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01/01/08 - Follow Up : New DOT / TSA Battery Restrictions - Day 1
As of this evening I have now heard directly from two photographers I and one very frequent flyer that have traveled today with batteries. All three report that no one checked their carry on bags for batteries, passing security at a total of five airports in three different US time zones.
One photog reportedly traveled with a mix of spare Nikon and Canon batteries and no one checked their bags at all or requested a secondary screening of the bags. The frequent flyer said they carried a spare mobile phone battery for a Blackberry, a spare battery for their Canon PowerShot G7 and a spare battery for for their MacBook Pro, in addition to six spare "AA" batteries, all were loose in the brief case, with the laptop and PowerShot G7. In their words "It was business as usual."
The TSA agent I sent an enquiry to wrote back saying that they were not checking any carry on bags for batteries at the security check point they were assigned to. They did tell me that they were however checking checked baggage for loose batteries. The explanation for not checking carry on bags at the check point was because neither they, nor any of their fellow screeners know what to look for specifically in terms how to distinguish one battery from another. This TSA agent does not anticipate being trained in checking batteries at the security check point as it would cause massive delays in security screening.
This may change tomorrow, but this is my info as of 10:00pm EST today.