry-on baggage. Indeed was TSA trained folks. They
control security of flights coming into the states. Not a bad idea
all-in-all.
 

ALJ

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I just emailed TSA asking for an explanation. I couldn't find anything
on their web site. I'll post the response here.
 

Ron

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Dozens of trips to Central America, Europe and around US and always have
several AA battery packs in carry on -- for MP3 player, cameras, etc. as
well as proprietary and extra capacity laptop batteries (I tend not to
put anything I think essential in checked baggage) and have never had a
raised eyebrow, except for some bemused TSA people admiring my
collection of gadgets.

Your experience is instructive, however, and I will certainly keep it in
mind when flying out of one of those places. I can think of some
countries where your batteries might be confiscated and put in the
scanner's pocket.



AlJ wrote:
> I recently visited Belize. We flew from Washington Dulles. I had 3
> cameras and an assortment of batteries. The Minolta uses AA so I had
> several charged and ready. The lady at security commented but didn't
> do anything.
>
> When we left Belize, they too commented. They confiscated half of my
> AA batteries and busted up the sets. I figure they cost me $50 in
> batteries. Some are left as full sets but others are 1-1600, 1-1800,
> 1-2100, etc. No warning no anything.
>
> I suppose next time I will leave them in my checked luggage on the way
> home but really like to carry them when I'm leaving town.
>
> I guess we're all safer but I'm poorer and irritated.
> Al
>
 
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Eric Miller wrote:

> $50 in batteries. For what I currently pay for batteries, that would
be
> about 25-50 batteries. I'd have probably been a little concerned
about that
> many batteries too.

The "security" person was probably thinking (for a change!): "Hmmmm
.... which one of the ~25 is the simulant made of semtex? Let's see, I
can sit here for 15 minutes taking smears from each one, or I can just
seize the lot and send this kook home."

Even stranger is that Belize is not some sort of third-world hell-hole
where people are eating dirt and money has yet to be invented. Why
take more than a few batteries? What more you need can be bought just
about anywhere. Americans can be very strange people sometimes...
 
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Eric Miller comments:

$50 in batteries. For what I currently pay for batteries, that would be

about 25-50 batteries. I'd have probably been a little concerned about
that
many batteries too.

12 to 20 bucks a set of 4. My camera uses four, each flash unit uses
four. An extra set for each plus a spare set for contingencies, and
you're on 16 EXTRA batteries, plus those in the devices. A total of 7
sets. Confiscate just 3 sets and you're at $45 or more.
 
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Charlie Self wrote:

> 12 to 20 bucks a set of 4. My camera uses four, each flash unit uses
> four. An extra set for each plus a spare set for contingencies, and
> you're on 16 EXTRA batteries, plus those in the devices. A total of 7
> sets. Confiscate just 3 sets and you're at $45 or more.

Standard alkalines make a perfectly fine "contingency" for a flash.
Also, a flash and camera will almost never need simultaneous battery
change. Does one really need "contingency" sets for each piece of
equipment? Wouldn't one to cover them all?

All moot though: from what I can tell (googling around etc), there is
an excellent chance you can buy NiMH's in Belmopan if necessary (ie, if
one lost them in luggage). It's not like oodles of tourists and their
quirky needs are a foreign concept in Belize.

Now if one was visiting (say) North Korea or Libya -- both reported to
be a nice places, but for the bizarre heads of state -- packing large
numbers of batteries might be warranted.
 
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"AlJ" <al_johnson1@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1109767581.110874.267350@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> I recently visited Belize. We flew from Washington Dulles. I had 3
> cameras and an assortment of batteries. The Minolta uses AA so I had
> several charged and ready. The lady at security commented but didn't
> do anything.
>
> When we left Belize, they too commented. They confiscated half of my
> AA batteries and busted up the sets. I figure they cost me $50 in
> batteries. Some are left as full sets but others are 1-1600, 1-1800,
> 1-2100, etc. No warning no anything.
>
> I suppose next time I will leave them in my checked luggage on the way
> home but really like to carry them when I'm leaving town.
>
> I guess we're all safer but I'm poorer and irritated.
> Al
>

$50 in batteries. For what I currently pay for batteries, that would be
about 25-50 batteries. I'd have probably been a little concerned about that
many batteries too.

Eric Miller
 
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AlJ wrote:
> I recently visited Belize. We flew from Washington Dulles. I had 3
> cameras and an assortment of batteries. The Minolta uses AA so I had
> several charged and ready. The lady at security commented but didn't
> do anything.
>
> When we left Belize, they too commented. They confiscated half of my
> AA batteries and busted up the sets. I figure they cost me $50 in
> batteries. Some are left as full sets but others are 1-1600, 1-1800,
> 1-2100, etc. No warning no anything.
>
> I suppose next time I will leave them in my checked luggage on the way
> home but really like to carry them when I'm leaving town.
>
> I guess we're all safer but I'm poorer and irritated.
> Al

Keep one set in the camera and leave the rest in checked luggage. You
don't really need to carry that extra weight around with you. Let the
airline do it. :)

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
 
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Why did they confiscate your batteries? I don't understand..

"Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:z_iVd.2388$3t3.44@fe2.columbus.rr.com...
> AlJ wrote:
>> I recently visited Belize. We flew from Washington Dulles. I had 3
>> cameras and an assortment of batteries. The Minolta uses AA so I had
>> several charged and ready. The lady at security commented but didn't
>> do anything.
>>
>> When we left Belize, they too commented. They confiscated half of my
>> AA batteries and busted up the sets. I figure they cost me $50 in
>> batteries. Some are left as full sets but others are 1-1600, 1-1800,
>> 1-2100, etc. No warning no anything.
>>
>> I suppose next time I will leave them in my checked luggage on the way
>> home but really like to carry them when I'm leaving town.
>>
>> I guess we're all safer but I'm poorer and irritated.
>> Al
>
> Keep one set in the camera and leave the rest in checked luggage. You
> don't really need to carry that extra weight around with you. Let the
> airline do it. :)
>
> --
> Joseph Meehan
>
> 26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
>
 
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AIJ wrote relative to batteries the following:

> Some are left as full sets but others are 1-1600, 1-1800,
> 1-2100, etc.

What are you talking about? I have no idea what 1-1600 means, for example.

PSsquare
 
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PSsquare wrote:
> AIJ wrote relative to batteries the following:
>
>> Some are left as full sets but others are 1-1600, 1-1800,
>> 1-2100, etc.
>
> What are you talking about? I have no idea what 1-1600 means, for
> example.
>
> PSsquare

He's left with a single 1600 milliamp-hour AA battery from a set of
four...

Q
 
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On 2 Mar 2005 04:46:21 -0800, "AlJ" <al_johnson1@yahoo.com> wrote:

>I recently visited Belize. We flew from Washington Dulles. I had 3
>cameras and an assortment of batteries. The Minolta uses AA so I had
>several charged and ready. The lady at security commented but didn't
>do anything.
>
>When we left Belize, they too commented. They confiscated half of my
>AA batteries and busted up the sets. I figure they cost me $50 in
>batteries. Some are left as full sets but others are 1-1600, 1-1800,
>1-2100, etc. No warning no anything.

Send an email to your local congressman asking him to write to their
government demanding the return of your kit. Your tax dollars pay for
these people, so get them to do some useful harassing once in a while.

>I suppose next time I will leave them in my checked luggage on the way
>home but really like to carry them when I'm leaving town.

Good idea.

>I guess we're all safer

Sadly this is not the case. You might *feel* safer, but personally, I
don't think it's worth the hassle.

--
Owamanga!
 

ALJ

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Perhaps you should visit Belize. Nice country with many things
available. Didn't see much in the way of rechargeable batteries
though. Someone mentioned they were in Belmopan. So what? That is a
45 minute water taxi ride and a 2 hour car ride with no rental car.
Not exactly running to the corner store.

I put a value in the original post. I won't go hungry over the money.
Cost isn't the issue. I am still irritated that they took them. With
any warning, they would have been in the checked luggage. All I want
them to do is tell me what items are a problem in time to do something
about it.

Still waiting for a response from TSA. I'll post it when I get it. I
imagine they'll get back to me.
 
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AlJ wrote:
> Batteries not banned. They felt I had too many. Afraid I might hook
> up with the other person with whatever other components might be needed
> to cause problems. Not sure what constitutes too many.
>
I certainly would have asked, to avoid future problems. And when they
wanted to take some of them, would have offered them the oldest ones...
How many DID you have?


--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
 
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"Charlie Self" <charliediy@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1109792030.737939.29870@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> Eric Miller comments:
>
> $50 in batteries. For what I currently pay for batteries, that would be
>
> about 25-50 batteries. I'd have probably been a little concerned about
> that
> many batteries too.
>
> 12 to 20 bucks a set of 4. My camera uses four, each flash unit uses
> four. An extra set for each plus a spare set for contingencies, and
> you're on 16 EXTRA batteries, plus those in the devices. A total of 7
> sets. Confiscate just 3 sets and you're at $45 or more.
>

OK, I don't know where you are, but at $12-20 for four batteries, I'd guess
that you are paying way too much. Since the original poster seems to be from
the US, I was addressing what I expect his costs to have been. If anyone is
paying $20 for a set of four rechargeable batteries in the US, they are
getting ripped off. The most I pay anywhere is $14 for a set of eight, brand
name (Energizer), 2300 mAh, NIMH batteries.

Eric Miller
 
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