New regulations that ban the use of smart luggage with non-removable lithium batteries, causing several manufacturers to rethink and revamp their designs.
Effective January 15, 2018, American, Alaska, and Delta airlines no longer allow passengers to fly with such luggage, including both checked baggage as well as carry-on. The policy stems from safety concerns around lithium batteries being susceptible to emitting smoke, catching fire, or even exploding.
Some luggage manufacturers already sell smart luggage that comply with the FAA protocol, such as the Travelpro Crew 11 carry-on (shown above), but others will have to revamp their products in order to regain compliance
There have reportedly already been 160 documented incidents involving lithium batteries, and the IATA (International Air Transport Association) expects most carriers to follow the recommendations.
Most airlines will still allow lithium batteries in carry-on, but American in particular is insisting that they must be removable. The carrier will not require travellers to take out the battery if they are bringing the bag into the cabin. But they must be able to check the bag if there is not enough space in the overhead bin and therefore they must be removable.
With standardized practices being the norm in the industry, Canadian airlines are likely to fall in line as well.