Airlines to Ban Smart Luggages


Delta, meanwhile, takes security very seriously, announcing a full-blown prohibition of smart bags (with non-removable lithium-ion batteries) as checked or carry-on luggage. Batteries were also blamed for hoverboards that caught fire, also prompting airline bans.

American Airlines and Delta Airlines have both released statements saying they will no longer accept such "smart bags" as checked or carry-on luggage if the lithium-ion batteries within the bags can not be removed as the batteries pose a fire hazard risk and may catch fire during a flight.

Smart bags have grown in popularity with travelers over the years because they offer USB ports where customers can charge their phones and other tech devices.

American, Delta, and Alaska Airlines have all announced that on January 15, 2018, they will require the battery to be removed before allowing the bags on board. If those fires and the battery fumes make contact with commonly packed items, like a can of hairspray or deodorant spray, they can set off an explosion powerful enough to do irrevocable damage to an aircraft.

Bluesmart also says its bags comply with the current federal regulations from the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission. That is only if the battery can be separated from the bag at any point that the airline requires it.

These kinds of bags have proliferated in recent years, including motorized suitcases you can ride and one pitched as an autonomous "robot companion" that follows you around.

Three U.S. airlines have announced new restrictions on so-called "smart bags" - a new breed of luggage that includes internal tracking devices and smartphone chargers - but may pose a risks to air travelers because the numerous bags are powered by lithium ion batteries that could potentially explode and catch fire. "It's something that airlines have been talking about for some time".

For manufacturers of luggage with nonremovable batteries, the airlines' restrictions are a blow. To avoid problems, airlines ask passengers to leave problematic baggage at home. "Better to tell passengers up front in advance", Brennan said.

Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines rolled out similar rules, while United Airlines and Southwest Airlines say they're reviewing the issue. At $449, Bluesmart's carry-on includes those features and lets travelers lock their bag from a smartphone or weigh it on a built-in scale. The smart baggage ban is unlikely to be reversed because the risks are well known.

What's considered a "smart" bag?

American, Delta and Alaska all say they will require customers to remove batteries from any smart bag they check and pack the batteries in a carry-on - similar to the way passengers are asked to bring spare batteries for other electronics in the cabin, where crew members can more easily identify an overheating device and quickly respond to a fire.

"We understand that there are some airport security concerns about travel technology and companies adhering to the various regulations and quality standards", the statement said. Use a different bag when flying.