Published On: Thu, Jan 18th, 2018

How 2018 Will Change Your Travel Habits

Goodbye high-tech smart bags, hello new airline routes and increased security screening procedures.

The New York Times recently issued its look ahead for 2018 in the travel industry, and the newspaper’s rundown of what we can expect touched on a variety of headline-making categories.

In addition to the topics already mentioned, the preview covered such things as the reopening of more hotels in the Caribbean, regulations on Airbnb rentals in Paris and new high-speed trains in Israel.

New Airport Security Measures

Electronics larger than a cell phone will be put through increased screening measures going forward.

Laptops have long been required to be removed from carry-on bags. However, under new rules issued by the Transportation Security Administration, such things as e-readers, noise-canceling headphones and hand-held games will also need to be placed in a separate bin for inspection when passing through airport security.

Up until recently, the new rule was being tested in select airports. It will be rolled out to all of them by spring.

Real ID Act

As of January 22, a driver’s license or identification card issued by a state may no longer be sufficient.

Licenses and identification cards must be compliant with the new minimum security standards under the Real ID Act. If they’re not, you’ll need an alternative form of identification even to fly domestically.

Take a few minutes to investigate whether your state is compliant, or alternatively, has been approved for an extension to meet Real ID Act standards. Visit this Department of Homeland Security website to find out more. Hint: Texas and Vermont are already compliant, while California and New York have been granted extensions.

READ MORE: Several US Airlines Ban Smart Luggage

So Long Smart Bags

High-tech travel bags that can charge your portable electronics and be locked remotely have been a boon for many busy, harried jet-setters. However, they haven’t been viewed so favorably by airlines.

As of January 15, 2018, a variety of airlines will no longer allow smart bags that contain lithium-ion batteries unless the batteries can be removed. Carriers shifting to this new policy include American, Delta, United, Hawaiian and Alaska.

As TravelPulse’s Donald Wood wrote in December, the objection to the batteries is that they can potentially overheat and cause a fire while in flight. The high-tech luggage will be allowed as a carry-on, but the battery must be removable in the event that an airline is forced to downsize to a smaller plane without overhead bin space.

The New York Times’ full look ahead for 2018 can be viewed here.

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