Passengers were confused when they were told that they couldn't use Apple AirTags in checked baggage because of international guidelines. Apple said its tracker comply with all regulations.

It appears that no other airline requires passengers to turn off the trackers, which are popular as a way to find lost luggage. The news media in Germany reported that the devices were not allowed in the country.

The airline seems to have stepped in a mess based on the reading of obscure international guidelines and regulations with no consensus on what is and is not allowed in Europe.

In the United States, the trackers are allowed in carry-on or checked baggage. Tile is a popular tracker sold by a number of other companies.

The International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines for dangerous goods as well as the tracker's "transmission function" were cited by the airline on Sunday. Shutting off the tracker makes them useless.

Baggage trackers are not banned by the airline. It says it is at the discretion of the rules. The airline said it was in close contact with the institutions to find a solution. Its own examination showed no danger from their use.

Tracking devices with very low battery and transmission power in checked luggage do not pose a safety risk, according to a Lufthansa spokesman. We have never banned that type of device. The use of these devices for airline passengers in checked luggage is currently restricted by the authorities.

Apple said that AirTags are compliant with international airline travel safety regulations.

The technology used in the devices is similar to the technology used in headphones on flights. A secure signal is sent to nearby Apple devices when they share their last location.

The international aviation body does not have specific standards for cargo tracking devices, and its definition of personal consumer electronic devices is focused on larger devices. They tend to have bigger batteries.

The CR2032 coin cell batteries are used by Air tags. The small batteries are used in watches and keys. The Federal Aviation Administration, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and the International Air Transport Association have all approved the use of those batteries.

Low-powered wireless communication can be used on board planes in the US. Tracking devices are allowed in both carry-on and checked bags, according to the transportation security administration.

The EU Aviation Safety Agency said that its regulation does not ban or allow devices such as the Apple AirTags. According to the E.A.S.A., it is the responsibility of operators to prohibit the use of devices which could adversely affect the flight safety or the aircraft's systems.

The International Civil Aviation Organization says thatbatteries in portable electronic devices should be carried as carry-on baggage, but that if checked, the devices must be completely switched off. The issue of low energy transmissions was not addressed in the guidelines.

The organization stated that it does not play an oversight role over the airlines. The international trade group's guidelines on what passengers can and can't do trickle down to the airlines and regulators.