(NEW YORK) — At least two major airlines will ban baggage with built-in battery chargers later this month.
In a Friday press release, American Airlines laid out a policy change that will go into effect on January 15, 2018. Under the new policy, travelers using smart luggage will be required to “remove the battery in case the bag has to be checked at any point in the customer’s journey. If the battery cannot be removed, the bag will not be allowed.”
The bags in question are designed to be carried onto a flight, but on crowded planes, they may end up being checked. The bags typically contain lithium-ion batteries, which can represent a fire hazard in a plane’s cargo hold.
Southwest Airlines told ABC News that they will also ban smart luggage beginning late this month. Delta also said Friday that they would institute a similar police beginning on January 15.
At least one major maker of smart luggage — Away Luggage — says that their batteries are removable. “All Away Carry-Ons have batteries that can be easily removed. It’s a feature we thoughtfully designed, in part, because customers were asking for a charger that could be kept with them and used during flight,” Away Co-founder and CEO Steph Korey said.
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