Smart Luggage Ban Takes Effect In January 2018

smart luggage ban

Smart Luggage Ban

The 2017-2018 holiday travel season has been particularly eventful, and not in a way that travelers would have hoped. A fire shut down the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport (the world’s busiest) for multiple days, and a so-called “winter hurricane” wreaked havoc along the air routes of the U.S. eastern seaboard.

The hardship will continue for tens of thousands of travelers beginning January 15, 2018, when several of the largest U.S. domestic carriers will begin rejecting so-called “smart luggage” or “smart baggage” unless such bags contain removable batteries. Travelers using smart luggage with batteries that cannot be removed will face the unwelcome choice of abandoning their bag or missing their flight.

Why the Smart Luggage Ban Was Issued

Many “smart baggage” manufacturers foresaw potential travel restrictions and designed their bags to contain removable batteries. Unfortunately, some bag manufacturers did not anticipate such restrictions and failed to incorporate the ability to remove the battery into their design. Travelers of these bags will have spent in excess of $500 per bag for an item that simply cannot be used for its primary purpose: air travel.

To make matters worse, some of these bag manufacturers fraudulently marketed their smart bags as “FAA-compliant” when this was simply not the case. In its public statement, Delta Airlines went out of its way to draw attention to and warn consumers of the falsity of these marketing statements. If you are the owner of smart luggage, we encourage you to research whether or not your bag is on the “banned list” before departing for the airport.

Contact Slack Davis Sanger

If you paid for a piece of “smart baggage” or “smart luggage” and are frustrated that you’re unable to use it for air travel, please contact us for a free consultation.

Demand for Airlines Soaring: Prepare for Crowded Airports

If you think the airports are crowded now, just wait. Currently, the U.S. is the largest single aviation market with 692.2 million domestic passengers traveling in 2016. However, that number is expected to soar above 1 billion passengers by 2035, according to the Airline Industry Forecast released by the International Transport Association (IATA). And, the U.S. isn’t the only nation experiencing significant growth. China is expected to outpace the U.S. by 2024, adding an estimated 817 million passengers totaling 1.3 billion passengers by 2035 and making it the world’s largest aviation market. Additionally, over the past decade, the developing world’s share of total passenger traffic has risen from 24% to 40%, and demand for air travel is expected to double over the next two decades.

IATA expects 7.2 billion passengers to travel in 2035, which is nearly double the current total of 3.8 billion passengers carried in 2016. That’s a lot of people passing through airports across the globe. IATA’s forecast revealed that passenger demand has increased by an average of 5.4% each year since 2013. By contrast, global passenger growth has increased by only 4.3% between 2008 and 2012.

This rise in air traffic is based on the 3.7% annual growth rate, and regions with the strongest international passenger growth include: Africa 5.1%, Middle East 4.8%, Asia-Pacific 4.7% and Latin America 3.8%. With passenger growth increasing around the world, governments are recognizing the value of connectivity provided by aviation to drive global trade and development.

For a closer look at the forecast, Slack Davis Sanger has created an infographic highlighting key trends:

Download (PDF, 940KB)

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