If “smart luggage” is on your holiday gift list this year, you may want to think twice. While technology has afforded us with conveniences we could have only dreamt of 25 years ago, it also poses challenges and hazards that require a careful amount of consideration. Smart luggage, for example, oftentimes features a lithium ion battery. Given certain conditions, these batteries have been known to combust.
With this in mind, some of the nation’s leading airlines have put rules in place prohibiting passengers from checking high-tech bags, such as those with USB ports for charging devices, GPS tracking systems and motors, if the battery cannot be removed. Currently, only select smart luggage brands have a removable battery feature and starting as early as January 15, 2018, those that don’t will be banned. If the battery can be removed, passengers can check the bag provided they take the battery out and keep it in the cabin with them during travel. Smart luggage with removable batteries will still be permitted as a carry-on.
So far, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines have released changes to their policies with more airlines predicted to follow. This follows last year’s ban of the Galaxy Note 7 phones from airplanes after many caught fire and exploded.
Did you invest in a piece of smart luggage? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below, and if you have any questions about these policies, feel free to contact us for clarification.