Effective January 15, 2018, Southwest Airlines will accept “smart bags” with lithium batteries as carryon or checked baggage provided the bag’s owner can remove the battery.
If the smart bag is in the cabin of the aircraft, the removable battery may remain installed.
If at any time a smart bag is checked, including at the gate, the Customer must remove the battery, and the removed battery must be protected from short circuit and carried in carryon baggage.
If the battery cannot be removed, the smart bag cannot be transported.
This guidance is consistent with our policy on lithium-ion batteries/power banks and can be found here.
Customers traveling with smart bags should note that although manufacturers may indicate their products are FAA or TSA approved, those approvals are not related to the battery’s ability to be removed—which is the key factor in determining whether it can be accepted for transportation. Taking a few minutes to understand the smart bag’s battery placement and whether it can be removed is the smart thing to do!
Additionally, these changes are being made to our Special Luggage policies and are effective January 15, 2018:
One common lighter or one book of safety matches is permitted to be carried on the Customers person. Lighters and safety matches are prohibited in carryon bags and must never be placed in checked baggage.
Each Customer is permitted up to a maximum of 15 PEDs and a maximum of 20 spare batteries per person.
Power banks must be transported as carryon items only.
Please see the attached Q&A for additional details.