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Three U.S. airlines to place ban on smart luggage in January

By Michael Low & Cookie Monster - on 12 Dec 2017, 9:30am

Three U.S. airlines to place ban on smart luggage in January

Smart luggages such as the Xiaomi's Smart Suitcase could soon be banned on most U.S. flights.

As smart luggage or bags are expected to be a popular gift this holiday season, several U.S. airlines have rolled out new policies on them. 

According to CNN, American Airlines is the first U.S. carrier to announce the smart bag policy that requires passengers checking smart luggage to remove the Lithium-ion batteries. Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines also announced similar policies that will take effect on January 15, 2018. United Continental and Southwest Airlines state that they will announce their smart bag policies soon. These five U.S. airlines handle more than 80 percent of U.S. air traffic. 

For those who are not aware, some smart luggage contain Lithium-ion battery power banks to recharge mobile devices, or to power motors that can propel the bags as the owners walk around the airport. The U.S. airlines are concerned that these batteries can cause a fire in the cargo hold. Passengers are required to remove the batteries and carried by them in the cabin. However, most smart luggage in the market do not have removable batteries.

Smart luggage manufacturer Bluesmart claimed that it has sold 65,000 of these bags so far and the batteries cannot be removed. In light of the new smart luggage policy, Bluesmart is holding talks with the airlines to assure them of their bags' safety and hope to have them exempted from the ban. 

Source: CNN.