The TSA’s new rules on batteries are going to get plenty of press, and my thoughts will be hardly original.
Suffice to say that it took me awhile to figure them out, I can’t imagine how this will translate to the median traveler … and to TSA screeners who will be forced to understand the difference between lithium metal, lithium ion, and NiMH batteries and calculate watt hours of unlabeled batteries.
Short version, you can no longer pack spare batteries in your checked bags. And you can only carry on two spare batteries (how will screeners know if you limit any single item going through an x-ray machine to two batteries?). And those spare batteries are limited by a formula that requires more chemistry than I remember from college, but the TSA assures that cell phone and laptop batteries for the most part will be unaffected.
To make matters worse, these new rules were announced today to go into effect on January 1. Holiday travel day, with folks already on the road who will be returning home with whatever spare batteries they’ve already packed. One of a handful of amateur days and the TSA will eb trying out new rules on an unsuspecting and unaware public.
And, oh yeah, I’m traveling on New Year’s Day. That’ll be fun.
Meanwhile in an unrelated development, the comically and cosmically inept Italian government has made a reasonable smart move in choosing to negotiate a sale of money-losing flag carrier Alitalia to Air France. Today, at least, Italian aviation policy moves were better than American ones.