Why You’re Smart to Travel with Smart Luggage
Staying connected while away from home is a priority travellers take seriously. It’s not just about charging your tablet to be entertained in flight. Like it or not, our devices have become our lifeline to the world, tasked with everything from tracking our whereabouts to holding our confirmation codes and boarding passes.
Getting stuck with a dead phone or laptop can derail any trip, especially when you’re depending on your phone for directions, checking in with work or family, or even getting a ride. It’s no wonder that smart luggage with USB charging.
Are “Smart” Suitcases the Same Thing as Luggage with USB Ports?
In 2018, US-based airlines banded together to ban smart luggage from travel in or on their airplanes due to concerns over the risk of exploding lithium-ion batteries.
They did not ban the batteries themselves, and that’s a good thing since most laptops and tablets are powered by these cells. Instead, the airlines took direct aim at luggage with integrated, non-removable batteries–often referred to as “smart luggage.”
This smart luggage travel ban put consumers–and some luggage companies–in a tailspin. Pricey smart bags with built-in USB chargers, location tracking, LED lights, and other “smart” features included were suddenly on the no-fly list–unless the power banks could be removed by the passenger prior to flight.
Regardless of whether it was carry-on luggage or being checked in, any bag with a built-in battery that was not removable was grounded. Meanwhile, luggage with features like USB charging ports connected to removable batteries were and still are, approved by the FAA.
According to the FAA and the Transportation Security Authority (TSA), carry-on suitcases as well as checked baggage are cleared for takeoff, as long as passengers transport the battery pack with them in the airplane cabin during flight.
Today, power banks, backup battery packs and all other lithium-ion batteries continue to be expressly prohibited in the cargo area where luggage is held under the plane. Instead, passengers must remove any batteries from their checked luggage to be carried onboard with them in the cabin. Carry-on suitcases with chargers and removable battery packs are also good to go.
How Do Bags with USB Ports Work?
The term “USB Luggage” refers to luggage with USB ports built into the design of the bag.
For charging convenience, the USB port is located on the bag’s exterior, while the battery pack is stored neatly away, providing power to the port through a cord inside the bag. To power up devices, just plug a cord into the external USB port.
Luggage with USB charging ports is super convenient and lets you charge your devices wherever you are without fumbling around for the battery pack.
Travelpro® luggage with USB ports keeps you and your bags connected and compliant at once. Instead of juggling with cords or awkward push buttons, your power bank is stored in a dedicated compartment, easily accessed through an external zippered pocket.
Another great thing about the design of Travelpro® USB Luggage is how adaptable it is. Some other luggage companies build a power bank into the luggage, which limits you to using their battery pack only. If the battery fails, you are stuck having to buy and retrofit replacement parts. Not ideal.
On the other hand, Travelpro® USB luggage gives you the freedom to use any power bank that fits in the pocket and adheres to FAA requirements. As stated on the TSA website: "One spare battery, not exceeding 300 watts hours, or two spare batteries, not exceeding 160 watt-hours each" are allowed. This also means that you can easily replace any power bank with a second backup battery when needed for any reason.
As an innovator among luggage companies, Travelpro® is also the first to reach beyond the standard USB port to offer luggage with external USB A & C ports and fast-charge capabilities.
This addition of USB A & C ports eliminates the need for USB A/C adapters, an added convenience when less equipment means more convenience. Now, Travelpro® luggage with the USB A & C port technology lets you power just about any type of mobile device on the market. Plus, fast charge capabilities mean powering up on the go is quicker than ever.
Our Travelpro® Platinum® Elite Carry-On Expandable Hardside Spinner and its smaller companion, the Travelpro® Platinum® Elite Compact Carry-On Hardside Spinner are two of the newest bags with the USB A & C fast-charging capable ports. This lets you power your electronics on the go and the external battery pocket (patent pending) is hidden inside the expansion feature for easy access and FAA compliance (powerbank not included).
These sleek and stylish bags are built with ultra-strong polycarbonate shells, anti-theft TSA-approved locks, and the PrecisionGlide™ System, which combines a comfortable Contour Grip, sturdy PowerScope Lite Handle, and eight MagnaTrac® self-aligning magnetic spinner wheels. Their split-shell design also has two divider panels with built-in pockets. A water-resistant interior pocket doubles as a laundry bag, letting you separate dirty or damp clothing from the rest of the packed contents.
The Platinum® Elite Compact Business Plus Carry-On Expandable Hardside Spinner takes it a step further. The Business Plus Spinner has the same features included in the regular and compact Platinum® Elite carry-ons with the addition of a patent-pending exterior pocket designed for padded laptop protection and easy access to electronics.
Other USB luggage options include briefs and backpacks, wheeled totes and non-rolling totes, softsided carry-on luggage with spinner wheels, and Rollaboard® bags.
The Travelpro® Crew™ Executive Choice™ 3 collection offers 2 different backpacks with USB A & C ports built in. The Travelpro® Crew™ Executive Choice™ Large Backpack and Medium Top Load Backpack are commuters’ favorites. Both backpacks have a USB A & C charging port, a dedicated pocket for storing your power bank (not included), tons of built-in organization, and padded laptop storage.
Whether you choose carry-on suitcases, like spinner luggage, or backpacks and briefs, charging your devices with USB luggage has never been easier. While staying connected and staying charged is a universal need, it’s not one-size-fits-all. Shop our wide variety of Travelpro® luggage with USB ports including USB A & C luggage–to find the right bag that is just right for you.