A question for you travelguys and travelgals... [or: battery spam

Joe Barrera (joebar@MICROSOFT.com)
Wed, 3 Jun 1998 19:13:02 -0700

What's the best way of carrying on MONGO amp-hours onto an airplane without
making the FAA or the airline upset?

It seems impossible to find a laptop that will run on its own batteries for
more than about 3 or 4 hours, which really sucks. My first thought was to
stick a small car battery in my travel bag, but evidently, even sealed lead
acid batteries are not allowed (for active use), at least according to
http://parentzone.com/health/distrav2.htm :

] 3. Unsealed batteries must be specially packed for shipment. Sealed,
] certified, lead-acid or gel-cell batteries are more acceptable but
] must also be disconnected and the terminals taped for transportation.
] Check with each carrier.

This kind of sucks because you can get a 5lb, 5 Amp, 12V battery for a
little over $18
The weight to A-h ration is a little low, but the price sure is right.

On the other hand, http://www.ljextra.com/ltpn/september97/p16batteries.html
("Lawyers who need up to 10 hours of non-stop battery power will be
interested in the Portable Power Pack from 1-800-Batteries"), followed by
menbr=1 (1-800-Batteries Portable Power Pack, Voltage: 12.00, Type: Lead
Acid, mAmps: 5000, Price: $179.00) would lead me to believe that lead acid
batteries ARE allowed on airplanes. At least after they've been marked up by
a factor of ten.

Or... I could give up on rechargability and just carry around 8 Alkaline D
cells, for about 8 A-h at 12V, at about 2 1/2 pounds.

And of course, along the way, I found Rohit's posts about power outlets for
laptops on planes, but such outlets don't seem to have become widely


Any other ideas? In particular, does anyone know what the real story is
about carrying sealed lead acid batteries on airplanes?

- Joe