‘Hoverboards’ Banned from U.S. Airlines

Hoverboard Air Travel (John Bazemore / Associated Press)
John Bazemore / Associated Press

The nation’s three largest airlines have banned so-called “hoverboards” from both overhead bins and cargo holds as concerns mount over the safety of the popular toys.

Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines have all banned the hands-free motorized scooter due to reports indicating the toys could suddenly and inexplicably catch fire.

“Despite hoverboards’ presence on many gift lists this holiday season, Delta decided today to stop allowing them on aircraft out of safety considerations,” the airline wrote in a statement announcing the decision.

The airline said an investigation “revealed devices often contain battery varieties above the government mandated 160 watt hour limit permitted aboard aircraft,” which could “spontaneously overheat” and start a fire.

According to NBC News, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating at least 10 cases of hoverboards that have caught fire, and the agency says it is looking into the matter quickly due to the toy’s popularity around the holiday season.

“We know consumers are giving it as a gift during the holidays,” a CPSC spokeswoman told NBC. “We are working all across the country to move our investigation into the fires forward as quickly as possible.”

NBC also reports that smaller carriers like Spirit Air, Allegiant and Virgin America have similarly banned hoverboards from their flights.

However, it isn’t just airlines that have banned the popular item; in a statement Wednesday, online retailer Overstock.com announced it would no longer sell the toy on its website “as a precautionary measure.”

On Thursday night, a 15-year-old hoverboard rider was killed when he was struck by a bus in London, the BBC reported.


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