Most US Airlines Set To Limit Use Of 'Smart Bags'

Starting on January 15 American Airlines will require passengers checking luggage to remove the lithium ion batteries installed in so-called

Starting on January 15 American Airlines will require passengers checking luggage to remove the lithium ion batteries installed in so-called"smart bags to reduce the risk of fire in the cargo hold

American Airlines, the first USA carrier to impose restrictions on the smart bags, announced a new policy last week that require its passengers to check smart bags to remove the lithium ion batteries.

Following an FAA recommendation that airlines ban some devices containing lithium-ion batteries from checked baggage that comes a crackdown on "smart bags" containing them.

Global airlines body IATA said it could issue industry-wide standards on the new luggage soon, after some USA airlines issued their own restrictions on smart bags, whose manufacturers include companies such as BlueSmart, Raden or Away.

Not a good thing to happen when it's in a jet's cargo hold.

Smart bags contains Global Positioning System tracking devices and USB ports to charge smartphones and other devices. But numerous bags already on the market have batteries that can't be removed.

Most airlines will allow smart luggage on their flights if the batteries are removed. Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines have also announced similar policies, effective January 15.

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. However, if a customer is required to check their smart bag, the customer will need to remove the battery.

Speaking to CNN, both Southwest and United have confirmed that they will soon announce their own smart bag restrictions.

Lithium-ion batteries are well known for being volatile; their tendency to explode is heavily documented, particularly in cases involving consumer devices with less than optimal construction.

As mentioned above, the FAA recently released a recommendation that airlines prevent travelers from checking bags containing larger electronic devices with li-ion batteries.

"Before and at the time of production, we did our due diligence to make sure that we complied with all worldwide regulations defined by DOT and FAA", one such company, Bluesmart, said on its website.

In May, the International Air Transport Association, an airline trade association, published suggested smart bag guidelines for airlines.

American Airlines spokeswoman Leslie Scott told the Chicago Tribune: 'We wanted to get out ahead of the holiday season given that it's one of the trendy gifts for travelers'.

"We know these bags are getting popular", Feinstein says. We are saddened by these latest changes to some airline regulations and feel it is a step back not only for travel technology but it also presents an obstacle to streamlining and improving the way we all travel.

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