Travelers will no longer be able to fly with smart luggage, according to CNN, due to the risk of fire.
The luggage is said to pose a danger because they feature non-removable lithium-ion batteries, which are known to spontaneously catch fire. A similar ban was previously levied against hoverboards, while Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was banned by several airlines amidst the device’s recall.
The key point here is that these smart suitcase batteries cannot be removed. For any smart luggage that allows users to take the battery out, then the luggage is deemed safe for travel. Travelers will simply need to keep the battery in the plane’s cabin.
The latest development was spearheaded by American Airlines and the International Air Transport Association. American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Delta Airlines are among the first airlines to ban smart luggage, with others reportedly considering a similar move.
According to an American Airlines spokesperson, there hasn’t been a documented incident of smart luggage catching fire. But the point is to proactively avoid any future incidents.
As The Verge points out, several companies offer smart luggage, including Away and Bluesmart, the latter of which offers bags with non-removable batteries. If you own a bag that’s deemed unsafe for air transport, you’ll have until January 15 to find a luggage alternative.