Alaska Airlines to put limits on 'smart bags' starting January 15


Alaska Airlines to put limits on 'smart bags' starting January 15

American, Delta, and Alaska Airlines have all announced that on January 15, 2018, they will require the battery to be removed before allowing the bags on board.

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.

Passengers carrying smart bags will face restrictions in most of the major US airlines.

With the proliferation of powerful lithium-ion batteries used in devices, and as a result of high-profile instances of overheating smartphones and other devices in flight, Delta past year equipped all of its aircraft as well as regional jets operated by its Delta Connection partners with in-cabin containment bags in the event a device powered by a lithium-ion battery experiences a thermal runaway event or fire on board. But numerous bags already on the market have batteries that can't be removed. The same day, Delta and Alaska announced similar policies on their flights.

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Smart bags will be allowed as carry-on baggage, if they meet carry-on size limits and if it's possible to remove the battery from the bag if needed.

Smart luggage companies Away and Raden say on their websites that batteries in their bags can be easily removed.

If the bag will fly as a checked bag, the battery must be removed and the battery must be carried in the cabin.

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

"Before and at the time of production, we did our due diligence to make sure that we complied with all global regulations defined by DOT and FAA", smart luggage company Bluesmart said in a statement.

The concern is that lithium ion batteries, used in computers, tablets, phone chargers and other devices, can explode and catch fire when damaged.

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

"As we speak, we are talking with the airlines so they can review our products and get the proper exemptions in place", Tomi Pierucci, co-founder and CEO of Bluesmart told Forbes.

"Smart bags, also known as smart luggage, have become more popular over the last few months, and they are expected to be a popular gift this holiday season", said American Airlines.

"[We] feel it is a step back not only for travel technology but that it also presents an obstacle to streamlining and improving the way we all travel", Bluesmart said in a statement.