Why You Shouldn't Buy 'Smart' Luggage

Why You Shouldn't Buy 'Smart' Luggage

Passengers carrying smart bags will face restrictions in most of the major USA airlines.

American Airlines recently announced that, beginning January 15, customers who travel with a smart bag must be able to remove the battery in case the bag has to be checked at any point.

Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines rolled out similar rules, while United Airlines and Southwest Airlines say they're reviewing the issue.

"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", Bluesmart, a smart luggage manufacturer, said in a statement.

Airlines could ban so-called "smart" suitcases from all flights because their batteries pose a fire risk, officials have said.

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Numerous bags rely on lithium-ion batteries, which can overheat and pose a fire hazard, Delta said.

Smart bags are luggage that contain USB ports to recharge phones, tablets, and laptops.

"No additional action will be required", American Airlines said, "as long as the customer powers off the smart bag in accordance with existing FAA regulations". The rationale is that if a battery were to catch fire, it can more easily be extinguished in the passenger cabin, versus in the cargo hold.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in July that spare lithium-ion batteries, and portable electronic devices, should be in passengers' carry-on bags and not in checked baggage. Some even have motors allowing them to be used as sit-on transportation devices, or can enable the bag to follow its owner. One company, Bluesmart, said that more than 65,000 of its suitcases have safely traveled the world and that while they recognize the concerns, they have worked to ensure that they "complied with all global regulations defined by [the Department of Transportation] and FAA". The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects to industry-wide "guidance to be issued potentially this week", a representative said in a media hearing. Many require you to use a TSA-approved screwdriver to get to the batteries in an Away piece of luggage.

If it's not possible to remove the battery from the bag, the bag won't be allowed on the plane. The company said it will meet with airlines to make sure its products will be exempt.do not have removable batteries, a company spokesman said. "We love innovation and understand why smart bags are so appealing for travel".

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