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United Airlines Policy About Drones
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18660 46 2017-4-6
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Adam Flurk
First Officer
Flight distance : 425466 ft
United States
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I am flying to the VA/DC area tomorrow morning for a wedding and wanted to bring my drone with me. I called United just to check with them about their policy and was told that I can bring my drone but that I cannot bring ANY batteries. What a joke! Warning to upcoming travelers flying United and wanting to bring their drone. Let it be known. I read a few posts on here and thought I would be okay. Apparently, not. What good is the drone without the batteries? Why would I bring a drone I can't use? Sorry, just a little upset about this. In my opinion, ridiculous.
2017-4-6
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Aeromirage
Captain
Flight distance : 1778045 ft
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United States
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Ridiculous!!
Maybe somebody will start renting out batteries.......
2017-4-6
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Adam Flurk
First Officer
Flight distance : 425466 ft
United States
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Aeromirage Posted at 2017-4-6 13:56
Ridiculous!!
Maybe somebody will start renting out batteries.......

Absolutely! First time traveling with it and made plans to film this wedding. Super upset now that I can't bring it. Just ridiculous.
2017-4-6
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onajourney
lvl.3
Flight distance : 34695 ft
United States
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Strange. I flew United with mine without any questions or problems. I carried on both AC and batteries. I did drain the batteries down to 40% and had them separate in my carry on in Lipo bags. I even doubled back and talked to TSA and asked if there was any concerns flying with the drones.  One guy said "no, as long as you don't fly it in here or on the plane". I'd go for it.
2017-4-6
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Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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I wonder if you were given bad info?

Loose lithium batteries are not permitted in checked baggage on any United flight. Each spare lithium battery in carry-on baggage must be individually protected to prevent short circuits. To do this, you can place each battery in original retail packaging, place each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch, or insulate the batteries by taping over exposed terminals. Spare batteries must not come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys or jewelry, and you should take steps to prevent crushing, puncturing, or putting pressure on the battery.

https://www.united.com/web/en-US ... gage/dangerous.aspx

The first sentence seems to imply that if the lithium batteries are not loose, they would be acceptable provided the batteries are in checked baggage.  Otherwise, why use the word "loose"?  The paragraph is poorly written.  I would call them and speak with somebody in management.  

If you do bring the drone and batteries, you should probably take a look at this:  http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?m ... D333%26typeid%3D333

You could also meet up with somebody in that thread and rent their batteries with a deposit.  My P2 battery probably won't help you.

But sounds to me like you probably can't fly anyway unless you're a fair distance away from town.  

Good luck.




2017-4-6
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Adam Flurk
First Officer
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-4-6 14:27
I wonder if you were given bad info?  

Loose lithium batteries are not permitted in checked baggage on any United flight. Each spare lithium battery in carry-on baggage must be individually protected to prevent short circuits. To do this, you can place each battery in original retail packaging, place each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch, or insulate the batteries by taping over exposed terminals. Spare batteries must not come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys or jewelry, and you should take steps to prevent crushing, puncturing, or putting pressure on the battery.

Appreciate the info. I did find some info on their site that said you can have up to 2 larger lithium batteries if they dont exceed 160 watt hours. BUT also something that says no spare lithium batteries permitted. Guess Im going to have to leave it here in Florida. Which REALLY sucks.
2017-4-6
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Adam Flurk
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onajourney Posted at 2017-4-6 14:18
Strange. I flew United with mine without any questions or problems. I carried on both AC and batteries. I did drain the batteries down to 40% and had them separate in my carry on in Lipo bags. I even doubled back and talked to TSA and asked if there was any concerns flying with the drones.  One guy said "no, as long as you don't fly it in here or on the plane". I'd go for it.

Wow. Yeah, doesn't seem to be a clear set of answers for me on this trip. I don't think it's an issue but I can't risk having to chose between my drone and my flight. Glad you made it through tho.
2017-4-6
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Mark The Droner
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Adam Flurk Posted at 2017-4-6 14:47
Appreciate the info. I did find some info on their site that said you can have up to 2 larger lithium batteries if they dont exceed 160 watt hours. ...

Yes, but that sentence refers to carry-on baggage.  

You may be right, it's just not clear to me the way they wrote it.

2017-4-6
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Labroides
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Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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Adam Flurk Posted at 2017-4-6 14:47
Appreciate the info. I did find some info on their site that said you can have up to 2 larger lithium batteries if they dont exceed 160 watt hours. BUT also something that says no spare lithium batteries permitted. Guess Im going to have to leave it here in Florida. Which REALLY sucks.

Their website instructions seem perfectly clear:

Lithium batteries
Personal devices (except for e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers) installed with a lithium battery of less than 100 watt hours are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage. Loose lithium batteries are not permitted in checked baggage on any United flight. Each spare lithium battery in carry-on baggage must be individually protected to prevent short circuits. To do this, you can place each battery in original retail packaging, place each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch, or insulate the batteries by taping over exposed terminals. Spare batteries must not come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys or jewelry, and you should take steps to prevent crushing, puncturing, or putting pressure on the battery.

In most cases, up to two larger lithium batteries (more than 100 watt hours, but not exceeding 160 watt hours) are permitted in carry-on baggage if the terminals are properly covered or insulated. If you are traveling with a battery-operated mobility device, please see our Special Travel Needs section.

If carry-on baggage is checked at the gate, any spare lithium batteries must be removed.

For the most updated information regarding lithium batteries, visit SafeTravel.dot.gov and the FAA's website.


That says you can take spare batteries as carry-on but not in checked luggage (just like the FAA instructions and every other airline)
Just because one person on the phone said something, doesn't make that correct.
Just look at the responses people get from DJI support.
2017-4-6
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Trump
lvl.4
Flight distance : 139295 ft
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Worse comes to worse, just ship to the hotel ahead of time, then ship them back at the end of your vacation! More than one way to skin a cat
2017-4-6
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KM5RG-Robert
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Flight distance : 2075213 ft
United States
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Also it seems that you could have a battery installed in the drone because then it would not be a 'spare' battery.
2017-4-6
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Aussie4220
First Officer
Flight distance : 311732 ft
United States
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I recently flew with United from LAX to SLC, no issues whatsever.  You cant check the batteries but they are fione in the cabin
2017-4-6
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Aussie4220
First Officer
Flight distance : 311732 ft
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DSCN4337.JPG

This is how my back pack was packed with the batteries, not an issue.  The batteries are all separated, i have them at 50% or below.  Not one question from teh TSA people.  Flew UNited.  Back pack is from Drone Crates

2017-4-6
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Labroides
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Aussie4220 Posted at 2017-4-6 21:20
[view_image]

This is how my back pack was packed with the batteries, not an issue.  The batteries are all separated, i have them at 50% or below.  Not one question from teh TSA people.  Flew UNited.  Back pack is from Drone Crates

"i have them at 50% or below"

There's no need for that.  It's a forum myth.
No airline suggests it.
The FAA don't either and the TSA won't care what level of charge is in them.
2017-4-6
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TheDennisWagner
lvl.2
Flight distance : 136270 ft
United States
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I have flown United with my Drone and six batteries with no issues at all on multiple occasions. I think you got some bad info. I do have a backpage that keeps everything neatly arranged. They told me as long as the batteries are not loose so they cannot touch metal and possibly short circuit they are not a big deal.

I know how you feel. I was freaked out the first time I flew with one of my Drones. Good luck and best wishes!
2017-4-6
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TheDennisWagner
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Aussie4220 Posted at 2017-4-6 21:20
[view_image]

This is how my back pack was packed with the batteries, not an issue.  The batteries are all separated, i have them at 50% or below.  Not one question from teh TSA people.  Flew UNited.  Back pack is from Drone Crates

I have the same backpack. Love it.
2017-4-6
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Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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I would bring the batteries secured adequately and also a print out of their own policy and FAA's policy too.  You should be fine.  
2017-4-7
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Aussie4220
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Labroides Posted at 2017-4-6 21:53
"i have them at 50% or below"

There's no need for that.  It's a forum myth.

"50% or below" - just the normal storage level.  Correct, the amount of charge makes no difference when travelling.
2017-4-7
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Chadrob30
Second Officer
Flight distance : 220459 ft
United States
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Last year I flew to Cancun with my _____________ drone. I taped up all connectors, dismantled it as much as I could, and packed it in separate bags. I carried on the battery. The only issue I had was one of the old lady TSA agents asked what it was and needed clarification. A younger guy came over and said "oh. It's just a drone". Had no issue after that. On the way back through Customs, the Mexican agent waved it right through, but was confused as to what our GoPro cameras were lol.
2017-4-7
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Thermographer
First Officer
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Trump Posted at 2017-4-6 19:42
Worse comes to worse, just ship to the hotel ahead of time, then ship them back at the end of your vacation! More than one way to skin a cat

^^^ This ^^^
2017-4-7
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Taydav
First Officer
Flight distance : 88583 ft
Canada
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Don't forget to grab your extra batteries while they drag you off the plane.
2017-4-11
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Michael M
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Taydav Posted at 2017-4-11 12:26
Don't forget to grab your extra batteries while they drag you off the plane.

ahahahahahahahha!!!
2017-4-11
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greenwire
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Taydav Posted at 2017-4-11 12:26
Don't forget to grab your extra batteries while they drag you off the plane.

hahaha true
2017-4-11
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Adam Flurk
First Officer
Flight distance : 425466 ft
United States
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Thanks for all the feedback. After calling twice and getting two different answers I decided not to take it and risk having to choose between my ticket and the bird. Next time!
2017-4-14
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Labroides
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Adam Flurk Posted at 2017-4-14 06:31
Thanks for all the feedback. After calling twice and getting two different answers I decided not to take it and risk having to choose between my ticket and the bird. Next time!

You have the choice of believing turkeys you talk to on the phone who may or may not know what they are talking about ... or the official stated policy on their website.
And considering that their officia stated policy matches the experience of many, many people that travel with drones every day, why do you worry about what some jerk on the phone says?
2017-4-14
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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I wouldn't be concerned about it, if they catch you they will beat you up, drag you off the plane and you can sue them for enough to buy a hundred new drones.
2017-4-14
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Swedrone
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Does your ticket say Travel class "fight club"?  
2017-4-14
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T3rdEye
First Officer
Flight distance : 198442 ft
United States
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Fly Southwest:
We beat the competition...not the passengers.
2017-4-15
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Adam Flurk
First Officer
Flight distance : 425466 ft
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Labroides Posted at 2017-4-14 16:39
You have the choice of believing turkeys you talk to on the phone who may or may not know what they are talking about ... or the official stated policy on their website.
And considering that their officia stated policy matches the experience of many, many people that travel with drones every day, why do you worry about what some jerk on the phone says?

That's simple... I didn't want to be put into a situation where I had to choose between throwing away the batteries or missing my flight. It's all good, over and done with now. Lesson learned is don't fly United - They have no clue what is or isn't the policy.
2017-4-17
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Pwfirst
lvl.4
United States
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Just traveled from Iowa to Florida and back . Carried the drone with me. They wanted to see the batterys and the controller. No problems on Delta or United. It is OK to carry on but not checked or placed in the belly of the plane. TSA showed little interest in the drone.
2017-4-24
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Vnuk_DJI_69
lvl.1
United States
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Check with the FAA website. Regulations state you can carry the drone and two batteries. (Use the letter of the law here, and put one battery in the drone, then it is not an extra battery. Gives a total of 3 batteries.) You cannot check them to be stowed, you must carry on with you on the cabin. I just flew in and out of Washington, Dulles into the DC area with no issues. Of course I have a fireproof box and put my batteries in lipo safe bags in the case so all bases are covered. Don't try a large drone stick to something like the mavic series for less stress. You will however encounter absolute no fly zones close to DC, so prep for that.
6-7 11:23
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AntDX316
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Pwfirst Posted at 2017-4-24 04:08
Just traveled from Iowa to Florida and back . Carried the drone with me. They wanted to see the batterys and the controller. No problems on Delta or United. It is OK to carry on but not checked or placed in the belly of the plane. TSA showed little interest in the drone.

Just like shipping with some USPS employees.  Some Demand a hazmat battery sticker, they don't have one at the store, or they won't ship.
6-7 22:21
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AntDX316
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Adam Flurk Posted at 2017-4-17 10:50
That's simple... I didn't want to be put into a situation where I had to choose between throwing away the batteries or missing my flight. It's all good, over and done with now. Lesson learned is don't fly United - They have no clue what is or isn't the policy.

I threw my battery containers out but I got them back because you need them when traveling.  I'm not sure if I will ever travel but if the time comes at least I have them.
6-7 22:29
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AntDX316
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Aussie4220 Posted at 2017-4-6 21:20
[view_image]

This is how my back pack was packed with the batteries, not an issue.  The batteries are all separated, i have them at 50% or below.  Not one question from teh TSA people.  Flew UNited.  Back pack is from Drone Crates

Do you even have enough controller battery to use all 6 at 100%?  I'm down to 40% with 3 on the Mavic 2.
6-7 22:31
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Michael Kemper
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Dude somehow it's still the wild west with TSA and drones. I went Phoenix to Oakland and Phx TSA lady watched my backpack come out of xray (with I think 6 batteries). "That's a drone?" she asked. "It is!" I replied. She just gave me this nod of approval like, "right on, man." They didn't open it, swab anything... you never know what you're going to get.
6-10 05:00
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Labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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AntDX316 Posted at 6-7 22:29
I threw my battery containers out but I got them back because you need them when traveling.  I'm not sure if I will ever travel but if the time comes at least I have them.
[view_image]

I threw my battery containers out but I got them back because you need them when traveling.
Where did you get that piece of non-information from?
Unsurprisingly, it's completely incorrect.
6-10 05:29
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AntDX316
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Labroides Posted at 6-10 05:29
I threw my battery containers out but I got them back because you need them when traveling.
Where did you get that piece of non-information from?
Unsurprisingly, it's completely incorrect.

Should I just use pictures and videos to explain everything as people don't believe me w/ text anymore?
6-10 07:00
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Labroides
Captain
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Australia
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AntDX316 Posted at 6-10 07:00
Should I just use pictures and videos to explain everything as people don't believe me w/ text anymore?
[view_image][view_image]

Maybe English isn't your first language.
Without seeing photos, I believe you retrieved the packaging.
But you don't need them for travel.
6-10 15:17
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fansb1fe1104
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Adam Flurk Posted at 2017-4-6 14:03
Absolutely! First time traveling with it and made plans to film this wedding. Super upset now that I can't bring it. Just ridiculous.

You could always mail it to where you will be.
6-10 15:39
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AntDX316
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Labroides Posted at 6-10 15:17
Maybe English isn't your first language.
Without seeing photos, I believe you retrieved the packaging.
But you don't need them for travel.

It's my first.. but I didn't really study much in school as I should have lol.  I just wanted to pass to go outside and play w/ friends.
6-11 00:05
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