Qantas bans hoverboards

Qantas passengers are no longer allowed to pack motorised hoverboards in their luggage amid fears they pose a fire risk.

Hoverboards are proving a hot-ticket item in the lead-up to Christmas.

Hoverboards are proving a hot-ticket item in the lead-up to Christmas. Source: YouTube

Hoverboards might be high on the Christmas wishlists of gadget lovers, but Qantas is banning the motorised skateboards amid fears they pose a fire risk.

The move follows similar bans slapped on the lithium ion-powered boards by several airlines including Emirates and American Airlines following reports they can explode unexpectedly.

Qantas says it will no longer accept self-balancing boards in carry-on or checked baggage for any domestic or international flights.

The ban includes two-wheeled hoverboards, airboards, smart scooters, mini Segways as well as single-wheeled uni-wheels and air-wheels.

"We've made the decision based on the inconsistent information about lithium batteries provided by many manufacturers and reported issues with the devices," Qantas said as it announced the immediate ban on Wednesday.

Hoverboards were tipped to be a huge seller this Christmas, despite their hefty $800 price tag.

But the self-balancing devices have sparked a wave of safety concerns around the globe after reports of hoverboards catching fire in England, the United States and Hong Kong.

Hoverboards are powered by in-built batteries which can overheat and catch fire if they are overcharged.

Consumer watchdogs Choice and the ACCC have warned Australians to be wary of the devices due to fire risks posed by the battery design.

Online shopping giant Amazon has dropped many brands of hoverboards from its US and UK websites because of safety concerns.

A man in Alabama in the US had a hoverboard explode beneath his feet in late November.

"I came outside turned it on, came down the sidewalk not even a 100 feet, and it exploded," Timothy Cade told local TV network WKRG.

'Batteries started shooting out of it; you would not expect a fire like that to come out of a little thing like that."

2 min read
Published 16 December 2015 at 5:54pm
Source: AAP