US airlines ban hoverboards over fire, safety concerns

Whether you call them "hoverboards" or self-balancing scooters, nearly everyone in the world is now getting concerned about the risk of fire the devices pose. American Airlines, Delta, and United, the US's three largest airlines, have joined several others in stating that the scooters are banned from coming on flights. They join Alaska Airlines, Jet Blue, British Airways, Virgin America, and more who have done the same.

These notices come after a growing number of reports of the devices combusting while plugged into chargers, with the UK already seizing over 15,000 due to failed safety inspections. Airlines are clearly worried about the risk of the scooters overheating during a flight and catching fire aboard the plane.

It appears that the main cause of the risk these devices pose is due to their overwhelming popularity at the moment. As more and more manufacturers hope to cash in on the fad, more corners are cut and more safety standards are ignored. Delta cites the fact that manufacturers are not consistently detailing the product specs with regard to the size and power of lithium-ion batteries.

In their inspections, the UK authorities have found that a number of sub-standard parts, including plugs, batteries, and chargers, are often used. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the US has already begun its own investigations into the scooters following several house fire incidents occurring around the country, as well as reports of hoverboard-related injuries sending people to the ER.

It's become clear that these devices are probably not the best gifts this holiday season, but if you've already bought one, don't plan on flying with it anytime soon.

SOURCE Washington Post