During a routine checked baggage screening last year, American Airlines workers screened three bags scheduled to be loaded on a flight from Miami to Buenos Aires.
Not a newsworthy event unless you consider the contents:
- 318 lithium ion batteries
- 85 cell phones containing lithium ion batteries, and
- 11 laptop computers also containing lithium ion batteries
The FAA claims that the three bags were offered to the airline by two passengers affiliated with a tech company based in Miami, FL . As a result, the company now faces a $63,750.00 civil penalty for allegedly violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations.
While personal electronic devices powered by lithium ion batteries are permitted in checked baggage, loose batteries of this type are not. In fact, loose lithium batteries are not permitted as cargo on board passenger aircraft and may only be loaded on Cargo Aircraft Only when shipped by air.
The company is also alleged to be guilty of the following violations:
- Failure to provide a shipper's declaration of dangerous goods
- Failure to properly class, describe, package, mark or label the shipment
- Failure to provide emergency response information
- Failure to provide required hazardous materials training to its employees
These are costly violations which could have resulted in loss of life or property had they not been discovered.
If you are planning to ship computers, cell phones, electronic items containing lithium batteries or lithium batteries, please contact your local Quick or Sterling Customer Service Department. Our Dangerous Goods Specialists will provide you with up-to-date information on airline restrictions, as well as instructions on proper classification, documentation, packaging and labeling.