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Airlines move to ban "smart" baggage for fire issues

It is expected to be a hot gift this Christmas: "smart" luggage, which includes bags that you can track with GPS, lock remotely, walk like a scooter. It even includes a bag that will find you and follow you.

But do not expect to see these bags if you fly next year.

American Airlines recently announced that, as of January 15, customers traveling with a smart bag should be able to remove the battery in case the bag needs to be checked at any point. But some smart luggage does not allow the battery to be removed.

"If the battery can not be removed, the bag will not be allowed," the airlines said.

The concern is that lithium-ion batteries, used in computers, tablets, phone chargers and other devices, can explode and catch fire when damaged.

It's not a good thing to happen when you're in the cargo hold of an airplane.

Typically, airlines have allowed passengers to carry computers and other devices with lithium-ion batteries, where any fire would be easier to extinguish.

Is that hoverboard in your house, or in the next door, a fire that is about to happen?

The smart luggage problem is particularly notable because airlines have been marketing basic economy rates that often do not allow for carry-on baggage size, forcing passengers to check their bags.

Delta Airlines soon followed American with the same announcement and the same deadline. The same did Alaska Airlines.

A company that makes smart bags, Bluesmart, said that the batteries in your luggage are not removable. He announced plans to meet with airlines to request exemptions for their products.

What is considered an "intelligent" bag? The International Air Transport Association says it includes features such as

  • Lithium ion battery and motor that allows it to be used as a personal transport device, either as a standing or sitting scooter. These devices do not meet the criteria of a mobility device
  • Lithium-ion battery bank that allows charging other electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops
  • GPS tracking devices
  • Bluetooth, RFID and Wi -Fi capacity
  • Electronic luggage tags
  • Electronic locks
  • Lithium-ion battery, motor and tracking device (GPS) that allows the bag to self-propel and "follow" the owner

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