In this era where technology plays a big role in our daily life, almost every possible item in our daily life have or will become “Smart”. We have smart phones, smart pen, smart refrigerators, smart watches, smart kettle, smart cars… you name it, we have it. And now… for travel we have smart luggage too. So, what is smart luggage? In fact, Smart luggage is not new and it has been gaining popularity among business or more tech-savvy travellers since the last few years. As Smart luggage become more popular, there are several points that travelers need to keep in mind to avoid confusion, specially relating to bringing a smart luggage onboard a plane and whether there’s any security concerns.
In this post, let us dive deep to explore what is smart luggage and all other essential info you should consider when using or buying a smart luggage. Hope this help if you are planning to get a new Smart luggage in 2022
- What is Smart Luggage?
- What are the features of a Smart Luggage?
- Are Smart luggages Allowed Onboard by Airlines?
- Are Smart luggage with Removable Batteries Allowed?
- List of Accepted Smart Luggage Brands
- Should you get a Smart luggage?
- Is Getting a Smart luggage Worth the Money?
What is Smart Luggage?
According to the IATA (International Air Transport Association) guidance, Smart luggage are defined as luggage that comes with a built-in or integrated lithium battery and/or other electronics features like power bank, tracking system or electronic tag etc.
Smart luggage = Luggage with (1) built-in battery and/or (2) other electronic featuresIATA (International Air Transport Association)
What are the features of a Smart Luggage?
A smart luggage is one that has innovative features that a normal luggage (with no power supply) doesn’t have and these features are made possible by the power supply of the in-built battery.
To make this easy, below are some common features smart luggage has nowadays.
Luggage Tracking Using GPS
With this, users can track the real-time location of your luggage using an App. Tracking can be done via bluetooth, wifi, GPS, GPRS etc, depending on different luggages. This luggage tracking mechanism is very useful for tracking lost luggages. Some luggage also has a proximity tracking which will trigger a notification to you when you are far from your luggage.
Built-in Electronic Scale
Most smart luggage have a small digital display integrated on the luggage handle. When you pick up your luggage, the display will show weight of your luggage. With this, you don’t need to always carry a separate luggage scale anymore.
RFID Anti-theft blocking
Typically this RFID blocking feature prevents tech-savvy thieves from trying to steal digital data such as credit card/phone info by scanning via your luggage pockets.
Built-in Power Banks
Users can plug in your devices/laptop to the USB port which is exposed via the luggage for charging. This is especially a lifesaver when you are in the airport or train station where there’s no sockets available nearby.
You read right. Nowadays there are luggages that can even auto-follow you via a signal emitting device (like a bracelet). Airwheel & Ovis are two innovative luggage brands that build smart luggages that can auto-follow and even avoid obstacles. That said, both Airwheel & Ovis are definitely not cheap.
OVIS is the world’s first luggage which can follow you wherever you go. No more dragging your luggage – It is totally hands and hassle-free and will follow you beside or behind .
Are Smart luggages Allowed Onboard by Airlines?
Yes, but with conditions. Smart luggage with non-removable lithium-ion battery are banned by all airlines. Smart luggage with removable battery are allowed, but the removable battery CANNOT BE CHECKED IN. Airlines are also more cautious with the rules due to multiple incidents which has already occured as result of lithium batteries incidents onboard.
“In 2017, American Airlines has announced smart luggage with lithium-ion battery power banks to be banned – unless the battery can be removed.”travelandleisure.com
Are Smart luggage with Removable Batteries Allowed?
Yes technically, but this is not always the case. Although the guidelines states that smart luggage with removable batteries are allowed, not every airlines or their employee are consistently updated with the guidelines. However, we think this will changed as smart luggages become more commonly adopted by more travelers.
Examples of rejected entry onboard
List of Accepted Smart Luggage Brands
Fast forward to 2022, many luggage brands offer smart luggages are already approved and allowed onboard. Below is a list of approved smart luggages brands onboard. If you are looking to get a smart luggage, we recommend getting a luggage from the below brands to be safe. (You won’t want to be denied onboarding on your next flight)
Should you get a Smart luggage?
Whether you should get a smart luggage really depends on your personal preference & habits (can be either personality or profession), and how frequent are you always on the travel. Below are some scenarios to help you get the idea.
- If you are someone who always bring your electronic like kindle, tablet, smart watch, laptop, phone or camera every where you go, investing in a smart luggage will make your life easier as you can charge anytime. You will never go out of battery juice again.
- If you are someone who is always forgetful and have bad experience losing your luggage, a smart luggage can helps. You can leverage the GPS or proximity tracking technology to your advantage.
- If you are someone who prioritise security, getting a luggage with RFID blocking compartment will make you more secured.
So with the above scenarios, now you should get what I mean. Whether if you should get a smart luggage really depends on you and your needs.
Is Getting a Smart luggage Worth the Money?
Whether a smart luggage is worth it is dependent on how much do you value the convenience a smart luggage can bring you and how do you prioritise them. For example, is the need to stay charged and always connected a priority when you are traveling? If you are, then a smart luggage with a in-built battery that is removable will definitely be worth any penny.