Multiple reports have surfaced online in recent days that first indicated that Lufthansa was prohibiting the carriage of Apple’s AirTag tracking device within checked-in luggage, based on a tweet (below) from Lufthansa’s official Twitter account.
Hi David, Lufthansa is banning activated AirTags from luggage as they are classified as dangerous and need to be turned off./Mony
— Lufthansa (@lufthansa) October 8, 2022
Now, after many stories and much Sturm und Drang, Lufthansa has walked back its “ban” of Apple AirTags in luggage.
The German airline Lufthansa, seemingly misreading an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulation, positioned itself this week as the only major airline banning people from tracking their checked luggage with AirTags.
Outcry, close reading of the relevant sections (part 2, section C) of ICAO guidelines, and accusations of ulterior motives immediately followed. AppleInsider noted that the regulations are meant for lithium-ion batteries that could be accidentally activated; AirTag batteries are not lithium-ion, are encased, and are commonly used in watches, which have not been banned by any airline. The site also spoke with “multiple international aviation experts” who saw no such ban in ICAO regulations. One expert told the site the ban was “a way to stop Lufthansa from being embarrassed by lost luggage.”
On Wednesday, Lufthansa walked back the policy under the cover of “The German Aviation Authorities (Luftfahrtbundesamt),” which the airline said in a tweet “shared our risk assessment, that tracking devices with very low battery and transmission power in checked luggage do not pose a safety risk.” This would seem to imply either that Lufthansa was acting on that authority’s ruling without having previously mentioned it, or that Lufthansa had acted on its own and has now found an outside actor to approve their undoing.
MacDailyNews Take: Of course, Lufthansa sells Apple AirTags online in its Lufthansa World Shop.
That’s some great “Streisand School” marketing, Lufthansa!
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