Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon will introduce a new policy for the ‘smart bag’ luggage an increasing number of travellers are using. The policy refers to luggage items with built-in charging banks or batteries, with common models including Bluesmart, Raden and Trunkster.
Effective 1 January 2018, smart bags with non-removable lithium batteries will not be accepted as cabin or checked baggage. The new policy follows industry guidance recently issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and aligns with similar practices adopted by major airlines oneworld carriers, including American Airlines, which recently banned smart luggage that didn’t allow its lithium batteries to be removed. Under Cathay Pacific’s new policy, smart bags will not be considered a portable electronic device (PED); their batteries will be handled as a power bank or spare lithium battery.
Under the changes, customers who travel with a smart bag must be able to remove the battery in case the bag has to be checked-in at any point during the customer’s journey. The passenger must carry the removed lithium battery in their cabin baggage and it will be treated in accordance with existing spare lithium battery requirements. If the customer would like to take the smart bag as cabin baggage, the battery must be removable and should remain installed inside the bag. If the battery cannot be removed, the bag will not be permitted for carriage as checked or cabin baggage.