U.S. carriers are increasingly awake to risks from fire from lithium iron battery induced fires.
While “Smart suitcases” may be able to charge mobile devices, track and weigh themselves, be locked remotely using smartphones and be pretty useful, unless their batteries can be removed, they are likely to be perceived as a risk by the airlines industry.
As a result, IATA said it is likely to introduce industry wide standards for smart suitcases after a few U.S. airlines issued their own restrictions on smart luggage makers including Away, BlueSmart, and Raden.
“We expect guidance to be issued potentially this week,” said Nick Careen, IATA senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and security when asked about restrictions placed by some airlines on Tuesday.
Last week, U.S. based carriers including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta said as of January 15, 2018, they would require the battery to be removed before allowing the bags on board.
Although Careen did not provide any details of potentially industry-wide standards, he however said he expects others carriers to quickly follow the example of their U.S. peers.
Both Raden and Away have said on their websites that batteries in their bags can be easily removed.