Smart bags, a popular product and outgrowth of the internet of things, typically use a USB port for phone and other battery charging needs and a GPS tracking system that helps people keep track of their valuables. Sometimes, they skate on the ground like BB-8 to help people avoid the strain of carrying heavy bags.
The potential of a fire in the cargo hold is the primary concern for airlines. Carries will let customers check their bags if the batteries are removable, but in the case of many widely used smart bags, the batteries are a permanent component of the luggage. American, Delta, and Alaska all said they no longer allow smart bags with non-removable batteries.
In the case that a battery is removable, the airlines will require passengers to carry the battery with them in the cabin while onboard the flight. As a carry-on, American will require smart luggage to be switched off, thus rendering them as dumb as bags from the last 50 years. Delta and Alaska’s smart baggage policies a bit more severe, as both carriers will require customers to remove the batteries completely even if the smart baggage is a carry-on item. All three airlines are set to implement the policies on January 15, 2018.