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Six months ago, I wrote a post titled What Every Savvy Traveler Packs When They Travel and Why It’s Not Great to Check Lithium-ion Batteries. The latter is something I’d never thought of until I mentioned it to Leo Laporte and Mikah Sargent on their podcast Ask The Tech Guys. I told them about how I’d had to use gaffer tape (TIP: Always pack multi-purpose gaffer tape in your carry-on) to close the gap on my PC laptop. RELATED: The Tape Every Traveler Should Pack is Not Duct Tape
It turns out my computer battery was in dire shape and could have caused a fire. They put the scare in me and told me that if your laptop battery becomes inflated in size, then it’s time to get it replaced immediately. And definitely don’t fly with it.
It’s not just laptop batteries you need to worry about. Cell phones are a huge culprit, which is probably why you have heard flight attendants say, if you drop your phone in a business or first class seat, to tell them before you recline or put the seat back into its upright position because you don’t want to start a fire. You can read more about that here.
A scary incident on a JetBlue flight happened earlier this week when Jimmy Levy, a 25-year-old former American Idol star, had his phone explode just after pushing back from the gate.
Per Jimmy’s X (formerly known as Twitter). “On Monday I faced one of scariest moments of my life. Right after falling asleep pre-takeoff on my flight back home to South Florida from New York, I was jolted awake by a sudden and terrifying wave of heat, seemingly shooting towards my face. I immediately opened my eyes and noticed my backpack, which was initially tucked underneath my seat, now in a exploding and floating ball of fire. Acting quickly, I pushed it to the ground and began stomping on it frantically to prevent the blaze from spreading. With the help of the flight staff and water, the fire was contained. Police said that it appeared to be an overheated portable charger. Please be mindful of where you get your phone products from. In my case, my charger came from a fancy mall in Boca, Florida, but I guess you can’t trust anything these days.
He went on to say that he was grateful that nothing worse happened. “I thank God for my life and the safety of my family and everyone else on that flight! I’m grateful that we were still on the ground when it occurred.“
On Monday I faced one of scariest moments of my life. Right after falling asleep pre-takeoff on my flight back home to South Florida from New York, I was jolted awake by a sudden and terrifying wave of heat, seemingly shooting towards my face. I immediately opened my eyes and… pic.twitter.com/9Zf1pAEBjH
— Jimmy Levy (@JimmyLevyMusic) November 1, 2023
They’re so lucky it happened before they were in the air and that the phone wasn’t in the cargo hold. This is precisely the reason why airlines don’t allow that. If you have more questions about lithium-ion batteries, check out this post: Can You Travel with Lithium Ion Batteries in Chargers, Phones and Tablets?
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