Before you buy (or pack) smart luggage, be aware of recent policy changes impacting smart luggage.
As of Monday, January 15th, 2018, many popular airlines including Allegiant, Alaska, American, Air Canada, British Airways, Delta, Hawaiian, Qantas, Southwest, and United are no longer allowing smart luggage with nonremovable lithium batteries. This change applies to both checked and carry-on smart luggage.
Many high-tech suitcases now include features such as a GPS location trackers, built-in WiFi, and USB charging stations, which are powered by lithium batteries.
“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 in the customer’s journey,” American Airlines said in a statement. “If the battery cannot be removed, the bag will not be allowed.”
Safety concerns are the reason for this policy change. The lithium metal and lithium ion/polymer batteries are susceptible to emitting smoke, catching fire and even exploding. The cause for concern is founded. The FAA reported in 2018 that a lithium ion/polymer battery fire occurs once on an average every ten days.
For information on flying with hazardous materials, see the FAA’s Pack Safe guidelines.
The good news is you can still fly with smart luggage-BUT- the smart luggage must have extractable batteries. Passengers that check their smart luggage must remove the battery and carry it on. If the bag is carried on, the battery can stay in place.
See Related: Smart Luggage With Removable Batteries
Many airlines are now selling lower-priced fares that do not guarantee carry-on luggage. This means more passengers are gate checking luggage, so there is no guarantee that a smart luggage planned to be carried on will not end up being checked.
Our friends at iFly luggage created this graphic to break down the new smart luggage restrictions.
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