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Can I Bring My Phantom 4 as a Carry On on AA?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kelsharker, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. kelsharker

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    We are about to travel with our Phantom 4 (plus batteries) via American Airlines. Anyone know anything about policies and if we can bring this as a carry on? My concerns are the batteries really, but I am also worried about the drone itself. Also, do I need to buy a lipo guard bag? Do I need to drain the batteries before flying?
     
    #1 kelsharker, Apr 18, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  2. tcope

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    You can take it on the plane. Lipo batteries cannot be checked, they need to go with you on the plane. The only people that check what you take is TSA, not the airlines. I've taken my drone probably 10 times. Never any problem. Once TSA did a swipe test on it. Took about 1 minute. You are not required to have lipo bags. It would be better to use them. I never have on a plane.
     
  3. Michael Humphrey

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    Internationally, has anyone had problems? I have a trip planned to Mexico. Any issues to be aware of?
     
  4. Shammyh

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    You should have no problem with P4 batteries, as they are below the mAh limit for prohibited batteries.

    That said, only take "known good" batteries on a plane, have them at about half charge, and personally, I also use lipo safe bags, and keep the batteries in a part of the carry-on bag where you can easily remove them (aka, if they fail, you can get them out and hit them with the chemical fire extinguisher before they catch other things on fire as well).

    A lot of people are more lax with their batteries... But as I fly quite a lot, I don't like taking undo risks with the lives of my fellow passengers.
     
  5. David Cooke

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    Good comments here. Thanks . . . I'm planning to travel from Toronto Canada to Hawaii soon with my new Phantom4, so in doing some research, I just added the first page of my new Flight Safety Blog. I'm pretty new to drones but quite used to government regulations and Flight Safety . . so here's some useful stuff I've learned so far on international travel.
    Flight Safety Blog
     
  6. mnewxcv

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    what if the overhead is full and the attendants make you check the case?
     
  7. kelsharker

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    Update: We went on our trip brought our DJI 4 on our AA flight as a carry on. On our way out, it was stopped and searched, but it really was not a problem or a concern. On the way back, we were not stopped. Our batteries were also not a concern at all. We just had them in our backpack (not in a fireproof case).
     
  8. kelsharker

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    I don't think that would happen. Depending on the case size, you should be okay.
     
  9. adambfarmer

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    I use this. I love it, but a hard case is preferred because you never know when you might have to put it under the plane. If you are made to put it under, make sure to keep your batteries with you. They can catch fire or explode if put in the belly of the plane.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  10. kelsharker

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  11. adambfarmer

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    If you fly into a smaller airport you might be put on a smaller plane. I have to do this often when I fly home. It's about a 50\50 chance that if you have a big carry on, even if it's within the dimensions of the bag checker, they will take take it from you at the door to the plane and you will get it back upon landing. If this happens 95% of the time your bag will be placed on top of the rest of the luggage so they can get to it easier when you land. But you never really know what they are going to do once they take it from you. Anyone who has watched them load luggage on a plane knows that they don't give a s**t about your bags or their contents.


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  12. mem_ny

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    I have never had a problem on more than 20 flights, including Delta, AA and JetBlue, including checked and carryon. Inspire, P2 or P3 batteries were looked at by TSA in checked baggage (they leave a note stating they've inspected the bag) without incident. Never took the Inspire as a carryon, but never had a problem with P2 or P3 batteries as carryon, except one time, a JetBlue flight attendant questioned my DJI labeled back pack and asked what I was carrying. When I told her it was a quad copter she asked to see and objected to 4 batteries. She kept me for 10 min's while she asked around and then let me go.

    I am concerned however about these batteries after discovering last week that 3 of my 8 Inspire batteries were visibly swollen and wouldn't fit into the inspire or the case. Hadn't looked at them in 5 months, and needless to say, they wouldn't charge. From now on, I'm packing lipo safety bags both for flights and home storage. Just ordered small travel bags and larger case (for home) from Amazon.
     
  13. adambfarmer

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    My point exactly right here. There are some times when you will have to put it under the plane.

    Lesson learned from this. Just pull batteries out and put them in something else and hand the bag off. Even though he was correct, don't mention them unless needed because there a lot of people out there that don't know all the rules and are quick to judge.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  14. DaveCap

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    I just went to Marshalls and bought an inexpensive hard shell carry on piece of luggage. The factory foam case fits in it perfectly.
    I'll carry it on and if they want it in the hold, I'm pretty confident. I have some 1/8" plate aluminum I may cut down to glue/place inside as these "hard shells" are pretty thin. But I think the factory styrofoam is pretty stout.
    It was $39.00. Phantom carry on 1.jpg Phantom carry on 2.jpg
     
    KevMo Photog and David Cooke like this.
  15. David Cooke

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    Nice solution I'll have a look in Port Huron for one . . thanks for the ideas
     
  16. dwcola

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    I'm going to Mexico, Tulum. Concerned about Mexico customs specifically. Had no issues in the Bahamas, but it's not Mexico. Anyone have any problems specifically at the Mexico customs? I read one blog where it was confiscated and held in a locker until departing after trip but it may have been an isolated incident?
     
  17. Britserker

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    Traveling into the US from Canada, anyone know if tourists need some sort of registration to fly? I see you need a US address to register with the FAA which of course I do not have.
     
  18. Britserker

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    I answered my own question. Register your UAS as soon as you arrive or use a VPN service that makes it look like you are already there. $5 US. It's easy. Canada needs to catch up and get with this program quickly.
     
  19. MAC160

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    I also travel extensively and use the only true airline approved size hard case. I deplete the batteries prior to a flight and double check with airlines to any specific battery polices as they do vary. There are cases out there that claim to be airline carry on size approved but they are not they are typically 3 to 4 inches over sized and my friend got held up at airport over this. As previous comment the batteries should never go in check luggage! The pressure is different including the temperature and you are playing a very risky chance of your battery(s) swelling and or worse malfunctioning. If you want a truly be safe get a backpack or do what I did and use a Pelican 1510 carry on case and get creative with your cutting skills. It is a very tight fit and I also suggest getting hard motor caps for extra protection when closing the case; they are avalible on Amazon.
     

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  20. jmkreege

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    I have a 1510 laying around and decided the P4 wouldn't fit at first glance. I'll have to revisit this and order a second pick and pluck insert. Does it seem to put force on the motors when closed?

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