Published on : Wednesday, December 13, 2017
IATA is reportedly planning to introduce new industry-wide regulations for all sorts of smart luggage after a move by major US airlines including American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which have banned all ‘smart’ baggage with non-removable batteries from being checked in the hold due to the potential fire hazard risks.
According to the new guidelines of the baggage policy of IATA, which will be effective from January 15, it will include all the smart bags which have in-built lithium ion batteries and a motor allowing to be used as a scooter or other transport device, a lithium power bank allowing the charging of other electronic devices such as phones and tablets, GPS tracking devices and other electronic features.
the world’s largest airline, American Airlines said that smart bags contain lithium battery power banks, which pose a risk when they are placed in the cargo hold of an aircraft.
However, passengers can still bring smart bags as carry-on luggage given that those batteries are removable.
Delta Air Lines stated that smart bags with removable batteries will still be allowed if the battery can be removed on site and taken on board the aircraft with the customer, similar to Delta’s policy today requiring customers to place spare lithium-ion batteries in their carry-on luggage.
Alaska Airlines along with Southwest Airline said that they are in midst of reviewing their policies and considering changes.
“All portable electronic devices (PED) carried on an aircraft are subject to specific requirements to ensure that they do not pose a hazard to aircraft systems due to electromagnetic radiation. These provisions are set out in applicable EASA and FAA regulations,” the IATA currently states regarding its policy on smart baggage with integrated lithium batteries and/or electronic devices.
Bluesmart, which is one of the pioneer companies to offer smart suitcases has claimed that all its products would comply with the international regulations outlined by FAA as well as by the Department of Transport (DoT).