Cape Town - If you were lucky enough to get a hoverboard in your Christmas box last year, you might consider 'hovering' to your next destination, as many of SA's domestic airlines have banned these transportation gadgets...
The boards, which resemble a rotating, two-wheeled skateboards, are fitted with batteries that breach safety regulations on flights. Therefore, many South African domestic airlines have banned the transportation of the boards in both on-board carry on luggage, and cargo holds.
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Mango Spokesperson Hein Kaiser said, told Traveller24, that Mango airlines "have banned hoverboards from all flights".
SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali also told Traveller24, they “have taken a decision to place a total ban on the transportation of the hoverboards on [all SAA] aircraft".
FlySafair spokesperson Kirby Gordon, explaining why this airline too has banned the hoverboards, says, “The problem with hoverboards is the nature of the battery. Most use lithium-ion batteries which are the same kinds of batteries that we use in our phones - except these are much larger and unfortunately more dangerous.
"Civil Aviation Authorities outlawed the carriage of these batteries a while back but until the advent of hoverboards there's seldom been reason for anyone to wish to take them aboard an aircraft."
But with the new hoverboard-hype, there has been an increase in this need.
The highly combustible lithium-ion batteries present a great deal of risk to passengers and crew if they were transported on board aircraft and, understandably, airlines aren’t willing to take the risk of an onboard explosion.
In the US, the ban of hoverboards became effective from the beginning of December 2015 after conclusion of a consultation process with a number of stakeholders. The decision was based on safety considerations and in the best interests of passengers.
Gordon, for FlySafair says, "Safety is always top priority in aviation and while these batteries probably present very little concern on the ground, they are deemed by authorities to be more dangerous in the environment created by air travel."
If you're boarding an international flight soon, here are the airlines that have banned hoverboards in all passenger luggage, according to IATA:
Air New Zealand
Hong Kong Airlines
KLM – Royal Dutch Airlines
Saudi Arabian Airlines
South African Airlines
Sri Lankan Airlines
Although the ban was implemented last year, the issue of the hoverboards' transport restrictions came into the public eye more prominently after Hollywood actor Russell Crowe had his holiday plans ruined over some hoverboard drama.
The hoverboards, it seems, are not only posing a safety threat in air travel...
Controlling these self-balancing devices is not something you can instantly master, as these clips clearly show.
Although hilarious, these hoverboards could cause some serious injuries. Take a look:
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