Hawaiian Airlines announced today that it will no longer accept “smart” bags containing non-removable lithium-ion batteries as either checked or carry-on luggage, starting Jan. 15.
The lithium-ion batteries have been known to short-circuit, said Hawaiian Airlines in a press release, and pose a safety risk for airlines.
Federal Aviation Administration rules allow smart bags which feature removable batteries to be carried on and stored in the overhead bin as long as they remain turned off for the duration of the flight. Passengers may also check in a smart bag if the battery has been removed. The detached battery must be carried in the cabin, with its terminals isolated to prevent a short circuit.
The “smart” bags, which have grown in popularity, offer luggage with built-in features including GPS, chargers and motors.
A “smart” bag, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), includes features such as a lithium-ion battery and motor allowing it to be used as a personal transportation device, either as a stand-up scooter, or sit-on vehicle; a lithium-ion battery power bank that allows charging of other electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops; GPS tracking devices; Bluetooth, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) and Wi-Fi capability; electronic baggage tags and locks.
Hawaiian Airlines joins others, including Delta, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines in its restriction of smart luggage.