Are you a traveller who love to try new, cool gadgets? Then, the new smart suitcases must be your favourites since they seem to have all the features that frequent flyers dream of. Unfortunately, the airlines don’t share your excitement! Some carriers are looking to ban these suitcases because of safety concerns!
Smart suitcases have been gaining popularity because they seem to be the one most important item that anyone would want to have while on a vacation. It can charge your mobile phones, automatic TSA-approved lock, warn about an overweight, and can be GPS tracked.
However, think twice before spending hundreds of bucks for the luggage because your chosen airline may have a restriction on that item. Some US airlines have already restricted these bags on board. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global body of the world’s airlines, said on December 11 that they could also issue industry-wide guidelines and restrictions on the smart luggage.
The problem seems to be the lithium-ion batteries that keep the smart features functioning. The aviation industry already declares these batteries as a fire hazard, especially when kept in the cargo hold.
Nick Careen, the senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo, and security in IATA, hoped that they could issue the new guidelines this week. Three US-based airlines – Delta, American, and Alaska Airlines – have already declared that the passengers have to remove the battery from these bags before boarding the plane. The new rule will be enacted from January 15, 2018.
Three companies – Away, Raden, and BlueSmart – have currently been manufacturing smart suitcases. The first two brands have already said on their websites that the batteries are removable as required. The BlueSmart is yet to make a statement but the website says that the technology used in these bags complies with the international regulations of the airlines.