IATA Issues Guidance for “Smart Luggage”

luggage at an airport

The Problem with Smart Luggage

Some of you may remember the old credit card commercial that featured the epic journey of a self-propelled suitcase seeking its lost owner. Well, it turns out this wasn’t so entirely fantastic. There’s a new generation of “smart luggage” hitting the market that can tell airlines electronically who it belongs to and where it’s going, trail after you down airport hallways without a handle, and charge your cellphone if you can’t make it to one of those electrical outlets airports seem to hide on purpose. Some will even double as transport devices themselves, allowing travelers to zip around terminals on their own electric suitcase-scooters.

But these modern technologies come with a problem that’s often overlooked. The energy sources for all these seemingly-magical functions are usually lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are one of the main causes of fires related to dangerous goods on aircraft. So travelling with the newest piece of high tech luggage can bring headaches both for the traveller and the airline he or she flies on.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has for many years established rules for equipment containing lithium batteries carried by passengers or crew, but dangerous luggage is a new area. To help, they’ve published a guidance document that covers the dangers associated with such luggage, and instructions on how it can be carried safely.

The document lists various Continue Reading…

Safer Flights Means No Toner

Transport Canada announced yesterday that office-size toner cartridges would be forbidden in checked bags or carry-on bags. Operators will not be permitted to transport these cartridges as cargo on passenger flights.

These measures are being put in place as a result of two (2) packages that were found on October 29. This is just a knee-jerk reaction by our federal government. I can understand not permitting anything from or through Yemen or Somalia, but why hasn’t the federal government banned shoes and underwear from passenger aircraft? If you remember, there was the so called shoe bomber who tried to light his shoes and just last year the flight into Detroit where an idiot tried to light his underwear.

If the competent authorities (now there’s an oxymoron) insist that shoes be inspected, why is it there is no consistency? On a flight from the US to Canada, I had to remove my shoes, but the gentleman behind did not ‘because his shoes are runners and don’t contain any metal’. Anybody know how much metal there was in the shoes or underwear of the two attempted bombings? And if there was any, why didn’t the security agents find it during inspection?

Let’s get a grip people. Yes, security is a part of life today, but do we have to jump to whenever some idiot tries something? The terrorists are probably laughing Continue Reading…