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Airlines announce smart luggage bans

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Modobag makes motorized
luggage you can ride through airports.

Modobag


  • Airlines are starting to announce policies to ban smart
    luggage that includes non-removable lithium ion batteries on
    their flights.
  • The first bans are set to go into effect on Jan.
    15.
  • American Airlines, Delta, and Alaska Airlines have
    announced bans so far. United and Southwest are expected to do
    so soon.

The future of luggage may be delayed, as airlines are set to ban
smart luggage that includes non-removable lithium-ion batteries.

American Airlines announced its ban on Dec. 1, and other airlines
have followed, including Alaska Airlines and Delta. United and
Southwest are also expected to announce similar policies,

according to CNN
. The first bans are set to go into effect on
Jan. 15.

Smart luggage bags have features like USB ports that can be used
to charge phones or laptops, motors, and tracking systems. But
airlines fear that the lithium ion batteries the bags carry could
spark fires in overhead compartments or cargo holds. 

“We love innovation and understand why smart bags are so
appealing for travel,” Alaska Airlines manager of dangerous goods
Mike Tobin said in a statement.
“While these restrictions may pose a challenge to some of our
guests, there have been no incidents to date with smart bags on
airplanes and we want to keep it that way.” 

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.

“Before and at the time of production, we did our due
diligence to make sure that we complied with all international
regulations defined by DOT and FAA,” smart luggage company
Bluesmart said in a
statement
. “While most airlines understand and approve of
smart luggage, others might still be getting up to speed. 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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