Airlines announce new policies concerning Smart Luggage


But some smart luggage doesn't allow the battery to be removed.

Lithium-ion batteries are well known for being volatile; their tendency to explode is heavily documented, particularly in cases involving consumer devices with less than optimal construction. "As this technology continues to evolve, we will work with the industry and our partner airlines to evaluate all safety policies and provide clear guidance regarding the safe use of smart bags".

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. Those reports led the DOT and FAA to ban the phones from flights.

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American Airlines spokeswoman Leslie Scott told the Chicago Tribune: 'We wanted to get out ahead of the holiday season given that it's one of the trendy gifts for travelers'. Batteries were also blamed for hoverboards that caught fire, also prompting airline bans.

With the proliferation of powerful lithium-ion batteries, and cases of smartphones and devices overheating in flight, Delta said that previous year it has equipped all aircraft with in-cabin containment bags in the event of a fire on board. The only exception will be if the battery is removed from the bag on site and then carried on the plane by the customer separated from the bag itself. The company said it will meet with airlines to make sure its products will be not have removable batteries, a company spokesman said.

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. But Delta points out that regulators have not specifically approved any company's smart bags.

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Not a good thing to happen when it's in a jet's cargo hold. While it allows things like laptops to be checked, it suggests they be placed in carry-on bags instead. Airlines could ban so-called "smart" suitcases from all flights because their batteries pose a fire risk.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) defines smart bags as luggage containing a lithium-ion power bank that allows charging of electronic devices, Global Positioning System tracking, Bluetooth, radio-frequency identification (RFID) and Wi-Fi capability, electronic baggage tags, and electronic locks.

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