Flight Travel - Real Experiences

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Hi there fellow Phanton pilots!

I'm planning on taking my P3A (hard shell backpack) on a domestic flight across the US, and have read through multiple threads containing advice and discussions about what should and should not be done when taking your drone on commercial flights.

Understanding the safety guidelines and restrictions when bringing batteries on board, and recognizing that each airline may have their own special restrictions, I would very much appreciate to hear about real life experiences from those of you who have carried your Phantoms in flights across the country.

Thanks!
 

alokbhargava

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I recently travelled from California to Hawaii and back by Hawaiian airlines. I read their rules and prepared myself. I packed each battery in a lipo safe bag and kept in carry on baggage. No questions were asked. It went through screening and got cleared.

In addition to above, I always discharge batteries before travel to 50-60% and cover terminals.


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I recently travelled from California to Hawaii and back by Hawaiian airlines. I read their rules and prepared myself. I packed each battery in a lipo safe bag and kept in carry on baggage. No questions were asked. It went through screening and got cleared.

In addition to above, I always discharge batteries before travel to 50-60% and cover terminals.
Thanks for the feedback. Did you only carry on the batteries and checked the aircraft with the luggage? Or did you take everything as carry on (props included)?
 

alokbhargava

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I had my drone in the backpack with batteries and everything. I had the airlines checklist in my hand in case it's needed. I always take one step extra to avoid last minute discussions and problems.

I was prepared to show checklist and other things like batteries not fully charged, terminals not exposed, batteries are individually packed.....


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I had my drone in the backpack with batteries and everything. I had the airlines checklist in my hand in case it's needed. I always take one step extra to avoid last minute discussions and problems.

I was prepared to show checklist and other things like batteries not fully charged, terminals not exposed, batteries are individually packed.....
Ok. I've seen mixed opinions on other threads about potential issues if you take props as carry-on, which seems to be a myth. I don't see anything prohibiting to carry plastic objects like props.
 
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Make sure to check in at the gate. I caught a flight that had no more storage by the time I boarded and they had bungee my backpack in the galley


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Make sure to check in at the gate. I caught a flight that had no more storage by the time I boarded and they had bungee my backpack in the galley
Thanks! Did the carrying case or the Phantom get damaged in the galley?
 
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Well, today I flew from Pennsylvania to Florida (two American Airlines connecting flights, both Airbus 319) taking my Phantom as carry-on, and had no problems at all.

I used the DJI hard shell backpack, packed all including the props (two sets), and had the two batteries discharged down to 45%. The backpack went through X-rays normally with the rest of the carry-on items at the TSA checkpoint, and there were no questions whatsoever.

I'll post how my return trip goes by the end of the week. I expect no issues at TSA again, but I'll be flying back in two smaller regional aircraft, so overhead bin space will be much smaller.

Stay tuned...
 
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Happy weekend Phantom pilots!

My return trip yesterday was just as uneventful as the first. Went through TSA with the Phantom and all accessories packed as carry-on, and the only question I had from the agent at the X-ray machine was "is it fun to fly one of those?" :cool:

The first flight was in an Embraer ERJ-190, and the DJI hard shell backpack did fit perfectly in the overhead bins. The second flight was in a much smaller de Haviland (Bombardier) Dash 8 turboprop commuter, where I had to store the backpack under the seat, as the overhead bins a very narrow. The flight attendant in the second flight initially asked me to check the backpack, but when I explained that I had Lithium batteries in it, she agreed that I would need to keep it with me in the cabin.

So all around, flying domestically with my Phantom for the first time was a good experience, but hope to hear about any other experiences you may have had.

Safe and happy flights everyone!
 
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Hi everyone! I'm dusting off this thread, to share my recent experience traveling to Europe.

Flying from Philly to Munich on AA, I carried my P3A in its DJI hard shell backpack, packed with three batteries (at 65% of charge), two sets of props, filters, charger, etc, and the only thing worth mentioning is that at TSA they asked me to open it, so they could do a visual inspection and test with one of those explosive detection paper strips. No issue found, and the rest of the flight went uneventful, with the drone comfortably stored on the overhead bin of the A330.

No questions asked upon arrival at Germany. A few days later I flew from Munich to Madrid on IB, and had no questions at all when going through security at MUC. Again the hard shell backpack fit well on the overhead bin of the A320, although the flight was packed, so they asked be to store it under the seat in front of me, where it also fit fine.

Then on my way back from MAD to PHL, the only question when going through security at Madrid was "that's a drone right?", but they didn't ask to inspect it after the x-rays. It was another A330 from AA (former US Airways fleet), so no space issues on board.

Probably a lot of words that can be summarized in: No problems whatsoever. But just thought it would be worth sharing the details for those who travel.

I've posted my first video and pictures from that trip in a separate thread (see: Flying in Germany – Phantom 3 Advanced), and will be editing the footage from Spain soon:

Happy flights!
SKYER
 

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