Let's say you buy a spare battery for your laptop and forget to put it in your carry-on (as per IATA rules). What happens next? Some possible scenarios:

  • The airlines tend to ignore that regulation and don't bother checking for batteries
  • The airline will open your bag, take out the battery, and leave a 'sorry' note
  • The airline will pull you off the flight and force you to take out the battery

The question is inspired by a real-life scenario where I've remembered about the batteries regulation a few seconds before checking in my luggage.

  • 1
    My colleague accidentally left his lighter in his luggage during out last flight. He got asked to take it out as soon as the bag had gone through the scanner (just behind the checkin). This was in China though, but I suppose something similar would happen with a battery in Europe.
    – Belle
    May 5 '16 at 13:30
  • Related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/35643/…
    – JonathanReez
    May 5 '16 at 13:31
  • 1
    A related question: Should you alert the airline staff about the batteries? Even if it might delay your flight? May 5 '16 at 15:04
  • I once left a power pack in my suitcase in Kuala Lumpur (where you can drop luggage in the city). It was removed from the suitcase without a note or trying to get to me.
    – mts
    May 5 '16 at 15:55
  • 1
    I always have my (camera & laptop) spare batteries in the luggage, to avoid having to carry them around (I didn't know that regulation). So, obviously, nothing happens in many cases. I have been flying USA, Europe and India at least 20 times the last twelve month. - That's of course only anecdotal evidence, your mileage may vary...
    – Aganju
    May 5 '16 at 20:14

Let's say you buy a spare battery for your laptop and forget to put it in your carry-on (as per IATA rules). What happens next?

"Do nothing" happens.

Remove battery happens.
Fine or prosecution MAY happen.

Take you off plane is less likely than take bag off plane, leave you on. |

Despite @JonathanReez's comment, the risk from checked batteries is real. It's relatively small - but higher than never having a cargo hold fire.

I had a sealed lead acid (motorcycle) battery that I took legally as carry-on on a NZ domestic flight. It was stupidly and improperly rejected by checkin.
I hid it in an airport garden and it was collected by someone else in due course.

They subsequently carried it as check-in luggage on the same route.
I gave them the correct IATA magic words and exemption codes to write on the wrapper - as required by the rules.
The battery arrived OK BUT it was evident that it had been checked during transit. Presumably it would have been removed if it had not met rules.
IATA code must be good juju :-).

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