Battery-powered devices, by laptops to hoverboards, could pose a fire risk to airliners when stowed, airlines in addition to regulators have warned.
at which point high-tech suitcases are drawing similar scrutiny.
Passengers traveling on American Airlines won’t be able to check their “smart” luggage if the suitcase’s lithium-ion battery can’t be removed, starting Jan. 15, the airline said on Friday.
Delta Air Lines followed suit, issuing restrictions which will begin on the same date. which said which made its decision “due to the potential for the powerful batteries to overheat in addition to pose a fire hazard risk during flight.”
United Airlines said which was working on a similar policy. A spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines said the carrier was “from the process of reviewing our policies in addition to considering adjustments.”
The Federal Aviation Administration does not allow spare lithium ion batteries in checked luggage.
If brought on board, the battery can be left in, however passengers must develop the option of removing which should the airline need to downsize to a smaller aircraft which lacks overhead bin space.
Smart luggage can be a tiny however growing corner of the more than $6 billion global luggage market. These suitcases often feature USB ports which allow passengers to charge their electronic devices, such as cell phones.
These bags “contain lithium battery power banks, which pose a risk when they are placed from the cargo hold of an aircraft,” American Airlines said, noting which they are anticipated to be common holiday gifts.
“As part of safety management in addition to risk mitigation, we always evaluate ways to enhance our procedures, in addition to the safety team at American has conducted its own analysis of these bags,” which said.
Chief executive in addition to co-founder of smart-luggage start-up Away said the batteries in its carry-on bags can be removed.
“which’s a feature we thoughtfully designed, in part, because customers were asking for a charger which could be kept with them in addition to used during flight,” Steph Korey told CNBC.
Travelers have to use a Transportation Security Administration-approved screwdriver, which Away said which includes when which ships its suitcases to customers.
Lithium-ion batteries are a top concern for the aviation industry. A Trump administration ban earlier which year required passengers by certain Middle Eastern airports to check their electronic devices larger than a cell phone. which laptop ban, which has since been scrapped, drew concern about battery fires from the cargo hold.
Fires may be tougher to put out if they are from the harder-to-reach luggage hold than from the cabin where crew members have easy access to extinguishers or fire containment bags.