Restrictions on “smart” luggage

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Monday January 15th is a red-letter day for international travellers and it is now just one week away.

From that date, American Airlines, Alaska, Delta, Qantas and Virgin Australia will impose restrictions on carrying smart electronic goods such as notepads, laptops and mobile phones.

The problem is that the rules are inconsistent and mean that you will, need to check with the airline on which you are travelling to be sure that you are obeying the new rules. It becomes even more important that you do so if you are travelling on more than one airline. What is acceptable to one may not be to another.

For example, Qantas says it will ban all smart luggage if the lithium battery pack is not removable whether in the cabin or in the cargo hold. Virgin Australia is following the same published plans of the listed American airlines by only allowing smart luggage containing fixed lithium batteries as suitably sized carry-on baggage.

The international “trade union” for airlines, IATA, has said it will soon implement a similar directive for all 275 member airlines around the world so we can assume that restrictions will then become the same amongst all their members. Until then there will be discrepancies to annoy passengers as they will have to check every airline on which they travel!

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