Qantas and Virgin Australia Will Ban Smart Luggage
Two Australian airlines have announced that they will ban "smart luggage" from their flights. Qantas and Virgin Australia said they won't allow luggage that contains lithium-ion batteries to be checked in the airplane's cargo hold or to be carried on board aircraft.
Only smart luggage with removable batteries will be allowed, and passengers will have to carry-on the battery with them if they want to check the luggage. Smart luggage is usually defined as a bag that includes a built in battery to charge devices, GPS tracking, electronic locks and more.
Virgin Australia will implement the ban starting January 15, 2018. It's unclear when Qantas' ban will take effect. Qantas already banned smart luggage from the cargo hold, but is taking it a step further by banning it in the cabin.
"In the event that the guest's smart bag is too heavy, the lithium battery must be removed and carried as a spare battery in carry-on baggage. If the lithium battery cannot be removed, the smart bag cannot be carried on our aircraft," Virgin Australia said.
This move comes after Alaska, American and Delta implemented similar bans earlier this month. CNN said that United and Southwest both have plans to ban smart luggage too, but nothing official has been announced yet.
Airlines are concerned about the lithium-ion batteries which have a history of catching on fire and exploding. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was banned by the FAA last year after multiple instances of the device's battery catching fire.
H/T: The Australian