#HoverboardsFails: SA domestic airlines ban trendy new gadget

2016-01-04 13:50 - Louzel Lombard
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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:

Aer Lingus
Air Astana 
Air Berlin 
Air Canada 
Air France 
Air New Zealand 
Air Seychelles 
Air Tahiti 
Air Transat 
Alaska Airlines 
All Nippon 
American Airlines 
Austrian Airlines 
Bangkok Airways 
British Airways 
Brussels Airlines 
Cathay Pacific 
China Airlines 
Delta Airlines 
Fiji Airways 
Hong Kong Airlines 
Japan Airlines 
Jet Airways 
KLM – Royal Dutch Airlines 
Korean Airlines 
LAN Airlines 
Malaysia Airlines 
Philippine Airlines 
Qatar Airways 
Saudi Arabian Airlines 
Singapore Airlines 
South African Airlines 
Sri Lankan Airlines 
Swiss International 
TAM Airlines 
Thai Airways 
Thomas Cook 
Thomson Airways 
United Airlines 
Virgin Australia

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: 

A video posted by @micbilbro on

A video posted by Ben Salango (@bensalango) on

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