Air travel with dive gear is a pain, and that’s before you get me started on weight limits. Add lithium batteries and airline industry staff who don’t know their own policies, and you can have a rough ride ahead of you. Here’s my guide and top tips to easier travel with lithium batteries.
Firstly, we can confirm that all current and past UWLD battery canisters are within the standard lithium limits set by agencies in various countries (e.g. TSA in USA, CASA in Australia, etc…). The airlines themselves are the ones that state whether something is allowed on their plane, however they typically conform to what is set by the respective agencies. We have not found an airline that doesn’t allow our batteries.
The fly boys have two issues with dive lights in general, these being lithium batteries and heat producing devices. Whether we agree or not, the path of least resistance (or least pain) is to:
- Know the rules – read our air travel page and also the policy for the airline you’re using. Navigating airline websites is like a zero vis cave, so we’re compiling a list 0f links to guide you through. The short version of the rules is you can do anything you want with a mini canister (under 100whr), and the short and tall batteries are under the 160whr limit so are always good for carry-on, some also allow you to check-in.
- Be open with staff – when you know the rules, it’s easier to be open and honest with check-in staff. Declare your kit and tell them what it is and why it is compliant.
- Separate Canister & Lid – by separating the battery canister from the lid and storing them separately, you no longer have a heat producing device. Only a battery and inert electronics.
- Tape Battery Terminals – most airlines will request that you tape battery terminals with electrical tape. I like to use that yellow & green electrical tape, sticks out and says “I know what I’m doing”.
- Prepare for Ignorance – print our air travel information sheet, plus your airline’s policy. If you encounter a zealot, throw that in their face. Failing that, call for a supervisor until you get the right response. For official information, you can refer check-in staff to http://uwlightdude.com/air-travel.