Saturday, 16 December, 2017

Airlines to ban smart luggage over fire risk concerns

A lithium-ion battery American Airlines Is Banning Smart Luggage Unless It's Got This Feature
Kayla Schwartz | 05 December, 2017, 01:59

According to CNBC.com, American Airlines is the first carrier to take a stand against the high-tech suitcases, saying that any piece of luggage containing a lithium-ion battery that can't be removed would not be permitted as a checked bag starting January 15.

If hold check-in is required and the battery can not be removed, the bag will not be permitted onboard.

Delta and American both said they have made a decision to ban the checking in of smart bags unless passengers can remove the lithium-ion batteries that power them over fears that damaged power sources could overheat and pose a fire hazard.

United States airlines have moved to ban some smart luggage due to fire safety concerns over lithium batteries.

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Other carriers such as United Airlines and Southwest Airlines are now examining their current policies and working on similar changes moving forward.

Although there have been no fires associated with smart luggage, lithium batteries used in other applications have been linked to a few high-profile fires on airplanes, as they become more volatile at high altitudes.

The airline said: "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".

Many bag manufacturers advertise their products as being approved by the FAA, "which may give customers the false impression that all smart bags are accepted for transport", Delta said. "We have organized meetings with the world's leading airlines to make sure that your Bluesmart will be exempt from such rulings". "However, if a customer is required to check their smart bag, the customer will need to remove the battery".

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