New Luggage restrictions on Irish airlines target high-tech "Smart Bags".

Key Points:

  • "Smart bags", which feature electronic capabilities like charging devices and wifi connectivity, face restrictions aboard Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights.

  • While smart bags are permitted onboard, the primary contention lies with the detachability of their lithium batteries/power banks.

  • Travelers who don’t adhere to these baggage stipulations risk being barred from their flights, both for carry-ons and checked-in luggage.

DUBLIN — As vacation season gains momentum, travelers are cautioned to stay abreast of revised luggage policies on Ireland's leading airlines. Notably, Aer Lingus and Ryanair have imposed restrictions on the carriage of "smart bags". Defined by their built-in electronic components, these high-tech bags offer services like electronic locking, device charging, and even wifi access.

The issue was recently spotlighted by Pandora Sykes on social media. Following a denied boarding on an EasyJet flight due to her luggage's "smart" features, she voiced her astonishment: "Easyjet altered their terms silently a short while ago without informing its clientele."

Aer Lingus issued a clarifying statement, elucidating the nature of smart luggage. These are bags, including backpacks and suitcases, that potentially contain a lithium battery or power bank. This mechanism facilitates the charging of personal devices like phones, tablets, and laptops. However, there are caveats: such luggage is permitted only if the battery is easily removable by the traveler. A wattage rating exceeding 100Wh, or one that's indeterminate, will render the luggage unacceptable. If compliant with these conditions, the battery needs to be taken out, kept within the cabin, and adequately safeguarded against short-circuiting.

Ryanair's stipulations mirror those of Aer Lingus. The budget airline allows passengers to carry smart bags but mandates the removal of batteries, which should remain with passengers throughout the flight. The luggage itself can be stowed in the overhead compartments. Moreover, for those opting to check in their smart bags, the battery must be detached prior to depositing the bag and should be carried into the aircraft cabin.

A representative from Ryanair highlighted the particulars, emphasizing that the lithium battery, once detached, "must remain with you at all times."

Passengers failing to abide by these guidelines risk having their luggage, be it hand-carried or checked in, barred from the flight.