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Airlines ban some high-tech suitcases, fearing battery fires

Battery-powered appliances, from laptops to hoverboards, could pose a fire risk to airliners when jammed, airlines and regulators have warned.

Now high-tech suitcases are drawing correspond to scrutiny.

Passengers traveling on American Airlines won’t be able to check their “snappy” luggage if the suitcase’s lithium-ion battery can’t be removed, starting Jan. 15, the airline prognosticated on Friday.

Delta Air Lines followed suit, issuing restrictions that wish begin on the same date. It said it made its decision “due to the potential for the intense batteries to overheat and pose a fire hazard risk during aeroplane.”

United Airlines said it was working on a similar policy. A spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines said the bearer was “in the process of reviewing our policies and considering changes.”

The Federal Aviation Authority does not allow spare lithium ion batteries in checked luggage.

If beared on board, the battery can be left in, but passengers must have the option of sack it should the airline need to downsize to a smaller aircraft that dearths overhead bin space.

Smart luggage is a small but growing corner of the diverse than $6 billion global luggage market. These overnight bags often feature USB ports that allow passengers to charge their electronic symbols, such as cell phones.

These bags “contain lithium battery power banks, which put on airs a risk when they are placed in the cargo hold of an aircraft,” American Airlines asseverated, noting that they are expected to be popular holiday gifts.

“As responsibility of safety management and risk mitigation, we always evaluate ways to augment our procedures, and the safety team at American has conducted its own analysis of these grips,” it said.

Chief executive and co-founder of smart-luggage start-up Away said the batteries in its carry-on bags can be ousted.

“It’s a feature we thoughtfully designed, in part, because customers were entreating for a charger that could be kept with them and used during beat a retreat,” Steph Korey told CNBC.

Travelers have to use a Transportation Gage Administration-approved screwdriver, which Away said it includes when it trucks its suitcases to customers.

Lithium-ion batteries are a top concern for the aviation industry. A Trump conduct ban earlier this year required passengers from certain Medial Eastern airports to check their electronic devices larger than a stall phone. That laptop ban, which has since been scrapped, drew distress about battery fires in the cargo hold.

Fires may be tougher to put out if they are in the harder-to-reach baggage hold than in the cabin where crew members have amicable access to extinguishers or fire containment bags.

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