Philippines

PAL reminds passengers: Lithium batteries, other items prohibited

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PAL reminds passengers: Lithium batteries, other items prohibited
By Ma. Cristina Arayata

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Monday reminded its passengers that lithium ion batteries and many other items are prohibited in their luggage.

In its official Facebook page, PAL listed that more than 2 grams of lithium batteries, as well as rechargeable batteries greater than 160 watt hours, are prohibited both for check-in and hand-carry bags.

Other items, such as nail cutters, umbrella, liquids, all kinds of adhesive tape, among others, may only be allowed for checked-in.

Rudolf Aquinde, senior screeners officer at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) explained to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) why such items are prohibited even if they look too simple.

“Lithium batteries are not allowed because they might explode due to the aircraft’s pressure. Depending also on how long the plane would travel, the battery might explode because planes are very sensitive,” he remarked.

Speaking about the aircraft’s sensitivity, Aquinde said that vinegar, for instance, is also prohibited as it may cause the plane to crash.

Vinegar has acids, and this would damage the plane when spilled, he emphasized.

When asked about the possibility that passengers would place the vinegar together with toiletries, Aquinde noted that screeners could still detect it if it is vinegar.

“The X-ray (images) has a color code for every prohibited items. So we could still detect if it’s a vinegar no matter where the passenger would place it,” he explained. He added that explosives are color red, while narcotics would show green images.

If the X-ray image would depict the color of a prohibited item, the screener may ask the passenger to show the item so they could double-check.

For other liquids like water, Aquinde explained that liquids are actually too dangerous.

“It can be used to make an IED (improvised explosive device). Even as small as a 500 ml bottled water could burn an entire aircraft,” Aquinde emphasized.

The officer mentioned an instance when, according to him, the culprit used a contact solution, wire and battery — placed in different bags and assembled while onboard the flight — to burn the aircraft.

Aquinde was referring to the PAL flight 434 (NAIA-Cebu-Tokyo) in 1994, when the plane was seriously damaged by a bomb, killing one passenger and damaging vital control systems.

Meanwhile, for seemingly harmless items like adhesive tapes, Aquinde said these are prohibited as these could be used in hijacking. “These could be used to tie the hostage’s hands. Thus, these are not allowed,” he said.

Umbrellas, nail cutter with sharp, pointed piece in the middle, are prohibited as these could be used to harm others.

“Anything that can be used to harm people, we don’t allow. If the nail cutter does not have a pointed piece in the middle, that is fine,” Aquinde said.

For a complete list of prohibited items in PAL flights, one may visit https://www.philippineairlines.com/TravelInformation/BeforeYouFly/BaggageInformation/RestrictedItems?. (PNA)

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