Lufthansa, the flag carrier airline of Germany on Wednesday, confirmed that Apple’s AirTags and other Bluetooth tracking devices would once again be permitted in checked baggage.
Lufthansa banned AirTags from luggage last week, citing a safety risk to flights. However, no such things were mentioned in the airline’s regulations.
Lufthansa Allowed Apple AirTags
“The German Aviation Authorities (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt) confirmed today that they share our risk assessment that tracking devices with very low battery and transmission power in checked luggage do not pose a safety risk,” the airline said.
“With that, these devices are permitted on Lufthansa flights.”
It may be noted that recently, after informing passengers that they would need to deactivate the trackers in luggage stored in cargo holds due to international regulations for personal electronic devices, Lufthansa sparked a storm of confusion and criticism.
On Tuesday, Apple rejected that interpretation, claiming that its trackers comply with all airline safety regulations.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration in the US confirmed that.
According to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, the regulation “does not in itself ban or allow” the trackers, but operators are free to choose which devices are safe to use in flight.
It seems that Lufthansa asked the German aviation authorities for advice.
The airline’s spokesman, Martin Leutke, stated on Wednesday that he had no additional comments regarding the company’s statement, which was initially shared on Twitter.
Prior to changing its policy on Wednesday, Lufthansa seemed to be the only major airline that explicitly disallows AirTags from being placed in passengers’ checked luggage.
In response to a customer’s question about the rumoured ban, the company said on Saturday via its official Twitter account that activated AirTags are dangerous and turning them off renders them useless.
It went on to say that baggage trackers were subject to dangerous-goods regulations, citing International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines.
Lithium batteries have the potential to catch fire if damaged, which is why authorities like the Federal Aviation Administration demand that devices like cameras, tablets, cellphones, and vape pens be completely deactivated before being placed in checked baggage.
The list of dangerous goods provided by Lufthansa does not specifically mention baggage trackers.
The ICAO pointed to its regulations that permit batteries in checked luggage if they are of low enough range and lithium content but stated that the organisation was not in a position to comment on how its guidelines are interpreted or implemented because it was not a regulating body.