Despite hoverboards' presence on many gift lists this holiday season, Delta decided Thursday to stop allowing them on aircraft out of safety considerations. Other major airlines have adopted the same policy, including American, United, British Airways and Alaska Airlines.
Employee and passenger safety remains Delta’s top priority, the airline said in press release, driving it to disallow hoverboards and all lithium battery powered self-balancing personal transportation devices in carry-on and checked baggage.
Poorly labeled, powerful lithium-ion batteries powering hoverboards are the problem. According to a research by Delta, devices often contain battery varieties above the government mandated 160 watt hour limit permitted aboard aircraft. While occurrences are uncommon, these batteries can spontaneously overheat and pose a fire hazard risk.
In addition to the 160 watt hour or less requirement for lithium ion batteries, any spare batteries (or any battery not already installed into an electronic device) must be in carry-on baggage, and no more than two spares are allowed.