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Taking phantom onto an airplane?
15522 21 2015-9-24
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zubiate.javier
lvl.3
Flight distance : 193570 ft
United States
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Will be traveling later this year, and I was just wondering what to expect if I bring my phantom onto the plane, I heard you cannot check lipo batteries but that you can bring them as a carry on, What experiences have you had and are there specific rules to bringing them onto a plane? Should I check it or take it as a carry on?
2015-9-24
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Bobabc
lvl.2

United States
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They allow either. I personally like to take it as carry on,  the airlines aren't known for being gentle with checked baggage.
2015-9-24
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BrunoFR
lvl.2
Flight distance : 200023 ft
France
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I'm right back from a trip France - USA  and I took my P3P with its Lipo as a carry on.
Even if I'm owning a dedicated hard case, I did not dare to put my precious in a checked baggage as sometimes they get lost / stolen.
For my carry-on baggage, I just had in addition a liposafe bag just in case (10$ on Amazon.com) to protect my spare battery, my first battery was inserted in the drone. Have a look at the IATA regulations regarding LiPo batteries (). I always carry a paper copy of this document in case of problems at the customs.
From the US to France, I had absolutely no issue at the customs (apart of being force to walk almost half-naked through the security door, but that's usual) .
From France to the US, I was very afraid of our usual clueless security employees (I'm French, I know them, I looove them). And it turned out to be very funny (and somehow freaky) :
- Custom guy : what's in that bag? A computer?
- Me: no, it's drone
- Him: ... what's that, "a drone"?
- Me: (F*ck*ng hell...). Well, this is a toy that flies, some kind of remote controled helicopter
- Him: is it big?
- Me: (I open the bag to show him the P3P) kind of, have a look.
- Him: Waow, that's big !!!
- Me: (thank you sir, I'm flattered...) Yeah, well, it fits into the carry-on baggage dimensions <big grin>
- Him: Ok... well... hummm... I don't know what to do with that, put it in the X-ray machine and it it doesn't beep and if the operator does not complain, you're good.
So did I and no-one complained, neither the machine nor the operator. *No-one" gave a shit about the lipo batteries either. Two hug rectangular black boxes seen on the X-ray machine but that doesn't ring a bell to anyone... I feel so safe now...
I also dodged the random check, right at the entrance of the airplane, conducted by US customs based in France.

So... I cannot tell it's safe to take your drone as carry-on, but be prepared to discuss and most important follow IATA regulations and check your company about specific regulations. I checked "Air France" regulations to be sure they were aligned with IATA's. I also asked "Air France" on Facebook if it was allowed to bring a drone with me in the plane. I think it's always good to check ith the company, you do not want your P3P to be refused from boarding at the last moment...

Next try, next week to Canada. I'll see if everything goes smooth as for the US.
2015-9-25
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BrunoFR
lvl.2
Flight distance : 200023 ft
France
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A great source of information is this article in French (but Google translate might be of some help) : http://menilmonde.com/2015/01/prendre-lavion-avec-un-drone/
2015-9-25
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capalvch
lvl.4
Flight distance : 71125 ft
Venezuela
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I treaveled from Chicago to Madrid to Bordeaux ans back, with my phantom 3p in the Dji small backpack inside a big dufflebag that also carried my clothes. No problem with that neither In Europe nor in Usa.
The batteries in phantom 3 doesn't exceed the maximun permited,. With the Inspire, you have to carry no more than two of the 48 lipos and most be carried with you. (Carryon)
2015-9-25
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msoto
lvl.4
Flight distance : 460318 ft
United States
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I've traveled with DJI hardback backpack and had no problems. I did discharged the batteries before traveling. TSA never checked the batteries. They were more interested in seeing the quad.
2015-9-25
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Phuglie
First Officer
Flight distance : 45226 ft
United Kingdom
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BrunoFR Posted at 2015-9-25 12:21
I'm right back from a trip France - USA  and I took my P3P with its Lipo as a carry on.
Even if I'm  ...

Where was the rabbit?

Dites-moi, Bruno où était le lapin?  
2015-9-25
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zubiate.javier
lvl.3
Flight distance : 193570 ft
United States
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Thanks for the answers everyone!
2015-9-25
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ksunsingh
lvl.3

United States
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i would do carry on - actually flying to india in a month and WILL do a carry on - an article i read but cant find now discussed traveling with the phantom and it recommended carry on (checked means it will be experience wider temp fluctuations + if the battery does explode and causes a fire (didnt know this could happen) it will be more accessible in the cabin than under the plane
2015-9-25
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tagacali
lvl.2
Flight distance : 87254 ft
United States
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I recently got back from my trip to Thailand and Philippines. Never had an issue, I carried it on with me. I don't want to risk checking it in. I used GPC backpack by the way with 5 batteries. First, I discharged it to 50% but airport didn't even bother checking it so I carried it back to USA whatever charge I had on there #P3P
2015-9-26
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iamRenik
lvl.2

Netherlands
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No issues here with a P3A with two additional batteries in an Airport Helipak from and to: Amsterdam, Sweden, Dubai, Singapore and Malaysia.
Had the battery levels at 50% just to be sure. No checks at any of the airports...
2015-9-26
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gregg1r
First Officer

United States
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tagacali Posted at 2015-9-26 14:08
I recently got back from my trip to Thailand and Philippines. Never had an issue, I carried it on wi ...

First, placing lithium polymer batteries in a lipo bag is a waste of money. If something goes wrong with the battery, the bag is going to do absolutely nothing to contain a fire.

Secondly, there is no requirement to discharge lithium batteries before air travel

Third, a traveler may only carry two lithium batteries over 100 watt hours in carry on luggage. You may not check lithium batteries, no matter the size or quantity. If you read the FAA regulations, https://www.faa.gov/about/office ... s_and_batteries.pdf  I can make a case that you can only carry one battery over the 100 watt hour capacity as the regulations also include the charger as a battery. "External chargers are also considered to be a battery."

Here's the condensed version on travel with lithium batteries. Hand carry as many batteries for the Phantom as you need. Have the battery in a dedicated slot in your case, or the terminals taped to keep anything from shorting them out. Print a copy of the PDF which I have linked to and keep that in your carry case. Be polite but firm when challenged about the batteries. If they give you hard time, request a supervisor. Don't take no for an answer.
2015-9-26
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drewji
lvl.1
Canada
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tagacali Posted at 2015-9-26 11:08
I recently got back from my trip to Thailand and Philippines. Never had an issue, I carried it on wi ...

Hi Tagacali,

Good to know you were able to fly your drone on those countries. Question regarding your trip to the Philippines, any issues with the custom or did you get any sort of clearance to fly there.

Cheers
2015-10-17
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tagacali
lvl.2
Flight distance : 87254 ft
United States
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drewji Posted at 2015-10-17 19:56
Hi Tagacali,

Good to know you were able to fly your drone on those countries. Question regarding  ...

Nope....no questions asked ;-)Although I mostly flew it in an island!
2015-10-17
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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Phuglie Posted at 2015-9-25 23:08
Where was the rabbit?

Dites-moi, Bruno où était le lapin?

Lapins are permitted as long as they are discharged
2015-10-17
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ralinebe
lvl.2
Flight distance : 276952 ft
United States
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Hey, I just flew United Airlines to Hawaii last week with my P3A and I carried it on. I was a bit nervous because this was my first flight with my Phantom. I have two batteries and detachable prop guards. I ordered a $45 soft packpack off ebay (link below). I also bought a lipo safe fireproof pouch for my spare battery. Put the other battery in the phantom. I placed the props and the prop guards in my checked bag just in case because the props are sharp. On the way to Hawaii and back they didn't even question me about my bag. I guess they are used to seeing Phantoms at the airport. Good luck!

$45 Back Pack

2015-10-17
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Phuglie
First Officer
Flight distance : 45226 ft
United Kingdom
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Geebax Posted at 2015-10-18 04:18
Lapins are permitted as long as they are discharged

..we are entering dangerous territory!
2015-10-18
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hventer
New

South Africa
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gregg1r Posted at 2015-9-26 21:50
First, placing lithium polymer batteries in a lipo bag is a waste of money. If something goes wron ...

Can you maby post that link from TSA for that phantom 3 lipo batteries again? Planning to travel with my batteries in my case. I appreciate your advice. Thanks!
2016-6-9
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gregg1r
First Officer

United States
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hventer Posted at 2016-6-9 04:17
Can you maby post that link from TSA for that phantom 3 lipo batteries again? Planning to travel w ...

Try this link http://www.faa.gov/abpageout/off ... engers_and_crew.pdf

Once you download the pdf, go to page 11 of 16 and look in right column (ii) 2/3 of the way down.
2016-6-10
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Steelghost
New

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Just traveled with my Dji phantom 3 my advice is keep it with you as a carry on it is way cheaper and safer to travel with it as carry on than as checked luggage plus you can't have li po batteries n check luggage tsa and faa don't allow it I don't think you want the airplane with you aboard it catching on fire do you!  
2016-6-11
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anders63
New

Sweden
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My 3 extra Phantom 4 batteries where removed from my checked in hard case bag while in transit at Helsinki Airport on my way home. They left the one attached to the drone. The bag was sent to me a few days later. But the batteries where left in the storage service office at the airport. It seems like there are different rules for different airlines. I had no trouble traveling like this on my way out.
2016-10-26
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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anders63 Posted at 2016-10-26 23:32
My 3 extra Phantom 4 batteries where removed from my checked in hard case bag while in transit at He ...

You may have just been lucky to slip through the first time.
rather than different airlines having different rules, every airline that I've seen so far has pretty well the same policy - that Lithium batteries must not be in checked luggage.
Go to your airline's website and search for lithium or batteries to see their policy.
2016-10-26
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