The popular suitcase Qantas and Virgin refuse to carry

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The popular suitcase Qantas and Virgin refuse to carry

Unread post by bimjim » Wed Dec 13, 2017

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/38272244/qa ... -suitcase/

The popular suitcase Qantas and Virgin refuse to carry
13 December, 2017

Global airlines body IATA said it would issue industry-wide standards on the new luggage soon, after some US airlines issued their own restrictions on smart bags, whose manufacturers include companies such as BlueSmart, Raden or Away.

The bags contain GPS tracking and can charge devices, weigh themselves or be locked remotely using mobile phones, but they are powered by lithium ion batteries, which the aviation industry regards as a fire risk, especially in the cargo hold.

Qantas said it only allows smart-bags with removable batteries that must be placed in carry-on luggage.

Airlines including Qantas and Virgin have banned the popular "smart suitcases," unless the batteries can be removed. Photo: Bluesmart

"Smart bags with non-removable batteries or a powerbank are forbidden," the airline says on its website.

Virgin Australia said passengers could carry on the smart suitcases if the battery was not too heavy.

"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," the airline said in a statement to Traveller.

"We expect guidance to be issued potentially this week," Nick Careen, IATA senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and security, told a media briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.

US based carriers American Airlines , Delta and Alaska Airlines all said last week that as of January 15, 2018, they would require the battery to be removed before allowing the bags on board.

Away and Raden say on their websites that batteries in their bags can be easily removed.

Both airlines only allow the suitcases if the battery can be removed or isn't too heavy. Photo: Getty

Bluesmart, which says more than 65,000 of its suitcases are being used around the world, said its batteries cannot be removed but that its products meet all safety regulations and requirements.

It said it would be holding meetings with airlines to try and ensure its products are exempt from any restrictions.

Concerns over the risk of a lithium ion battery fire were highlighted during the electronics ban temporarily imposed earlier this year on some flights to the United States.

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