ONBOARD HOVERBOARD

Every major US airline’s policy on bringing a hoverboard with you on your flight

If you’re thinking of rolling through security and onto a plane with a self-balancing scooter, you might be in for a shock—if not an explosion. Hoverboards, which are generally made in rapid fashion by a plethora of Chinese manufacturers, have been having explosive battery issues of late. They’ve been setting houses on fire in the UK while they’ve been charging, a man in Alabama said his caught fire while he was riding it, and the UK government this week confiscated 15,000 boards at a customs check for fear that they may explode. As such, self-balancing scooters probably aren’t the safest things to take on planes.

Many people around the world will unwrap hoverboards this holiday season, but if you’re traveling with one, make sure that the airline you’re flying actually lets you bring them aboard. Quartz rounded up the hoverboard policies from the major US airlines, as well as a few international carriers:

US airlines

Alaska: You can only bring a hoverboard on as a carry-on if you can prove it’s an assistive mobility aid, and you can’t check them, according to Alaska’s policies. Sorry, Anchorage.

American: Up until Dec. 10, you could carry your hoverboard onto an American flight, but USA Today reported that the airline is now banning boards on board.

Delta: The airline previously said it allowed hoverboards in checked baggage:

But as of Dec. 10, the airline won’t be letting them on its planes at all, “out of safety considerations,” it said.

Frontier: Frontier’s policy explicitly says hoverboards are forbidden in checked and carry-on baggage.

Hawaiian Air: The airline flat out rejects allowing hoverboards on its planes in any capacity in its “Contract of Carriage.”

JetBlue: Pretty clear here—no hoverboards allowed, checked or otherwise—because of the lithium batteries they contain.

Spirit: Spirit says on its site that you can’t check your hoverboard, or bring it on as a carry-on. Quite dispiriting.

Southwest: Southwest allows hoverboards as checked luggage, as long as their batteries are smaller than 160 watt-hours.

United: The airline’s policy says that small personal devices with lithium batteries smaller than 100 watt-hours can be carried onboard, or put in checked luggage. A United representative confirmed to Quartz that this includes hoverboards. Check your board’s battery size before flying.

Virgin America: The US branch of Richard Branson’s flying empire doesn’t have an explicit policy online, but told Quartz that it doesn’t allow hoverboards in checked or carry-on luggage, because there is “generally no easy way to remove or separate the lithium battery.”

International airlines

Air Canada: According to the airline’s Twitter account, Air Canada lets you check a hoverboard, but not have one in your carry-on luggage.

Air France: Francophones wishing to bring their hoverboards onboard are out of luck—the only option through Air France is to ship it as freight. Interestingly, the airline was one of the few to explicitly clarify that it lets you bring your drone on the plane.

British Airways: Depending on the size of the battery, you should be good to bring your board aboard.

EasyJet: The airline told one passenger not to worry and bring their hoverboard onboard.

Emirates: If you’re flying to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, leave that hoverboard at home.

Etihad: Same goes for Etihad—all hoverboards are prohibited from any luggage.

KLM: ✅❓ The Dutch airline doesn’t outline whether hoverboards are explicitly permitted or forbidden, but says “all battery-operated electronic devices in hand baggage will undergo an extra check” in security. A KLM spokesperson told Quartz they didn’t know what hoverboards were, but that “sporting equipment” could be checked in lieu of one of your allowed pieces of luggage.

Lufthansa: ❌❓ The German airline doesn’t say that it prohibits hoverboards, but it does say that electric bicycles aren’t permitted in luggage, whose batteries aren’t too dissimilar from the batteries in hoverboards. The company says battery-powered portable electronic devices are permitted. Quartz has asked for clarification.

Turkish Airlines: ❌❓ The airline prohibits “items containing lithium batteries” and Quartz has asked if that includes hoverboards.

Virgin Atlantic: ✅❓ The airline’s policy says small electric devices with batteries smaller than 100 watt-hours are permitted, but it doesn’t specifically say if this applies to hoverboards. It does say, however, that “battery-powered mobility aids” are only allowed in carry-on luggage.

Virgin Australia: Hoverboards aren’t permitted in carry-on or checked baggage, because of the batteries. Strewth.

Image by Ben Larcey on Flickr, licensed under CC-BY-2.0.

 

Read this next: Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the hoverboard craze

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