Goodness knows I love my smart luggage. Yes, it looks great, but the kind of “smart” I am referring to is its capacity to charge my devices. Before owning my beautiful lifesaver, I had to search out electric outlets, both domestic and foreign, which meant also having to have my adapter in my carry on kit.
As a luxury travel advisor and ambassador of change, I spend a lot of time in airports. But for even the occasional traveler, the early airport arrival is a necessity, and heaven forbid there is a delay anywhere along the way to your travel destination or back home. Charging stations are always at a premium, and finding outlets near nice seating is not always possible. Of course, portable chargers are helpful but I wanted extra insurance that my power needs could be met in any circumstance. So when the smart luggage concept was developed, I rejoiced.
Early versions of smart luggage had batteries directly manufactured into the bags and were non-removable. The latest versions feature that can be removed for charging. Now, there is a wrinkle in the smart bag luxury traveler world.
American Airlines has announced it will no longer allow any smart luggage with a non-removable lithium-ion battery on its flights, and other major carriers are considering following suit. Supported by the International Air Transport Association, the move is made to decrease the risk of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries, a reasoning similar to the banning of hover-boards and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
Bags like Raden, which had a huge launch in recent years and (my choice) the Away line of luggage are not affected because their batteries (yes, they are lithium-ion) are removable.
So, before packing, check your airline’s restrictions on your luggage and what it contains. If you are checking a bag with a battery, remove it (thereby disabling it). I remove store my carry on Away luggage’s battery inside it for flight and it is readily at hand upon landing.