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The Bestselling Holiday Gift of the Year Is Now Banned by Major Airlines

Most U.S. airlines have banned this year’s hottest gift from both carry-on and checked bags. Here’s why.

Self-balancing scooters, a.k.a. those “hoverboards” or “balance gliders” everyone has been zooming around on, are bound to be this year’s hottest gift. But according to several major U.S. airlines, that’s exactly the problem.

Delta, United, Southwest, JetBlue, and American have all announced that the scooters will no longer be allowed to fly as carry-ons or checked luggage due to reports of the scooters’ combustibility.

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The problem is with the powerful lithium ion battery. The average scooter takes two hours for a scooter to charge, and a fully charged scooter is able to travel up to 10 miles. According the US Consumer Product and Safety Commission, there have been at least 10 reports of fires caused by the scooters, although executives from companies selling the most expensive versions of the scooters argue that it’s the cheap knock-offs that pose the real danger. In fact, Swagway scooters were just banned by Amazon after criticism involving the company’s safety standards.

Still, airlines are not taking any chances. Knock-off or not, scooters will not be allowed on planes. If you’re planning on traveling with one of these scooters, check to see if your airline has released a policy on this.

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Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who is always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.

(Photo: Ben Larcey via flickr/CC Attribution)

By Jamie Ditaranto

Jamie Ditaranto is a traveler in a love triangle with writing and photography. Follow the drama on Twitter @jamieditaranto and Instagram @jamieditaranto.

Ditaranto joined SmarterTravel in 2015. She loves ecotourism, cities with history, and discovering local hangouts. Though she likes all the continents equally, she holds a special place in her heart for rainy little islands.

Her work has also appeared online at USA Today, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and other publications. You can check out her photography on her website.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "My instant camera comes in handy for giving instant gifts to new friends."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Befriending penguins in Antarctica."

Travel Motto: "You have to get the hard places out of the way first."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "On short flights, the window. For long flights, the aisle."

Email Jamie at editor@smartertravel.com.