On most US flights, many smart bags would soon be banned.
"Smart bags, also known as smart luggage, have become more popular in recent months, and are expected to be a popular gift this holiday season," he said American Airlines (. "However, smart bags contain lithium battery cells, which pose a risk when placed in the cargo hold of an aircraft." )
Bags usually have USB ports where customers can recharge their phones and other devices. They can also have a GPS to track the location of the bag in case it is lost, electronic locks and a scale to avoid excess baggage. Some even an engine to propel the bags so that they can operate like a scooter or simply follow their owner through the airport.
Related: Laptops could be banned in checked bags due to the risk of fire
Airlines fear that the batteries could cause a fire in the cargo hold that would go unnoticed . Most prohibitions will allow passengers to check the bags if the battery can be removed and transported by the passenger in the cabin. But many of the bags that are already on the market have batteries that can not be removed.
American was the first operator in the US UU In announcing a new policy on Friday to require passengers to check smart luggage to remove lithium-ion batteries. If the bag will travel in the cabin, the battery may remain installed while it is off.
Now Delta Air Lines [1
In addition, spokespersons for United Continental ( and ) Southwest Airlines ( said Ambas Airlines also plan to announce new smartbag policies soon. Among them, those five airlines handle more than 80% of the air traffic of the US. UU )
One of the smart bag makers, Bluesmart, says it has sold 65,000 of them, and that its most recent version has run out. The problem is that your lithium batteries can not be removed.
"We are saddened by these latest changes in some airline regulations and we feel that it is a step backwards not only for travel technology, but also presents an obstacle to rationalize and improve the way we all travel," said one Bluesmart statement. He said he is organizing meetings with airlines to demonstrate the safety of their bags and expects them to be exempt from the restrictions.
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Bluesmart also says that their bags comply with the current federal regulations of the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission. The TSA said the bags are not on its list of prohibited items. But Delta says that regulators have not specifically approved the smart bags of any company.
The FAA is already dealing with lithium batteries in the cargo hold. While it allows you to control things like laptops, suggest that they be placed in handbags. It also requires that all spare lithium batteries travel only in carry-on luggage with passengers.
"The action of the airlines is consistent with our guidance not to carry lithium-ion batteries in the cargo hold," said FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown.
The concern about the stock market was cited for the first time by the International Air Transport Association, a commercial group that issues guidance but does not regulate the policy.
CNNMoney (New York) First publication on December 5, 2017: 11:04 a.m. ET