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Air Travel Planned?

Whether you are planning any domestic flights or overseas trips it may pay to be aware of rules regarding placing tags or trackers on your luggage containing batteries.

With reports rife of lost luggage and baggage that has ended up in the wrong country, many will be tempted to put trackers on their bags before handing them over to airlines.

The rise in popularity and affordability of devices such as Apple AirTags make the idea even more appealing, especially if they can help locate a lost bag.

However, there are restrictions on placing devices powered by lithium batteries in checked luggage, so is it a good idea?

The exact rules that govern whether a battery-powered device, including AirTags, can be put into an aircraft hold depend on both the airline you fly with and the aviation authority of the country where the plane takes off from.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which sets the rules for flights in New Zealand, says batteries that exceed 0.3g or 2.7Wh (watt hour) must be removed and carried as "spares" in carry-on luggage.

If batteries cannot be removed, and they exceed 0.3g or 2.7Wh they cannot go onto a plane.

A spokesperson for the CAA said in New Zealand AvSec was not screening for AirTags or any other similar baggage trackers.

“However, we recommend passengers check the conditions of carriage of their airline, and if flying internationally that of the country they are going to.”

Over the weekend, Air New Zealand’s chief operating officer, Alex Marren, said the airline was rolling out new technology to log and locate mishandled bags and had sought approval from the Civil Aviation Authority for Apple's AirTags.

The CAA spokesperson said because it was a public holiday, the Dangerous Goods team were not working, and therefore could not provide an update on this application, or when a decision would be made on it.

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration takes a similar stance, and allows AirTags to be placed on luggage.

“Travellers planning to use a tracking device should check the PackSafe chart entry, ‘baggage equipped with lithium batteries’ with the airline before travelling,” a spokesperson said.

Reproduced from Stuff by Geraden Cann07:57, Jan 02 2023


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