Robotic suitcases are here to stay.
And they're being regulated as of January 15th, 2018. As a follow up to my recent post: "how technology is shaping the future of travel", here is a list of things you should know if you're considering gifting smart luggage this holiday season:
1. Is the lithium ion battery removable?
American Airlines was the first to regulate that any bag without a removable battery cannot be checked into the cargo hold, for fear of it sparking a fire. Delta and Alaska Airlines quickly followed suit and more are likely to do the same. You can only check the bag if the battery can be removed and carried with you on board.
Stick to this list of smart luggage companies with removable batteries:
2. Stick with carry-on size for now
If you still want to give smart luggage as a gift, the only way to get around a non-removable battery is to purchase a carry-on size that can be powered off and stored with you inside the cabin. I would recommend trying a carry-on size for now, while the TSA and airlines continue regulating smart luggage into the new year.
3. Know TSA guidelines:
- Here's a list of battery types and whether they're approved; it's best to know the "watt hours" of the smart luggage before purchasing!
- New TSA screening procedures set to be implemented in all airports across the U.S. by spring 2018 - read them.