Airlines moving to ban 'smart' luggage over fire concerns

Airlines moving to ban 'smart' luggage over fire concerns

Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines rolled out similar rules, while United Airlines and Southwest Airlines say they're reviewing the issue. But numerous bags already on the market have batteries that can't be removed.

"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", American Airlines said in a statement.

American Airlines recently announced that, beginning January 15, customers who travel with a smart bag must be able to remove the battery in case the bag has to be checked at any point.

"If the battery can not be removed, the bag will not be allowed", the airline wrote.

It is unclear on whether or not worldwide airlines are evaluating the issue, but there have been reports of Canadian airlines, such as WestJet and Air Canada, expressing interest in creating similar policies towards the bags. The lithium batteries that power Modobag's motorized luggage, which travelers can ride through the airport, use different technology than the lithium-ion batteries blamed for exploding smartphones and hoverboards, according to Ryan. And Feinstein says that on American, there won't be any exemptions to its policies, no matter the manufacturer. The policy is drafted by airlines and regulators based on ongoing flight-safety concerns.

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.

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Maybe scratch "smart baggage" off your Christmas list - unless you've checked if it will be approved in the new year. "We are fully compliant with DOT and FAA and the law requires that the product is built the way ours is".

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.

"We are saddened by these latest changes to some airline regulations and feel it is a step back not only for travel technology, but that it also presents an obstacle to streamlining and improving the way we all travel", Bluesmart told CNN.

"We are saddened by these latest changes to some airline regulations and feel it is a step back not only for travel technology, but that it also presents an obstacle to streamlining and improving the way we all travel", said Bluesmart, a smart bag manufacturer whose batteries can not be removed, in a statement to CNN.

But TSA does not approve or endorse bags. Other bags are equipped with internal scales to weigh themselves and offer users that ability to remotely lock them using a smartphone app.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a warning about the batteries previous year, urging airlines to examine the risks associated with transporting lithium batteries as cargo, including "the potential risk for a catastrophic hull loss".

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