Memphis International Airport Notes

February 2008


Important Travel News - Lithium Batteries and Passport Needs

Passengers are no longer able to pack loose lithium batteries in checked luggage. The new federal regulation is designed to reduce the risk of lithium battery fires. Lithium batteries are considered hazardous materials because they can overheat and ignite under certain conditions. Safety testing conducted by the FAA found that the current aircraft cargo fire suppression systems would not be capable of suppressing a fire if a shipment of lithium batteries were ignited in flight. This rule aims to reduce the risk of fires involving lithium batteries.

Checked baggage: Passengers can continue to pack lithium batteries in checked baggage if they are installed in electronic devices. Batteries with more than 25 grams of lithium content are not allowed to be checked. Common consumer electronics such as digital cameras, cell phones, and most notebook computers are still allowed in checked baggage. Batteries not installed in electronic devices are not allowed in checked bagged.

Carry-on: Lithium batteries are allowed in carry-on baggage if the batteries are properly protected from short circuiting in their original packaging, or if they are in individual plastic bags or a protective travel case. The new rule limits passengers to no more than two large spare rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in carry-on baggage. Common consumer electronics are allowed in carry-on. Spare batteries for these devices are still allowed in carry-on baggage if they are properly protected from short circuiting and do not exceed 8 grams of equivalent lithium content.

Passport Needs: Anyone looking to escape the cold weather by traveling by air to Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda (Canada too, for those who want more cold weather) must have a passport. Travelers need to allow plenty of time to obtain a passport. Processing times vary from three weeks for a more expensive, expedited service, to approximately six weeks for routine service. During busier times, the process can take even longer. Passports are issued by the U.S. Department of State, Passport Services Office. For more information/instructions, visit http://travel.state.gov.

The winter still has a firm grip on Memphis making sunny and warm destinations very appealing.



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