Explosion at Security Checkpoint When Passenger Threw Battery to Protest Electronics Ban

Thank goodness the U.S. has backtracked on the electronics ban.

As a lithium ion battery fire on a JetBlue flight in May reminds us, lithium ion batteries can be dangerous. When they catch fire in the cabin there are procedures to put them out. When they catch fire in the cargo hold of a plane, they can burn out of control.

That’s why airlines generally ban spare lithium ion batteries in checked luggage. And one reason it was such a bad idea for the U.S. government to require the lithium ion batteries in laptops and other large electronic devices to go into checked luggage.

While the U.S. has lifted the electronics ban on flights from Istanbul’s Atatürk airport, the U.K. continues to ban such electronics from Istanbul. One passenger apparently got mad.

Perhaps as if to demonstrate the absurdity of the ban, the passenger threw the battery and boom.

Better prior to boarding than in the cargo hold of Turkish flight TK1971 to London, I suppose. Although here’s another case where security procedures didn’t actually contribute to security:

(HT: Paul H.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Wait im confused did the passenger know it was going to explode or he just slammed it down and boom?

  2. It shows the TSA ignores unintended consequences. It is so focused on “how do we stop a terrorist from bringing a bomb on board flights into the U.S. from certain specific airports” that it doesn’t consider the results of its actions. Here it’s fire danger from exploding batteries. In the case of domestic flights, it’s the carnage on the highways involving people who choose not to fly because of all the hassles. I think it would be entirely reasonable to require TSA to consider potential negative safety and behavior consequences of actions it takes as well as potential gains.

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