Chipolo News

Lufthansa and AirTags: Are Bluetooth trackers banned on planes?

Expected read time: 1 min

The short answer is: NO.

In October 2022 German airline Lufthansa tweeted that they are banning active AirTags in luggage on their flights, citing International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines regarding lithium-ion batteries as the reason for their decision.

Lufthansa tweets Airtags ban 1 Lufthansa tweets Airtags ban 1
Lufthansa tweets Airtags ban 2 Lufthansa tweets Airtags ban 2

The ban raised a few eyebrows as the ICAO lithium-ion battery regulation was intended for larger devices, such as laptops, with more than 2 grams of lithium, and didn’t seem to include devices as small as an AirTag. The replaceable battery inside an AirTag only holds about 0.2 grams of lithium, the same as most battery-powered watches.

Many users suspected that the decision was also related to people discussing their lost luggage on social media, as the ban was issued right after a summer when many airlines, Lufthansa included, dealt with a significant increase in lost luggage.

Does this mean I can’t put a Chipolo Spot in my luggage now?

No, it does not.

The ban was quickly reversed and it’s again ok to have an AirTag (or a Chipolo Spot) in your luggage.

Shortly after the ban, Apple released a statement to The New York Times, saying that AirTags are “compliant with international airline travel safety regulations for carry-on and checked baggage.”, which was also confirmed by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

The American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) both confirmed that Bluetooth trackers are allowed in flight luggage, while European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said that the decision whether to ban or allow Bluetooth trackers is up to each airline itself.

Following a lot of public attention, Lufthansa quickly reversed its ban, after the German Aviation Authorities (Luftfahrtbundesamt) confirmed that “…tracking devices with very low battery and transmission power in checked luggage do not pose a safety risk.”

Lufthansa tweets Airtags ban 3 Lufthansa tweets Airtags ban 3

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