EO of Away Travel said her luggage company will provide free upgrades following Delta's latest ban on "smart" suitcases.

The CEO of Away Travel said her luggage company will provide free upgrades following Delta's latest ban on "smart" suitcases.

Steph Korey, who is also Away's Co-founder, made a video for customers detailing Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) updating its travel policy related to bags with non-removable lithium-ion batteries being used as carry-on or checked baggage. Delta is not alone in the smart luggage crackdown, joined by American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL), JetBlue Airways Corp. (Nasdaq: JBLU), Air Canada, LATAM, Lufthansa, British Airways, KLM, and Air France in requiring passengers to remove the battery before checking these types of bags, Fortune Magazine reports. 

The concern is that the non-removable batteries are a fire hazard.

The Delta difference is that customers with bags that need a tool to 
unscrew the battery can't take it with them into a Delta cabin. Delta told Fortune that this is not a new policy, but a clarification of an existing one.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Feb. 10 that Korey sent a memo to her staff saying hundreds of her customers complained they were having trouble on Delta because flight attendants refused to let the batteries be placed in overhead compartments. The Times said that Korey and Delta had been in talks to clear up the understanding, and that the new policies had not yet hurt sales of the luggage.

Korey said last week in her video (embedded below) that the company, which offers a lifetime limited warranty, has updated the design of the bag, and that it will convert older suitcases for free in order to fit Delta's criteria.
Smart suitcases have gained popularity over the past few years. The most basic capability includes charging a cell phone on the go, but some brands include app-enabled locks, GPS tracking, and even the ability to ride motorized luggage like a scooter. Still, the smart luggage industry was worth only about $630 million in 2016, compared to the overall $18.3 billion luggage market that is dominated by brands such as Samsonite and LVMH, reports Yahoo Finance.
Lithium ion batteries have been a thorn for the airline industry, as they have been known to explode on flights -- most infamously as the main reason Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 has been banned from planes.