Carriers including American, Delta, and Alaska are requiring customers remove lithium-based batteries from the bags and carry them personally before stowing them in their aircraft, citing the risk that the batteries could start a fire that burns through other luggage-with one big problem being that the batteries in many smart luggage lines are non-removable. If the battery is permanently attached to the luggage, or if it can not easily be taken out, then it's a no-go, even if you don't plan to check it.
While rich with features, these bags are powered by lithium batteries creating concern for guest safety across the airline industry.
The batteries are in many electronics these days, because they are extremely efficient.
Numerous bags rely on lithium-ion batteries, which can overheat and pose a fire hazard, Delta said.
Although most carriers will allow passengers to keep their smart luggage if batteries are removed, but many bags in the market have built-in batteries that can not be removed.
If the customer is able to take the bag into the cabin with them, the customer will be able to leave the battery installed. That is only if the battery can be separated from the bag at any point that the airline requires it.
An FAA spokesman told The Washington Post that the airlines' policies are "consistent with our guidance that lithium-ion batteries should not be carried in the cargo hold". Its list of hazards and potential consequences is enough to make any flyer a little nervous. But for all those features, these pieces of luggage need power in the form of lithium-ion batteries, which are generally seen as fire risks on planes.
Not a good thing to happen when it's in a jet's cargo hold.
"Before and at the time of production, we did our due diligence to make sure that we complied with all global regulations defined by DOT and FAA", one such company, Bluesmart, said on its website. But now that we live in an era where airline security procedures are increasingly eating into the convenience of air travel, smart luggage also just got a lot less useful.
"We are saddened by these latest changes to some airline regulations and feel it is a step back not only for travel technology, but that it also presents an obstacle to streamlining and improving the way we all travel", said a statement from Bluesmart. To date, neither the TSA nor FAA have endorsed a smart bag as approved. And Feinstein says that on American, there won't be any exemptions to its policies, no matter the manufacturer.
Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. "American is not opposed to smart bags". The lithium batteries that power Modobag's motorized luggage, which travelers can ride through the airport, use different technology than the lithium-ion batteries blamed for exploding smartphones and hoverboards, according to Ryan.