The Strategist

Airlines ban smart travel accessories

12/20/2017 - 13:51

Manufacturers of "smart" travel accessories have faced an unexpected problem several years after the release of their goods. Their bags and suitcases are now considered fire dangerous and are now not allowed on board. The corresponding ban will take effect in mid-January on several American and Australian airlines. Now manufacturers are waiting for the decision of the International Air Transport Association, which, however, can adopt even more stringent restrictions.

The market of luggage accessories one of the most conservative. Nothing radically new has appeared in this sphere for several decades after the invention of a suitcase on wheels in 1972. Finally, a few years ago, manufacturers released "smart" bags and travel cases. Thanks to mobile technologies, such luggage will never be lost, since you can follow it through a special mobile application. "Smart" suitcases can be blocked at a distance, their location can be tracked and they can even be used as a charging station for a mobile gadget. However, all this can now be banned.

Since January 15, new rules for carrying luggage on three American airlines - American, Alaska and Delta Airlines - will come into force. All of them decided to ban transporting "smart" suitcases and bags with built-in lithium-ion batteries on board.

The new rules are applied to both luggage compartment, and hand luggage. The US carriers explain their decision by the threat of battery fires. "Starting from January 15, passengers traveling with "smart" suitcases should be able to remove the battery in case of checking baggage at any time of travel. If the battery cannot be withdrawn, the baggage will not be admitted to the aircraft", - said American Airlines in a statement.

Australian Qantas and Virgin Australia followed the example of American carriers. Now, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is also thinking about regulating the transport of smart luggage. And the international organization can introduce a more extensive ban, which will also affect accessories with an electric motor, a lithium battery to recharge other electronic devices, as well as GPS sensors, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The producers themselves consider this approach unfair. "The latest changes are a total nonsense and a huge step back not only for the travel technology, but also a serious obstacle to modernizing and improving the way we all travel," Bluesmart’s CEO Tomi Piercucci said in an interview with Techcrunch. - If they are going to ban suitcases, then let them also ban the transportation of cameras, laptops and mobile phones. They all have already exploded at some point, and now "smart" suitcases and Bluesmart have the carry the can for them for them. "