Despite hoverboards' presence on many gift lists this holiday season, Delta decided today to stop allowing them on aircraft out of safety considerations.
Employee and passenger safety remains the airline’s top priority, driving Delta to disallow hoverboards and all lithium battery powered self-balancing personal transportation devices in carry-on and checked baggage effective Dec. 11.
Poorly labeled, powerful lithium-ion batteries powering hoverboards are the issue. Delta reviewed hoverboard product specifications and found that manufacturers do not consistently provide detail about the size or power of their lithium-ion batteries.
This investigation revealed 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.