Aviation

Why SMART suitcases could be a dud

They’re smart enough to charge your phone, weigh themselves and be GPS tracked, but are they smart enough to fly?

If the battery isn’t removed from your ‘smart’ suitcase, then the answer could be a big fat no.

Airlines across the world are not allowing these high-tech luggage carriers onboard because they consider the lithium ion batteries that power them to be a fire risk.

Airlines have been issuing their own guidelines on smart suitcases and giving restrictions on bag companies including Raden, BlueSmart and Away.

In response, the global airlines body IATA said it could issue industry standards on the smart luggage.

At a press conference in Geneva last week, IATA senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and security, Nick Careen said guidance could be issued as soon as the end of the week, but gave no details on industry-wide standards being implemented.

Currently, Virgin Australia only allow smart bags to be used as carry-on luggage, while Qantas has said no to any smart suitcases on its aircrafts that cannot have the batteries removed.

The smart luggage company Raden and Away both say on their website that batteries are easily removable, however it is unclear with BlueSmart.

So before you spend the big bucks buying one of these, it may not be a SMART decision – well at least until we get some updates on industry standards, and more information on how dangerous these batteries are – we don’t want any aeroplanes going caput mid-air!

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