Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, Dallas-Fort Worth-based American Airlines and Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, have all released statements prohibiting transport of smart bags with non-removable batteries. The only exception will be if the battery is removed from the bag on site and then carried on the plane by the customer separated from the bag itself.
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.
Although most of the airlines will allow passengers to travel with the smart bags if the battery is removed, but numerous bags already on the market have batteries that can't be removed.
A spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines said the carrier is "in the midst of reviewing their policies and considering changes".
The rule specifically looks at suitcases with non-removable lithium-ion batteries, according to CNN.
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USA based carriers American Airlines, Delta and Alaska Airlines all said last week that as of January 15, 2018, they would require the battery to be removed before allowing the bags on board. Airlines could ban so-called "smart" suitcases from all flights because their batteries pose a fire risk. "While these restrictions may pose a challenge to some of our guests, there have been no incidents to date with smart bags on airplanes and we want to keep it that way".
"We love innovation and understand why smart bags are so appealing for travel", Alaska Airlines manager of unsafe goods Mike Tobin said in a statement.
The restriction on lithium-ion batteries in cargo holds came into effect in 2016 after several high-profile situations of smartphones overheating in the main passenger cabin.
For now, the bags can travel in cabins as long as they are powered down.
The bags generally have USB ports where customers can recharge their phones and other devices. Other bags with a motor can be used as personal transportation devices, as stand-up scooters or sit-on vehicles. Many require you to use a TSA-approved screwdriver to get to the batteries in an Away piece of luggage. The latest regulations propose "tighter requirements than the industry regulators", the company said, and vowed to meet with the airlines "to make sure that your Bluesmart will be exempt from such rulings". "We understand that there are some airport security concerns about travel technology and companies adhering to the various regulations and quality standards", Bluesmart said.