Airlines restrict 'smart luggage' that uses lithium batteries

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Most airlines will allow smart luggage on their flights if the batteries are removed, but some smart luggage bags don't give users that option.

American, Delta and Alaska airlines have all announced that as of January 15, travelers may no longer check smart bags unless their batteries can be removed.

Bluesmart also says its bags comply with the current federal regulations from the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.

As part of safety management and risk mitigation, we always evaluate ways to enhance our procedures, and the Safety team at American has conducted its own analysis of these bags.

Passengers can leave batteries installed in carry-on smart bags, but must still be able to remove them in case they need to check the bag at the gate or on a later flight.

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If it's not possible to remove the battery from the bag, the bag won't be allowed on the plane. So did Alaska Airlines.

If the bag will fly as a checked bag, the battery must be removed and the battery must be carried in the cabin.

Global airlines body IATA said it could issue industry-wide standards on the new luggage soon, after some us airlines issued their own restrictions on smart bags, whose manufacturers include companies such as BlueSmart, Raden or Away.

The FAA is already concerned with lithium batteries in the cargo hold. "We are providing all the technical documentation and the DOT Request for Interpretation as needed".

Airline officials say they wanted to get the word out early to stop passengers from making purchases (for themselves or others) that can run several hundred dollars during the holiday season. We are saddened by these latest changes to some airline regulations and feel it is a step back not only for travel technology but it also presents an obstacle to streamlining and improving the way we all travel.

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What's considered a "smart" bag? To date, neither the TSA nor FAA have endorsed a smart bag as approved.

Smart luggage tends to offer features appealing to business travelers, including USB ports for on-the-go charging, electronic locks, and GPS tracking systems.

The rule specifically looks at suitcases with non-removable lithium-ion batteries, according to CNN.

Many smart bags could soon be banned on most USA flights.

It said it would be holding meetings with airlines to try and ensure its products are exempt from any restrictions.

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