Riding your electric skateboard to explore a place is very convenient for a traveler or a tourist because you save on transportation costs, schedules, and traffic. Personal mobility is very beneficial when you are touring a place. You simply hop on your e-board and you are ready to go. However, it’s not always simple to take your electric skateboard, especially when you need to fly. Getting your electric skateboard on an airplane is a bit tricky.
Technically speaking, you can take an electric skateboard on an airplane. Government regulatory bodies like the US Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will allow passengers to carry their electric boards as long as its battery meets the lithium-ion limitations, which is between 100-160 watt-hours. However, airline companies have the final say if they will allow you to carry your e-board on a flight. Unfortunately, many of them have policies against it. Thus, while your electric board can pass through airport security, air carriers may not allow it on board their plane as a matter of company policy.
What Do Government Regulators Say?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the US Department of Transportation recognizes the hazards of lithium batteries. However, they do not impose a total ban against them. Instead, they have regulations that set limits on what batteries can be allowed for transportation.
All three government regulating bodies allow carrying small lithium-ion batteries that are less than 100 Wh. This explains why you can bring your cell phones or laptop with you on the flight. Carrying batteries beyond 100 Wh, but less than 160 Wh are still permissible, however subject to the policy or approval of the airline. Lithium batteries that exceed 160 Wh are forbidden to be carried whether it’s carry-on or check-in baggage.
What Airline Companies Have to Say?
Many airline companies have a policy against taking electric skateboards on board. Most of them do not bother considering the watt-hours of the battery of your e-board. Here are airlines that ban electric skateboards for carriage in toto.
|American Airline||American Airlines do not allow electric skateboards in checked or carry-on luggage. It also does not allow bringing a regular skateboard on a plane as carry on but only as checked in baggage provided further that the board is 50 lbs (22 kg) or less and not longer than 62 inches (1.57 m).|
|British Airways||British Airways do not allow electric skateboards in checked or carry-on luggage. Due to the potential fire risk, all battery-powered leisure devices such as hoverboards, air wheels, solo wheels, Segways, skateboards, scooters, e-bikes, and hover karts are prohibited. The restriction however does not apply to battery operated wheelchairs, scooters and mobility aids.|
|JetBlue Airlines||JetBlue do not allow electric skateboards in checked or carry-on luggage. JetBlue will not accept the transport of balance gliders, hoverboards, electric skateboards, or self-balancing boards of any type that use lithium or lithium ion batteries in either checked or carry-on bags.|
|Southwest Airlines||Southwest Airlines do not allow electric skateboards in checked or carry-on luggage. Due to concerns regarding the lithium batteries used in hoverboards (balance boards, gravity boards, self-balancing devices, etc.). Southwest Airlines will not transport hoverboards in either checked luggage or as a carry-on item.|
|United Airlines||United Airlines do not allow electric skateboards in checked or carry-on luggage. United Airlines will not allow any electric skateboards on the flights. It only accepts non-powered roller skates, rollerblades, and skateboards as checked baggage or carry-on baggage.|
|Japan Airlines||JAL do not allow electric skateboards in checked or carry-on luggage. Even if the batteries are removed, personal movement devices with built-in lithium batteries such as electric skateboards, electric scooters and hoverboards are not allowed as checked/carry-on baggage.|
|Ryanair Airlines||Ryanair Airlines may or may not allow carrying electric skateboards. It allows the carriage of lithium battery operated devices (e.g. drones) in the cabin as long as the battery does not exceed 160 watt hours. However, lithium-ion battery operated vehicles such as Segways & hoverboards are prohibited.|
Other airlines that do not allow electric skateboards either in checked or carry-on luggage includes Air Canada, Air France, Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, Easy Jet, Frontier, Hawaiian Air, Spirit, Virgin America, and West Jet among many others.
Why Do Many Air Companies Refuse to Allow Electric Skateboards on Board?
Many airlines do not allow electric skateboards and other similar equipment on board of a plane for safety reasons — the main culprit being lithium batteries, which is the primary power source of your e-board. Although lithium batteries have become the most prevalent means to power most of the common gadgets like mobile phones, laptops, e-bikes, and e-scooters, the batteries can pose a safety risk if mishandled.
Lithium-based batteries have become widespread because they are rechargeable and have a bigger electrochemical capacity. Thus, if they are impaired, mishandled or made of poor quality, they can become unstable and undergo a thermal runaway. This is a phenomenon when the battery heats up, self-ignites or explodes when stored energy is released due to damages or degradation. This is what many airline companies want to avoid.
What Airline Companies Allow Electric Skateboard on Board?
While the majority of airlines do not allow carrying electric skateboards on the flight, there are very few which do and here are two of them:
|Virgin Australia||Virgin Australia allows electric skateboards on the flight but you need to declare that you have the device by the time you check in and the lithium batteries must not exceed 160 Wh. Batteries can either be attached to the item or taken as spare. Spare batteries however must only be carried as carry-on baggage.|
|Singapore Airlines||Singapore Airlines allows electric skateboards on the flight provided that the lithium battery is detached or removed when carrying the skateboard on board and the battery does not exceed 160 Wh.|
How Do You Pack an Electric Skateboard on a Plane?
Before deciding to carry your e-board to your travel, you better make sure that the airline that you are using will allow it. As shown above, the majority of airline companies restrict the carriage of e-boards on the flight. Moreover, if you are on a connecting flight, you should also check on the policy of the other connecting airline because apparently different airlines have different baggage policies. Once you get the go signal, here are tips on how to pack your electric board.
Disassemble it — Instead of carrying the e-skateboard as is, disassemble the device and place them all in a skateboard backpack or any bag where everything will fit in.
Check your battery — The size of a lithium battery is the major factor in determining if your e-board can be carried or not. Make sure that your e-board battery is 160 watt-hours or better yet less than 100 Wh. New lithium batteries indicate the watt-hours in the label. However, if yours don’t, you can easily determine the watt-hours by multiplying the battery voltage by the Amp-hours, which are marked on the battery. Incidentally, do not bring batteries and devices that were recalled by manufacturer/vendor such as the 2nd Generation Boosted Dual electric skateboards.
Detach battery — Some airlines require that batteries are removed from the electric skateboard. The batteries should then be hand-carried so that its owner always gets to check the batteries. Better yet, you can opt to check in the skateboard without a battery and just buy the batteries in your destination.
Bring permission from the airline company — You should bring the response email from the airline which explicitly permits you that you are allowed to carry your electric skateboard. This would serve as your proof for any inquisitive security personnel.
Seal the batteries — The most important thing when carrying lithium batteries is that they must be protected from damage. This can be achieved by covering the battery terminals with tape, placing the batteries in a case or its proper bag or maintaining the batteries in its retail packaging. What is important is that the terminals will not get into contact with any other metal.
What Electric Skateboards May Be Allowed to Be Carried?
Most electric skateboards have big battery capacities that are above 160-watt hour and that is why many e-boards are not fit for air travel. However, there are some boards with smaller batteries that can be allowed for you to carry on the flight. Here are some e-board brands/models that may be permitted for carrying on the flight along with the respective size of their batteries in watt-hours.
|Brand/Model||Battery Size inWatt Hours (Wh)|
|Acton Blink S2||160 Wh|
|Boosted Mini S||99 Wh|
|Unlimited x Loaded Solo Kit||90 Wh|
|ONAN Booster X2||90 Wh (standard)|
|Inboard M1||97 Wh|
|WowGo Electric Skateboard Kit||144 Wh — Samsung Battery|
|Meepo Campus 2||153 Wh|
|Mellow Drive/Board||99 Wh|
|OneWheel Pint||148 Wh|
While taking electric skateboards on an airplane may be permitted, only a handful of airlines allows it. Here are alternative ways on how to get your electric skateboard to wherever you are going.
Drive to your destination — If you can’t fly your e-board, then just drive your way to your destination. No one will stop you from carrying your electric skateboard regardless of how big the battery is.
Take the bus or train — Buses and trains are more lenient and flexible when it comes to passenger baggage so taking these transportation alternatives to get to your destination is one practical way to bring along your e-board.
Send it via courier — Have your electric board be sent to your destination in advance. After all, it is through courier companies that sellers were able to get the e-board including the batteries to you in the first place.
Take the e-board without the battery — The primary reason why you can’t carry your e-board on a flight is because of the batteries. In which case, don’t bring the batteries to the plane and just buy a battery at the destination.
The best way to make sure if you can carry your electric skateboard on an airplane is to check the baggage policy of the airline or to contact the airline to make proper inquiries. While the government regulatory bodies may allow the carriage of battery-operated devices such as electric skateboards subject to certain restrictions, they have also given airline companies the prerogative and final authority to permit or refuse the carriage of this type of equipment in their airplanes for security reasons.
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