As divers we will often or eventually find ourselves traveling to far off lands(erg..waters) in search of that epic dive adventure. Of course with the adventure of travel comes with the headaches associated with it. From simple things like forgetting to throw out that bottle of water before you approach security(and having to purchase another one for like 5 bucks inside security) to the big stuff like cancelled flights, missed connections, and lost reservations and luggage. Traveling in the modern time has quickly become a complex skill that must be studied, and mastered to ensure a (relatively) grumble free experience. I have found in my experience that the one piece of dive equipment that causes divers as well as airport personnel the most anxiety is dive lights and batteries. But, what if I told you they didn’t have to?
What Is Is About Dive Lights?
Well, simply put…the airlines have 2 issues with batteries. That’s it, 2 little small issues. So, what are these issues? The first issue is that lights and batteries are “heat causing devices”. Of course heat means fire and combustion, 2 things you don’t want inside a metal tube hurtling through the sky at 500 miles per hour. The second issue is lithium batteries. Without getting all “science teacher” in this article, let’s just say that there is good reason to limit lithium on aircraft.
Can I Carry My Dive Light And Batteries On A Commercial Flight?
The short answer to this is yes you can, subject to some limitations. Before we discuss the limitations and I provide you with some cool links to references, let’s just say that oftentimes airport personnel are often unaware of their own restrictions and rules regarding stuff that they don’t see multiple times a day(laptops, lighters, bottles etc). Personally I don’t blame the airport personnel on the ground floor for this since there are so many regulations to keep up with. Know the rules, and even print out a copy from the TSA site for reference. As a general rule you can carry your can light with battery that’s rated 1000 W/hr and below. A couple of things you should do to make life easier is to separate the lid and canister and tape up the connections. Our friend, the Underwater Light Dude has addressed this in his own article, chock full of great information that can be found here. If you want the regulations from the horse’s mouth or want to decide how you should pack larger or multiple batteries, the FAA has written a pretty awesome FAQ that can be found here.
There’s Always Caveats
While the airlines GENERALLY accept the FAA, TSA or other governing bodies’ regulations, it is always best to check with your individual airline on what is acceptable. Some airlines even have restrictions based on what type of aircraft is servicing your flight. So it is always best to take a few extra minutes in your trip planning to double(and triple) check to see if you’re doing everything right.
So, there you have it…some simple guidelines for traveling with can lights and batteries. Just remember that this information is current at the time of writing and expect that regulations change and are adjusted over time.