Starting from 15th of January, a lot of leading airlines will be prohibiting any sort of “smart luggage” that has a non-removable lithium-ion battery in it. American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Delta Airlines all have released identical guidelines in the past week, which will be banning these bags from being checked or been carried on flights, and others reportedly seem accepting this and wants to join in it.
Travellers will still be allowed with smart luggage having removable batteries for checking, provided if they carry those batteries with them inside the cabin. Luggage with removable batteries still is grantable as a carry-on item.
This shift to ban the luggage with non-removable batteries got the jump on by the International Air Transport association and the American Airlines in order to reduce the risk of fire accidents caused by lithium-ion batteries. Earlier Airlines had forbidden items like the Samsung Galaxy Note7 and the hover-boards over such similar affairs.
The CEO of Bluesmart-smart Luggage Company, Tomie Pierucci states to The Verge in a statement that this ban is an absolute distortion and also claims it as a huge step back for the technology of travel. Bags of Bluesmart, around which 65,000 are already in use across the world, will surely be affected by this new regulation as the company doesn’t make these batteries removable.
Other companies those produce smart luggage with removable batteries like; Away, are giving much lighter response to this news. Since the products from Away aren’t getting affected by this new restriction rules from the American or any other Airlines. The co-founder and CEO of Away says to The Verge; since the banning is on luggage with non-removable batteries and Away manufactures every Carry-On with removable batteries, they aren’t impacted. CEO of brand Raden; another smart luggage company; says that the only issue with some of the smart luggage brands is that their lithium ion battery is non-removable.
However, Korey, Away’s co-founder says that Away isn’t taking any action ahead and they were connected with the American Airlines before this policy announcement was made, and thus they aren’t putting any changes.