Traveling Overseas with Flashlights: Advice Needed on Airplane Security and Best Choices for Travel Lights

whelmFlash

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You should have no issues traveling with a flashlight as long as it's in your checked luggage. Batteries should be separated and protected against short circuits. TSA generally allows flashlights in carry-on as well, but it's always good to double-check with the airline.
 

TPA

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The only time I've ever had an issue with flashlights / batteries was departing Panama City / Tocumen. No problem with the initial security checks. At the gate they performed additional screenings and one of the local guards took great offense at the 20+ NiMH AA batteries I had in a pouch. Fortunately, the purser for the flight was nearby and noticed this and intervened. My eneloops were good to go.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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The HEART of the USA.
The only time I've ever had an issue with flashlights / batteries was departing Panama City / Tocumen. No problem with the initial security checks. At the gate they performed additional screenings and one of the local guards took great offense at the 20+ NiMH AA batteries I had in a pouch. Fortunately, the purser for the flight was nearby and noticed this and intervened. My eneloops were good to go.
Any idea what the heartburn was all about?
 

TPA

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The secondary security check was to comply with TSA/DOT regs. The confusion was over loose cells. The security guard was treating them as if they were loose lithium cells. He wasn't taking it from me, even though I showed him the DOT regs in English and Spanish. The Delta purser was able to convince him that the airline didn't have a problem with it.
 

Danko9999

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Personally, I'd opt for something compact yet reliable, maybe with adjustable brightness so you're not blinding yourself in the middle of the night. Some of those tactical ones can be cool, but they might attract extra attention, if you catch my drift.

And hey, when it comes to flying, I guess it's always good to play it safe. You don't want TSA giving you the side-eye because your flashlight looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie. Been there, done that.

As for specific brands or models, I'm not really up on the latest and greatest. But I've heard good things about the ones that fit in your palm and still shine bright like a diamond. They're like the business class of flashlights—compact, efficient, and they get the job done without all the extra fuss.
 
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Dototoro

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Personally, I lean towards compact pen lights like the Olight or Acebeam for travel. They're lightweight, versatile, and perfect for illuminating dark spaces without taking up too much room in your bag.That said, if you have a trusty Malkoff that you absolutely love, there's no harm in bringing it along. Just be sure to pack it securely to prevent any damage during your travels.Oh, and speaking of travel, if you're still on the hunt for ways to make your journey more comfortable, I recently stumbled upon some neat tricks for scoring affordable biz class tickets. Makes those long flights much more bearable! If you're interested, you can visit site for some additional details.
 
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fuyume

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I have never heard of anyone having an issue with flying with a flashlight. In the US, TSA specifically allows them. The only consideration would be that the US FAA and EU EASA only permit Li metal batteries up to 2 grams lithium each and Li-ion cells up to 100 Wh capacity each, though there is no limit on the number of cells you may carry, so long as they are under 2 g or 100 Wh each, respectively. So, carry all the Energizer L91, L92, and L522 lithium primaries you want, and as many 5-6 Wh 21700s as you think you need.

Although, I would recommend a flashlight with a physical lockout, so you can be sure it won't inadvertently activate inside your luggage and start a fire. Also, I would recommend refraining from travelling with any high power handheld laser devices. Class IIIa or 3R laser pointers are legal in the US, but not in a lot of other countries. Stick to Class 2 laser pointers, if you need one for a presentation.

In the US, aiming a laser at or near the flight path of an aircraft is a federal felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000. Other countries and US states have similar laws for interfering with safety; such laws may be used to arrest, fine or imprison a person for aiming at aircraft and vehicles.

The common Li-ion cells and flashlight brands are sold worldwide, so although you should be easily able to carry enough cells to last you for a typical trip, you should also be able to buy replacement cells at your destination.

Specific regulations documented here:

 
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Monocrom

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We did have one member mention years ago how a TSA agent was giving his Streamlight TL2 model some long looks, and saying things about it that made it clear he was going to try to confiscate it. The member handled the agent, properly; and managed to get on-board with his flashlight intact.
 

leukos

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I believe TSA's website requires lithium ion batteries to be in a clear ziplock bag, not in the flashlight. It has worked fine for me through TSA.
 

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