Not everyone is thrilled about hoverboards, the must-have toy for the 2015 holiday season. Delta, United and American Airlines just announced they will ban the two-wheel scooters on all their flights, starting this weekend.
Customers will no longer be permitted to bring hoverboards in their checked or carry-on luggage. The airlines say hoverboards present a fire hazard thanks to their oversized lithium batteries. JetBlue already prohibited the toys from boarding any flights, as have a number of smaller airlines, including Hawaiian, Spirit, Virgin American and Alaska.
“Delta reviewed hoverboard product specification and found that manufacturers do not consistently provide detail about the size or power of their lithium-ion batteries,” Delta said in a statement. “While occurrences are uncommon, these batteries can spontaneously overheat and pose a fire hazard risk.”
Delta did not specify which hoverboard brands are dangerous, saying only “self-balancing personal transportation devices” won't be allowed on board.
The announcements come after a video of a hoverboard suddenly catching fire in a Washington mall went viral, and weeks after an exploding hoverboard destroyed a family's home in Louisiana. Now the federal government is getting involved in the form of a Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“The CSPC is looking into the safety of the entire product line,” Scott Wolfson, the CSPC's director of communications, told Gizmodo Thursday, adding that multiple people have been injured. “We have active investigations into incidents that have occurred in California, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana and Alabama. There have been additional incidents in Florida and Pennsylvania.”
That's bad news for anyone hoping to find a hoverboard under the Christmas tree this year. Hoverboard sales have been on fire (sorry) since the holiday shopping season began.