Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon will be introducing new policies surrounding the carriage of ‘smart bags’, which are a new type of innovative luggage featuring integrated lithium batteries for the purpose of charging an external device or to provide power to the wheels of the bag.
Smart bags will not be considered a portable electronic device (PED); their batteries will be handled as a power bank or spare lithium battery. The new policy follows industry guidance recently issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and aligns with similar practices adopted by major airlines worldwide for safety management and risk mitigation.
The rule came into effect from January 1, 2018. This means that customers who travel with a smart bag must be able to remove the battery in case the bag has to be checked-in at any point during the customer’s journey. The passenger must carry the removed lithium battery in their cabin baggage and it will be treated in accordance with existing spare lithium battery requirements.
If the customer would like to take the smart bag as cabin baggage, the battery must be removable and should remain installed inside the bag. If the battery cannot be removed, the bag will not be permitted for carriage as checked or cabin baggage.
The airline said in a statement that the team will be happy to answer any queries surrounding the smart bags.