Hoverboards banned by top airlines

The electric self-balancing scooters known as hoverboards have been banned from several airlines' flights too.

The electric self-balancing scooters known as hoverboards have been banned from several airlines’ flights too.

(Stephen Brashear / Associated Press)

Delta, United, American and British Airways have prohibited passengers from packing hoverboards on their planes.

The airlines said they are banning the self-balancing scooter because of reports the lithium-ion batteries that power hoverboards may overheat or catch fire.

The ban comes at the start of the holiday season, when air passengers may be packing hoverboards as gifts. Online retailer Overstock stopped the sale of hoverboards because of similar safety concerns.


Delta said that the batteries are often poorly labeled and may exceed the government-mandated 160-watt-hour limit for batteries transported by aircraft.

“While occurrences are uncommon, these batteries can spontaneously overheat and pose a fire hazard risk,” the Atlanta carrier said in a statement on its website.

British Airways said it was prohibiting hoverboards in carry-on luggage and checked bags “in the light of press reports about potential fire risks associated with the lithium batteries used in hoverboards.”

Reuters News Service reported that American Airlines spokesman Casey Norton cited an ongoing investigation into hoverboards by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Hoverboards have gained popularity in the last few months, with celebrities including Justin Bieber, Wiz Khalifa and Jamie Foxx appearing on television or online videos riding the scooters.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin.



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