Another PED Fire & Diversion

Getting a bottle of water on to an airplane may be one of the more frustrating travel experiences, but just about any portable electronic device is permitted. And, as Alaska Airlines demonstrated today, there’s a decent risk with such devices. One of the company’s in-flight sales devices was apparently malfunctioning on this morning’s flight from Newark to Seattle so the flight attendants binned it. Turns out that tossing it in the trash cart did not stop it from overheating, however, and that eventually led to smoke in the bin, multiple fire extinguishers discharged, and a diversion to Buffalo.


The US Department of Transportation has toughened rules on cargo shipments for lithium ion batteries or devices containing them. And airlines are being more aggressive about reminding travelers to not put such devices in checked bags, especially when carry-on bags are gate-checked.

But generally speaking such devices are permitted on planes. Even when they have a habit of sliding out of pockets and down in to the crevices of seats where they are cracked & crushed. Or just catching on fire because they want to. Oops.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.