The policies are being implemented with your safety in mind.
There is a lot to think about when flying these days. There's fretting about long wait times at airport security. There's worrying about the germy spots on airplanes. There's fretting about crying on the plane when you catch up on rom coms, and then touching the tray table (germs!) when you gather up all your tissues.
Here is a new one to add to the list of travel woes: A Smart Luggage ban. For those unfamiliar with the innovation, Smart Luggage refers to bags that have technology embedded in them that typically connect to a phone app and track your luggage, charge devices, lock your bag, weigh it, and more. This luggage category is growing in popularity as technology continues to pervade all aspects of our lives from voice-controlled devices like Amazon's Alexa to light bulbs.
Amidst concerns of the risk of battery-run devices catching fire, however, airlines are coming in with new regulations. According to CNBC, starting on January 15th, American Airlines will not let customers check their smart luggage if the bag's lithium-ion battery can't be removed (as long as the battery can be removed, you can check it). It appears you can still bring these bags on as carry-on luggage—assuming they meet size requirements—but again, only if the battery can be removed. The Federal Aviation Administration does not allow travelers to keep extra lithium-ion batteries in checked luggage.
In addition to American Airlines, Delta Air Lines will also implement the smart luggage regulations on January 15th. Other airlines are currently reviewing similar policy updates. Ah, if only someone would invent Genius Luggage and teleport our vacation essentials straight to our hotel room.