Economy

Airlines restrict 'smart luggage' over fire hazards posed by batteries

Airlines restrict 'smart luggage' over fire hazards posed by batteries

Think twice about giving the gift of smart luggage this year.

Smart luggage boasts a number of features, usually including USB ports for recharging mobile devices, electronic locks, or alarms, and sometimes Bluetooth, GPS tracking, or internal weight scales.

The industry had resolved to ban smart bags by 2019, but because the risks of uncontrollable fire in the aircraft hold - out of sight of cabin crew and beyond their reach to extinguish it - are causing great concern, American Airlines made a decision to ban the bags last week, soon followed by Delta and Alaska.

"Smart luggage" - luggage that can charge phones or be driven around the airport - are hot ticket items this holiday, but they may be hard for travellers to use as some airlines have imposed bans on the new suitcases.

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.

"For this reason, we are taking a closer look at them now and our risky goods team confirms that we will likely adopt the same approach as other airlines", he said in an email statement.

"While these restrictions may pose a challenge to some of our guests, there have been no incidents to date with smart bags on airplanes and we want to keep it that way", he continued.

Lithium-ion batteries have already been banned on several airlines and global standards have been imposed by the worldwide Air Transport Association.

More news: Johnson on his new Star Wars trilogy
More news: United States participation in Pyeongchang Games an open question, Nikki Haley says
More news: "Silence Breakers" picked as Time magazine's Person of the Year

Major U.S. airlines are moving to ban smart luggage due to safety concerns over their lithium-ion batteries. The move also follows a 2015 ban on hoverboards, which have been known to spontaneously combust. As long as the flyer powers off the smart bag, then they will not be required to do anything else.

But TSA does not approve or endorse bags.

A Southwest Airlines spokeswoman told Geek that the firm is "in the process of reviewing our policies and considering changes".

"The concern that airlines have is that power banks [like those installed on smart bags] have features prominently in fire incidents onboard", said IATA's David Brennan, who specializes in policies on the carriage of risky goods by air.

So, what does this mean for the thousands of smart suitcases already traveling the world?

"Before and at the time of production, we did our due diligence to make sure that we complied with all worldwide regulations defined by DOT and FAA", smart luggage company Bluesmart said in a statement. The company plans to meet with the airlines to potentially have the devices exempt, according to CNN. But numerous bags already on the market have batteries that can't be removed. Unzip the pouch, slide it out, and use it as a portable power bank.

"We know these bags are getting popular", Feinstein says.


  • 'Games of Thrones' not returning until 2019, Sophie Turner says

    'Games of Thrones' not returning until 2019, Sophie Turner says

    Apparently, Turner now has a better sense of when Game Of Thrones will return, even if HBO hasn't officially confirmed it yet. It'll be 2018 or 2019, they say, as if a year means nothing to people counting every second until a new episode.
    Redmi 5, Redmi 5 Plus With Large Battery Launched

    Redmi 5, Redmi 5 Plus With Large Battery Launched

    The previous measures 151.8×72.8×7.7mm and weigh 157 grams, while the last measures 158.5×75.45×8.05mm and weigh 180 grams. Ahead of the launch event, pretty everything from design to specifications of the Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus were revealed.
    NVIDIA Shield Will Bring Nintendo Wii And GameCube Games To China

    NVIDIA Shield Will Bring Nintendo Wii And GameCube Games To China

    A long-lasting ban on consoles , which was lifted in 2015, prevented Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft from reaching consumers there. The NVIDIA Shield sells for around 1,499 RMB, or $227, while each of the Nintendo games costs around 68 RMB or $10.
  • Traffic pollution putting unborn babies' health at risk, experts warn

    Traffic pollution putting unborn babies' health at risk, experts warn

    The volunteers are a little more vulnerable to the effects of pollution than the average healthy person 20 years younger. In the United Kingdom , polluted air contributes to about 40,000 deaths a year, almost a quarter of them in London.
    Overwatch's Winter Wonderland event is going to be wonderfully weird

    Overwatch's Winter Wonderland event is going to be wonderfully weird

    We'll probably hear (and see) more of those skins over the weekend, so sit tight for that. Additionally, Kaplan says Overwatch's Black Forest map is getting a new holiday makeover.
    John Oliver, Dustin Hoffman get into heated spat over sex harassment allegations

    John Oliver, Dustin Hoffman get into heated spat over sex harassment allegations

    Onstage in addition to Oliver and Hoffman were Robert De Niro , producer Jane Rosenthal and director Barry Levinson . The back-and-forth came at a 20th-anniversary screening panel at the 92nd Street Y.
  • LaMelo Ball will never play college basketball after signing with agent

    LaMelo Ball will never play college basketball after signing with agent

    He just posted a video of his animated self dunking on an animated Trump who, I must say, looks much skinnier as an emoji. It's a future that has nearly certainly been made more unlikely by this move. "I just need to get them playing again ".
    Tennessee Finalizes Deal With Jeremy Pruitt

    Tennessee Finalizes Deal With Jeremy Pruitt

    Fulmer, Tennessee's Hall of Fame football coach, took over as athletic director last Friday following the termination of Currie. Being the "main man" on campus and steering the ship can turn even the best of coaches into a shell of their former self.
    Officials decide to not pay $23000 ransom to hackers

    Officials decide to not pay $23000 ransom to hackers

    An expert on cyber security told The Associated Press that it's not uncommon for municipalities to be hacked with ransomware. Achieving that goal will require the county to use its backups to rebuild applications from scratch, the county said.
  • Lionel Messi admits Newell's Old Boys doubts

    Lionel Messi admits Newell's Old Boys doubts

    But City apparently knew they would need to move sooner rather than later if they wanted to bring in the 30-year-old. Right now there are better teams than us, like Brazil, Germany, France and Spain".
    Air pollution can damage a child's brain forever

    Air pollution can damage a child's brain forever

    The United Nations report was titled as "Danger in the air", that states that brain damage can happen through several mechanisms. With damage to brain tissue, the cognitive development of children is affected.
    Google Maps introduces India-first two-wheeler mode

    Google Maps introduces India-first two-wheeler mode

    While planning the route, a rider can view major local landmarks on the way which will be useful during navigation. The features have proven to be so popular that they have since rolled out to other markets around the world.