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Airplane travel?
35883 30 2014-11-10
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traveler0197
lvl.1

United States
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I have the phantom 2 vision plus.  Am I going to have problems getting through TSA if I carry on?  The batteries are very big and I'm not sure if they will pass.
Thanks
2014-11-10
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jmtw000
lvl.4

United States
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I don't think they'll give you any trouble. They let large batteries for laptops through all the time.
2014-11-10
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insitb
lvl.4

Singapore
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Carry-on no issue, but best not leave them in your case. I hope all Phantom pilots do the right thing.
2014-11-10
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rusty
lvl.4

United States
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I've had no problems with TSA and my Phantom. The TSA folks I've encountered have mostly been curious. One said something like "that's very cool. This is the first one I have seen for real." No one has questioned whether I can carry it along. I have the copter, controller, and three batteries in a hard case. It fits in the overhead just fine.
2014-11-10
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LenCO
lvl.1

Australia
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I fly for a living.

The short answer is LiPo batteries MUST NEVER BE PUT IN CHECKED BAGGAGE.  They must be in your carry on, isolated from any metal that could cause a short circuit and separated from each other.

LiPo battereis are considered Hazmat. They can only be carried as cargo when labeled as hazardous material by the shipper and properly packaged and labeled, with written notification and emergency handling instructions given to the captain.  That definitely does not include your checked baggage. Not ever.  There is a move underway by the international pilot's union to forbid all LiPo batteries from cargo holds altogether, even by authorized shippers, requiring they be shipped by truck or boat.  

A LiPo fire in an airplane cargo hold where no one can extinguish it could be catastrophic.   LiPo fires self oxidize, so halon extinguishers in airliner cargo holds are of little use to stop them. The  TSA does indeed open checked bags bags for inspection, especially any that cannot fit their x-ray scanners.   Smuggling Hazmat in checked baggage is a crime.   Don't do it.    Don't listen to any of the "I did it last month" garbage online.   Not getting caught does not mean it isn't illegal.  Or stupid.

Check here for more on LiPo safety and inherent dangers :



For now the only legal way to fly with LiPo's is in carry-on baggage. If rules change and TSA no longer lets you carry them in the cabin, the fines for smuggling them in checked bags will be severe.  In the cabin a LiPo fire, while extremely hazardous, can at least be dealt with by the crew.   It is far less likely that your battery will be crushed and set ablaze if you carry it yourself rather than surrendering it to bag apes in checked luggage.

We have already had multiple laptops self-combust spectacularly in airline cabins.  We have lost two plane fulls of people to self oxidizing fires in the cargo hold, one of them involved LiPo's.  In both cases, the aircraft became unsurvivable in less then 15 minutes.  Do you really want to cross an ocean with your LiPo's locked in the cargo hold? If you have seen what LiPo chain reaction fires have done to Tesla's, imagine what a half dozen multi cell RC batteries would do in a chain reactive fire in your luggage.   The price we pay for ultra lightweight batteries is they are unstable and fail catastrophically if not properly maintained.

If you do fly with LiPo's, carry the fewest you can get by with.  Dicharge them prior to travel to prevent internal failure due to bulging, and pack them individually in padded, insulated material to prevent accidental damage or short circuits, either of which can set the battery on fire.   Never wrap multiple batteries  together where they might short each other and start a double fire.  Never pack them close together that a fire in one will ignite the other.  Insulate them individually and keep them separated.   

I like to travel with my quad, too.   I wish it was simple, but it's not.   Your best option for a land based trip is to drive.
2014-11-10
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mixstreme
lvl.4

United Kingdom
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LenCO Posted at 2014-11-11 08:35
I fly for a living.

The short answer is LiPo batteries MUST NEVER BE PUT IN CHECKED BAGGAGE.  They ...

I concur, carry on is allowed and I've never been questioned over the batteries....
The drone, well,  more curiosity for some airport staff and I always try to downplay it and say its a toy....
2014-11-10
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traveler0197
lvl.1

United States
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Awesome! Thanks for all the info!
2014-11-11
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HermosaDrones
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2501906 ft
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United States
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Good info, thanks.
2015-2-1
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goncalo
Banned

Portugal
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Tip: the author has been banned or deleted automatically shield
2015-2-1
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Corné
lvl.1

Brazil
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i check in my Phantom an RC, and put the battery's empty and separated in a plastic bags  in my hand luggage... simple I think!!?
And its forbidden if the are above 5500 Mha !!!
2015-2-2
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justforjoder
lvl.2
Flight distance : 38671 ft
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Guatemala
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Hi friends,

I'm traveling through South America, Europe, and Asia and I want to know the best way to carry my two Phantom 2 batterys and another one that I use to power up my lcd fpv screen and transmitter. Hope someone can give me specific advices, I don't want to loose anything.
2015-4-10
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HermosaDrones
Second Officer
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United States
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I was in Ecuador in February.  I carried my Phantom in its' backpack onto the plane.  My next trip i will check it but pack ALL batteries in carry on luggage.  Which will take up half of my carry on space but so be it.  I also plan to carry one bare bones phantom in carry on so i can fire up the batteries if asked.  they used to do that with laptops a long time ago; make you start it up.  so i have to check tow bags to make it work but it's still worth it to have them along on the trip.
2015-4-10
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justforjoder
lvl.2
Flight distance : 38671 ft
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Guatemala
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HermosaDrones Posted at 2015-4-11 09:08
I was in Ecuador in February.  I carried my Phantom in its' backpack onto the plane.  My next trip i ...

What do you mean with this "so i can fire up the batteries if asked"?
2015-4-29
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ronnydsosa
Second Officer
Flight distance : 21624 ft
United States
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Took my P2V+ & I1 on recent trip to the Caribean(Dominican Republic & Turks and Caico) and TSA gave me 0 Trouble.... Checked in both birds and carried all my batteries on my carry on bag....
2015-4-29
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droneflyers.com
First Officer
Flight distance : 60709 ft
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United States
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I just went to Florida and back and had no problem at all. Here's what I did...

The unit was in a backpack - carry on.
One of the batteries was in the Phantom the other inside one of the Lipo bags.

TSA gave no problem on the way down, but did open the bag on the way back.

Do not check it with baggage (unless there are no batteries in it)  - do not gate check it. Doing so, IMHO, endangers the aircraft.

Packed correctly the DJI smart batteries have almost no chance of shorting out. Having the extra (loose) in a LiPo bag makes it even more safe. Lipos installed in products (computers, etc.) are carried aboard every aircraft regularly....
I suppose that running the batteries down low would be another thing for the really paranoid. That way they'd contain much less energy if something did happen.
2015-4-29
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toby
lvl.1

United States
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I'm late to the party. I've checked mine in a hard case with no issues from Seattle to Maui.
2015-4-29
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droneflyers.com
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toby@barnettass Posted at 2015-4-30 08:21
I'm late to the party. I've checked mine in a hard case with no issues from Seattle to Maui.

If you put them in checked baggage and there are batteries outside the quad (spare), that is against FAA guidelines:
"Spare lithium batteries (both lithium metal and lithium ion/polymer) are prohibited in checked baggage."

It's all a matter of percentages. If lots of people do this, a fire will eventually occur and probably result in loss of an aircraft and many people.

It will be sad when it happens because it's preventable. Remember, it was a small device that brought down the Valuejet in the Everglades (small oxygen bottle next to a tire, I think).
2015-4-29
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toby
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United States
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-4-30 08:54
If you put them in checked baggage and there are batteries outside the quad (spare), that is again ...

Wasn't aware of that, thank you. The battery has to be removed from the copter for it to fit in the case. How do you suggest transporting batteries then?
2015-5-16
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boisalten
lvl.4

Denmark
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Hi folks :-)

I`am going to Anchorage, Alaska in August (from Copenhagen). Flyfishing and doing some some air-video  :-) with my Phantom Pro 3.  The PP3 will be in at DJI Hardshell bag-pack. My question is, like toby #18, where do I put the two batteries?

Regards Bo, Denmark
2015-6-26
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boisalten
lvl.4

Denmark
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boisalten Posted at 2015-6-26 16:33
Hi folks :-)

I`am going to Anchorage, Alaska in August (from Copenhagen). Flyfishing and doing some ...


Is there really no one who has some experience in traveling with Phantom 3 batteries ?
2015-7-7
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johnwarr
Captain
Flight distance : 6467 ft
United Kingdom
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Your best bet is to look at your airline website, they should have details of what to do with them.
The general rule is put the batteries in a LiPo safe bag and put them in your carry on luggage, they are not allowed in the cargo hold of the aircraft.
2015-7-7
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toby
lvl.1

United States
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boisalten Posted at 2015-7-7 09:00
Is there really no one who has some experience in traveling with Phantom 3 batteries ?

Hey boisalten, I put them in a separate carrying bag on my last trip and no one said a thing. I just took the advise of having the batter at half power upon packing. A safe bag would be a great idea.
2016-1-7
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alex56
lvl.2
Flight distance : 540282 ft
Italy
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since I found this topic I'd like to share my reporting.

Emirates now accept drones only in checked in baggage, lipo are fine carry on or secured inside the drone
http://www.emirates.com/english/ ... ing-dangerous-goods
2016-7-11
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Swedrone
Captain
Flight distance : 10273494 ft
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Sweden
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LenCO Posted at 2014-11-11 02:35
I fly for a living.

The short answer is LiPo batteries MUST NEVER BE PUT IN CHECKED BAGGAGE.  They ...

Nice advice but I think you over-assume that ppl are putting their batteries in their checked baggage. Just wonder why?
2016-7-11
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Thomas.
lvl.3
Flight distance : 81132 ft
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I recently flew from Cologne, Germany to Mallorca, Spain and back and there was not any problem, just some curiosity.  But in the EU you have to carry the batteries in your curry-on luggage.
2016-7-11
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alex56
lvl.2
Flight distance : 540282 ft
Mauritius
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Thomas. Posted at 2016-7-11 18:03
I recently flew from Cologne, Germany to Mallorca, Spain and back and there was not any problem, ju ...

Lipo not in checked bag is iata, so should be worldwide applied, Milan Airport security confirmed that I can pass security checks with the drone
2016-7-17
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krj-sp
lvl.1

United States
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Your airline has the last word. In the case of United Airlines, Lithium batteries less than 100wh can be carried as carryon with no quantity restrictions as long as they are not loose and able to short out. Greater than 100wh but less than 160wh are limited to two batteries. Batteries of any size in checked bags are not allowed. P4 batteries are 81wh. There is no requirement that the batteries be discharged, although that is not a bad idea.

https://www.united.com/web/en-US ... gage/dangerous.aspx
2016-7-18
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leecharleton
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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I am going to Thailand for Christmas and was hoping to take my Phantom.  I contacted Emirates, who I am flying with, asking what their policy was with taking drones on their flights.  Their reply was, the drone has to checked in baggage and the batteries need to be in a fire safety bag in the cabin baggage.  I am now hesitant to take my drone, the thought of the bag with my drone being thrown around everywhere concerns me.  I do have a hard case but this won't be very easy carrying around Thailand with my main backpack.  Has anyone else checked in their drone in just a backpack?
2016-9-9
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Campyonlyguy
lvl.1

United States
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I traveled with my Mavic Pro last week with no problems. I carried the drone and controller with me in a small, soft-sided carry case, and one spare battery in my carryon bag. Everything went through the x-ray machine, and nobody at TSA seemed concerned at all.
2016-12-5
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DJI-Ken
DJI team
Flight distance : 1515312 ft
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leecharleton Posted at 2016-9-9 04:30
I am going to Thailand for Christmas and was hoping to take my Phantom.  I contacted Emirates, who I am flying with, asking what their policy was with taking drones on their flights.  Their reply was, the drone has to checked in baggage and the batteries need to be in a fire safety bag in the cabin baggage.  I am now hesitant to take my drone, the thought of the bag with my drone being thrown around everywhere concerns me.  I do have a hard case but this won't be very easy carrying around Thailand with my main backpack.  Has anyone else checked in their drone in just a backpack?

People do it all the time and most have not had any issues.
One thing you can do (don't know what the cost is) but put the drone in the hard case and see before your trip if there are storage lockers there and the price and sizes.
2016-12-5
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Labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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leecharleton Posted at 2016-9-9 22:30
I am going to Thailand for Christmas and was hoping to take my Phantom.  I contacted Emirates, who I am flying with, asking what their policy was with taking drones on their flights.  Their reply was, the drone has to checked in baggage and the batteries need to be in a fire safety bag in the cabin baggage.  I am now hesitant to take my drone, the thought of the bag with my drone being thrown around everywhere concerns me.  I do have a hard case but this won't be very easy carrying around Thailand with my main backpack.  Has anyone else checked in their drone in just a backpack?

Normally no problem at all but Emirates is a little different from other airlines and if you are stopping at Dubai airport, be aware of recent reports of batteries being confiscated there.
2016-12-5
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