Alaska Airlines, others say hoverboards cannot fly

  • Sunday, December 13, 2015 11:02pm
  • News

Alaska Airlines is banning the shipment of one of the most popular toys this Christmas.

Last week, the airline decided that hoverboards are not safe to transport on an airplane, and they will not be allowed in carry-on or checked baggage. It publicized the decision in an announcement Thursday.

Hoverboards, also known as gliders, balance boards, electric skateboards or swagways, are self-propelled two-wheeled electric vehicles frequently featuring bright colors and LED lights.

Hoverboards are powered by lithium-ion batteries, but Alaska Airlines said in a blog post Thursday that “hoverboard battery ratings are unreliable and have been known to catch fire, which makes them more concerning to transport on a plane.”

Federal Aviation Administration rules allow consumer-grade lithium-ion batteries in electronics such as laptops and cellphones, but Alaska Airlines said it found that several hoverboard models exceeded FAA limits.

Alaska Airlines’ announcement previewed similar warnings from American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines, also on Thursday.

Each of the three largest U.S. carriers said they would no longer allow the devices on their planes.

—Juneau Empire

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