Twitter Outcry Sparks Debate as Airlines Prohibit ‘Smart Bags’ on Flights

Twitter Outcry Sparks Debate as Airlines Prohibit ‘Smart Bags’ on Flights

Holidaymakers are experiencing disruptions in their travel arrangements as certain airlines, including easyJet, Ryanair, and British Airways (BA), have implemented a ban on a specific type of bag.

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These bags, often referred to as “smart bags,” are now prohibited from both cabin and hold compartments, contingent on the particular regulations of each airline.

Twitter Revelation and Background of Smart Bags

The ban on smart bags came to public attention through a Twitter post by Pandora Sykes, who shared her recent airport ordeal.

She cautioned travelers against selecting airlines like easyJet, revealing that the captain refused to allow her and her companions to board due to their checked-in suitcases featuring USB ports, indicative of “smart bags.”

It was pointed out that easyJet had quietly modified their terms and conditions a few weeks earlier without notifying their customers.

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Smart bags encompass bags embedded with electronic features such as built-in charging capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity, electronic locks, and even Wi-Fi hotspot functionality.

Airline-Specific Regulations on Smart Bags

Each airline maintains distinct regulations and stipulations concerning the usage of smart bags: easyJet

For safety reasons, the lithium battery or power bank in the smart bag must be disconnected.

Failure to remove it results in the bag being deemed unacceptable for boarding.

If the smart luggage is to be checked and stored in the hold, the battery should be removed at the Bag Drop counter and carried into the cabin.

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Any exposed terminals must be safeguarded against short-circuiting.

Alternatively, if the smart luggage is to be carried in the cabin, the lithium battery can stay within the bag.

British Airways

British Airways permits smart bags for carriage under certain conditions. If the lithium battery or power bank cannot be easily removed by the traveler, the smart bag will not be accepted.

Acceptable lithium battery/power bank capacities range from up to 100Wh.

If the capacity exceeds 100Wh but remains below 160Wh, specific guidelines must be followed. Batteries exceeding 160Wh or lacking clear capacity markings will not be accepted.

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When the smart baggage is to be checked in the hold, the lithium battery/power bank must be extracted and taken into the cabin.

If the bag is intended for the cabin, the battery can remain within it.

Travelers must adhere to BA’s security requirements and consult partner airlines for their specific smart baggage rules.

Ryanair

Ryanair’s policy on smart bags stipulates that travelers can carry them as carry-on items; however, the lithium battery must be removed before stowing the bag in the overhead locker.

The battery must remain with the passenger throughout the flight. In cases where the smart bag is checked in as hold luggage, the lithium battery must be detached prior to submitting the bag at the counter or gate.

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The battery should then accompany the traveler onboard.

Smart bags with retained lithium batteries are not allowed in either checked-in or carry-on luggage, and they should not pass through security while being carried.

In summary, the ban on smart bags by airlines like easyJet, Ryanair, and British Airways has necessitated the removal of lithium batteries or power banks from these bags for safety reasons.

Each airline has established specific rules governing the acceptance of smart bags in both cabin and hold compartments, and travelers are advised to familiarize themselves with these regulations to avoid disruptions during their journeys.

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