Lufthansa bans Apple AirTags on checked luggage


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Lufthansa over the weekend stated it’s banning Apple AirTags from checked luggage, solely to attribute the coverage to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

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In a press release posted to its Twitter account, the German air service responded to a request to deal with studies that Lufthansa has banned AirTags from checked baggage.

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“Lufthansa is banning activated AirTags from luggage as they are classified as dangerous and need to be turned off,” the airline said on Saturday.

Hi David, Lufthansa is banning activated AirTags from baggage as they’re labeled as harmful and have to be turned off./Mony

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— Lufthansa (@lufthansa) October 8, 2022

Asked to elucidate the coverage, the airline said“According to ICAO guidelines, baggage trackers are subject to the dangerous goods regulations. Furthermore, due to their transmission function, the trackers must be deactivated during the flight if they are in checked baggage and cannot be used as a result.”

The coverage seems to be unpopular amongst vacationers who’ve taken to utilizing Apple AirTags to trace checked luggage, as a result of air carriers often misdirect or lose luggage – ~7 out of each 1,000, per the US Department of Transportation.

Among travellers, there’s hypothesis that Lufthansa determined to implement this coverage to keep away from being shamed on social media by vacationers whose luggage have been misplaced.

Lufthansa didn’t reply to a number of calls and emails in search of remark concerning the rationale for the coverage, whether or not the airline will implement the coverage, and the way it would possibly accomplish that.

According to Ethan Klapper, senior reporter for The Points Guy, a Lufthansa spokesperson denied there’s an AirTag ban. But that was someday previous to the airline’s assertion on the contrary.

IATA and the ICAO additionally didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. Apple additionally didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Over the previous decade, the combustion of lithium-ion batteries in plane baggage holds has prompted restrictions on the sorts of digital gadgets that may be carried in plane cabins and baggage holds.

Apple AirTags, nonetheless, depend on tiny lithium-metal batteries, mannequin CR2032 [PDF] to be particular. They comprise an vitality density of 198 milliwatt hr/g and 0.109 grams (0.0038 oz.) of lithium. As such, they’re allowed in checked luggage within the US beneath FAA guidelines [PDF],

Among US-based air carriers, United Airlines has no downside with passengers utilizing the monitoring gadgets. “We do not have a policy related to AirTags,” a spokesperson advised The Register.

AirTags additionally look like allowed beneath guidelines formulated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), that are primarily based on ICAO suggestions. The IATA rule states approval is just not required for lithium metallic batteries with lithium content material of two grams or much less – so AirTags could be allowed.

Separate Lufthansa say checked luggage could comprise gadgets with integral, detachable batteries which have pointers lithium content material of as much as 0.3 g – that means AirTags ought to be allowed.

However, particular IATA steerage for “smart” baggage options, like GPS trackers, requires [PDF]”The [portable electronic device] should be designed with a minimal of two impartial means to show off utterly, flip off mobile or cellular features, or a mix of each when airborne.”

This could also be the place Apple’s GPS trackers run afoul of the principles: AirTags do not need an on-device or distant off change – the battery should be eliminated (or run out of energy) to show it off.

Whether or how Lufthansa intends to implement this coverage isnt apparent. Removing luggage with AirTags from flights appears sure to generate ill-will amongst clients. We’ll replace this story if we hear again from Lufthansa.


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