From January 1, 2018 Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon will implement strict policies regarding the carriage of “smart bags”.

This refers to newer types of luggage that have a lithium battery installed to perform functions such as charging external devices or powering wheels of the bag.

The new policy dictates that smart bags will not be considered as portable electronic devices (PED); their batteries will be handled as a power bank or spare lithium battery.

As such, passengers wishing to check-in a smart bag must remove the battery and carry it with them in the cabin.

Passengers who intend to take smart bags onboard as cabin baggage must still be able to demonstrate that the battery is removable in case the luggage needs to be loaded into the hold during any part of the journey.

If the battery cannot be removed, the bag will not be permitted for carriage as checked or cabin baggage.

According to the Cathay Pacific Group: “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”.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon are the latest airlines to issue strict smart bag rules, following US carriers such as American Airlines, Delta and Alaska Airlines.