December 28, 2007

Terminally Stupid Administration

UPDATE: Okay, mea culpa. The ban apparently applies only to "lithium metal" batteries, not the Lithium-Ion types used in laptops.

Via Slashdot comes the news that the TSA will be limiting the transportation of lithium batteries (like the ones in cell phones and laptops). It's a bit hard to understand why, unless they're concerned about the recent spate of exploding laptops. The problem is that if that is what they're concerned about (and, yes, incendiary laptops on planes are bad) then it beggars the imagination to understand why they're allowing any battery that's in use in a laptop, and only worrying about spares. All the cases (well, the really publicized ones, at least) of exploding laptops involved batteries in laptops and in use.

Now, it's possible that there has been a surge in detonating solo batteries, but it hasn't really made much news, if so. In any case, now we have to watch screeners scratching their heads and trying to figure out 'equivalent grams of lithium' ratings for various consumer devices while we're waiting in line to board.

So what's the point, then?

Original notice available here.

Posted by jbz at December 28, 2007 5:34 PM | TrackBack

Comments

No, read it again -- it applies to LiIon batteries too -- just in different specs. Also, you can only carry them in CARRY-ON -- they are banned from CHECKED baggage. This sounds like a fire-in-the-baggage-hold issue.

Posted by: Toby at January 4, 2008 4:30 AM
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