Three more carriers are banning so-called smart bags from being checked into luggage holds unless the bag’s integrated lithium battery can be removed and carried separately.

Las Vegas-based LCC Allegiant Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Chicago-based United Airlines have announced the new rules will take effect Jan. 15.

They follow similar actions by other carriers including Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Dallas/Fort Worth-based American Airlines, British Airways, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Qantas Airways, Qatar Airways, Southwest Airlines and Virgin Australia.

Smart bags use lithium ion batteries to power electronics and embedded tracking and self-weigh devices. There is increasing concern, however, about lithium ion batteries causing runaway fires in cargo holds unless devices are properly stored and separated from items that could worsen a fire, such as cans of inflammable liquids.

FAA, NTSB and ICAO have issued warnings on the potential hazards associated with lithium ion batteries and guidelines to minimize fire risks.

Passengers are being told they can check their smart bag only if the battery can be removed and taken onboard separately as carry-on.

Mark Nensel