If you are planning on travelling with smart luggage that has a battery in the near future, there are some new rules you should know about. Most of the major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and more are reportedly banning the use of smart luggage win non-removable batteries. However, the ban is only for checked baggage, and doesn’t apply to carry-on luggage brought into the main cabin. This will affect thousands of people as high-tech pieces of luggage with various smart technology included in them have become very popular gifts over the last few holiday seasons. As a result, you should look to make sure that new bag you got (or are going to give to someone), will comply with the new policies.
The reason for this ban is the potential for lithium battery combustion, which can be traced to the various concerns about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 issues of 2016. The ban is essentially a proactive step to ensure no disasters end up taking place in the cargo of a plane. As you could imagine, many technology companies who make products specifically designed for travel and luggage, are not too pleased with this announcement. In fact, the CEO of Bluesmart, Tomi Pierucci, calls these changes a “huge step back for travel technology”.
Are Smart Luggage Batteries and Lithium-Ion Batteries Safe?
However, are the airlines right in banning these pieces of smart luggage? Are lithium-ion batteries unsafe? The answer for the most part is no. For most of the millions who use smart luggage batteries or other lithium-ion batteries, no problems will arise. You will be able to use devices with these batteries consistently without an issue.
Now, that isn’t to say there isn’t the potential for safety problems to occur, especially when flying or when lithium-ion batteries don’t have protections. These mainly occur when the lithium-ion battery is overcharged, kept at too high a temperature, or goes through mechanical abuse such as being dropped or tossed around. Of course, there are some issues that can arise during the manufacturing process, but most of the time, companies are very particular about making sure that their batteries are safe. RAVPower is no exception.
By making sure you take care of your lithium-ion batteries, keep them in a suitable location, and follow the rules of your airline, there is a good chance you will be just fine.
Disclaimer: We’d like to address that lithium-ion batteries CAN be dangerous in that they can catch on fire on, especially when flying. It is for this reason that airlines restrict certain li-ion based products, as well as put rules on others – such as power banks. It is also why some lithium-ion products are required to be brought on board in your carry-on luggage so in the unlikely case of a fire, they can be put out immediately.
Are Power Banks Safe For Air Travel?
So what about power banks? Can they be brought on to planes? Well the answer is yes, most power banks will be able to be taken on planes, but there are some limits when flying with a power bank. First of all, power banks that use lithium-ion batteries will need to be taken in your carry-on bag and second of all, power banks that are rated above 100Wh per battery are not allowed, unless you get prior authorization from the airline to bring it on board. Most consumer power banks (including RAVPower’s) are below that level, but some exist that are indeed higher than that.
Airlines need to come into the 21st century and embrace technology as it becomes smarter and smarter every single day. As technology continues to advance, regulatory changes will need to be considered and made by the airlines if they want to have happy customers. However, it is also the duty of the technology companies, smart luggage innovators, and other power bank manufacturers to ensure their products are safe and they should aim to make their technology safe not only on the ground, but also in the air.
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