American Airlines to Set Restrictions on ‘Smart Bags’

By Ian Gratton [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Passengers of American Airlines that wish t check in their ‘smart luggage’ that are equipped with charging devices for their portable electronics will be asked to remove lithium-ion batteries.

The cases have increased in popularity in the United States. However, American Airlines fears that the lithium-ion batteries could pose a fire risk.

The airline said that charging devices that are left on carry-on luggage will be required to be turned off when the new rules are imposed on the 15th of January 15.

On its website, American Airlines stated: “Due to a potential safety hazard, ‘Smart’ bags (luggage with charging devices) can’t fly unless the battery can be removed.”

Even though American Airlines is the first carrier to introduce these new restrictions, other airline companies are expected to follow as the said bags become more commonplace.

British Airways, as with other airlines, currently has restrictions imposed for lithium batteries – even though it is yet to introduce restrictions for “smart luggage.”

On the passenger’s carry-on luggage, British Airways requires the batteries to be kept in the device – such as a camera or phone. It also requires a limit of four spare batteries for each person. The batteries are also required to be insulated from contact with metals.

Extra lithium-ion batteries are completely prohibited from checked-in suitcases.