Smart luggage—as a frequent traveller who is always looking to charge my devices en route, I was very excited about this practical invention. Bluetooth tracking, battery charging, built-in scales and remote smartphone locking all in a tidy piece of luggage. Nice!
But, it turns out my excitement was rather short lived: smart bags with non-removable lithium batteries are no longer allowed on airplanes as either cabin or checked baggage. You must be able to remove the battery pack or they’ll stop you right there at check in. Makes sense if you’ve followed the news at all and have seen videos of exploding Galaxy Note 7s or hoverboards.
Which airlines are banning smart bags?
Rules regulating suitcases with non-removable lithium batteries went into effect on January 15, 2018. United Airlines and Southwest are currently reviewing their policies, but these airlines below have either banned or announced restrictions on smart luggage:
- Delta Air Lines
- American Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Air Canada
- British Airways
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Allegiant Airlines
What about smart luggage with removable batteries?
Airlines want you to be able to remove the battery in case the bag needs to be checked in. We researched the three best and most stylish airline-compliant bags that will charge your phone and not catch fire. We think this is a win-win!
We all love TUMI, the king of travelling bags and luggage. Well, the Away brand is just as nice, offers more bells and whistles and is about the half the price. The company’s roller bags come in different sizes and include a 10,000 mAh battery (removable, of course) and two USB ports for easy recharging. The bags are hard-shelled and roomy, feature 360° turning wheels, a TSA-approved lock, and it comes in eight colours.
Get the Bigger Carry On for US $245.
The Raden A22 carry-on suitcase weighs 4 kilograms and comes in five colours. It fits on any airplane and the ergonomic handle doubles as a scale. No more extra luggage charges! The super-strong Makrolon Polycarbonate shell means you’ll tire out well before this carry on does. God forbid, but just in case, know the whereabouts of lost luggage with a bluetooth-enabled tracker that you can access with a smartphone app. As for removing the battery, it may be easy but it requires getting into the inner lining of the suitcase. Not the easiest feat if your bag is already packed.
This suitcase is fantastic! I love, love, love that when you lift it up it tells you how much it weighs …
—Dianna G., customer
Get the Raden A22 on sale in black for US $198.
3. Arlo Skye
This is one sleek carry on but it’s pricey. Arlo Skye is currently available in black, champagne and aluminium metallic, with a special-edition sage colour just out. The anodised aluminium-magnesium shell is virtually unbreakable yet whisper-quiet, and the portable battery easily pops out. Two TSA-approved combination locks feature on the zipperless outer design.
Get the Arlo Skye X in sage for US $450.
Now all you need to do is remember to dump out your liquids once and for all and you’re fit to fly!
Written By: Adriane Rysz