After the famous Casey Neistat got his Boosted Board taken away by Sydney Airport Customs Border Patrol, my dream of traveling the world with an electric skateboard feels a bit shaken.
As electric skateboards are continuing to evolve, in the world (and airports), the guidance from a variety of airlines on this subject matter is extremely vague, to put it bluntly.
Hoverboards Wreak Havoc on the No-Fly List
To makes matters worse, There are approximately 100 accidents reports stating that battery packs in self-balancing scooters AND hoverboards get too hot. And with the dangers of sparks, fire, and explosions, it’s no wonder 60 airlines have banned hoverboards from being brought aboard.
Thanks a lot, Hoverboard.
(Another reason why electric skateboards are better than Hoverboards)
But fear not! Electric Skateboards still have a chance!
My Airport Interviews Uncovered
To check the airline’s policy for electric skateboards, I contacted Virgin Australia, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and Singapore Airlines.
I posed as a tourist traveling with my imaginary brother. The conversations went a little something like this:
Hi there. My brother and I are traveling overseas. He wishes to bring along his Boosted Board v2 (99wh battery) on one of your flights. I wish to bring my
Acton Blink Lite (56wh battery). Do you allow these on your flights?
United Airlines: Hell no!
Delta Airline: Err, Ask TSA?
Virgin Australia: Yeah Sure!
Singapore Airline: Yep!
Airline Factors for Travelling with Electric Skateboards
Let’s take it from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Most know that the FAA regulates all facets of flights. So, if you want to conform to the rules and regulations of the FAA, although subject to change, they do confirm that Lithium Ion Batteries can be on flights as long as they are check-in as carry-on baggage AND with airline approval.
It can feel tricky when checking with the airlines for factors revolving around airline travel with hoverboards and/or electric skateboards.
What’s even more complicated is that airports have varying policies on the NO Hoverboard Allowed on flights rule, among other guidelines including, but not limited to:
- Some airlines have rules for non-powered skateboards under “sporting equipment”.
- The airlines consider skateboards WITH Lithium-Ion Batteries a no-go.
- Airlines DO have guidelines for DETACHED Lithium-Ion Batteries.
How to travel with hoverboards and electric skateboards via the airlines:
1. Battery Size Matters
- Some airlines allow batteries that are <99 watt-hours.
- Few airlines allow <160 watt-hours, but you MUST declare it.
2. Detachable Batteries Are Even Better
Some airlines do allow electric skateboards aboard the aircraft as long as the battery is detached.
- These airlines specifically state that you MUST detach the Lithium Battery first.
3. It’s best to check in the skateboard (without the battery)
Sydney’s Airport Customs will not allow sports equipment as a carry-on. That said, Casey’s Boosted Board was confiscated due to it being an actual skateboard, NOT because it had a motor.
Follow these steps to determine if it’s worth taking a chance having your skateboard confiscated while trying to board an aircraft:
- Follow my email template below. Email the airlines first. Some do not even allow sports equipment such as skateboards. Period. In such a case, you might want to have the board flown via a courier company to your destination.
- Try asking the airlines if DETACHING the Lithium Battery would allow you to bring it on board as either checked or carry-on baggage. In cases like this, you can check in the skateboard and carry-on the battery.
- Get your response by email. This way you can take it with you showing proof of the airline vouching that you are good-to-go.
A Few Examples of Flight compatible Eskate
To check out the stats, view my board’s comparison page.
These are the email I sent, and the replies I’ve gotten:
See the below email template you can use to find out if traveling with your hoverboard or electric skateboard is allowed.
Here’s the template:
Hello (Airline). My brother and I are looking to travel to Europe, and we would like to bring our Electric Skateboard (Boosted Board & Acton Blink Lite) with us. Is the Electric Skateboard allowed to be brought onboard? Especially since they have Lithium batteries?
As far as I know, (name of the airline) has banned devices such as Hoverboard, however, Electric Skateboard is not included in the list and is actually a different kind of product.
As I understand it, Airline allows Lithium battery of less than 99wh. My Acton Blink Lite has a 56wh Lithium-Ion. It is small enough to fit inside my cabin luggage.
My brother’s Boosted Board has a 99wh Lithium battery, but it is removable. I plan to check in the board and carry on the detached 99wh Lithium battery.
Can I do this? Is there any document/letter you can issue so that I would able to show the staff in case I was questioned?
Dear Dr. Lim, Thank you for your inquiry. United accepts only non-powered roller skates, rollerblades, and skateboards as checked baggage or carry-on baggage. We appreciate your e-mail and thank you for your continued business as a MileagePlus member.
Thank you for your email regarding bringing an electronic skateboard on board. I am happy to assist you by providing the following information. I can confirm that you may bring your electronic skateboard on board. You will need to declare that you have the device by the time you check in.
I have listed the guidelines for bringing electronic devices containing lithium, lithium ion cells or non-spillable batteries below:
- Items containing batteries under 100Wh or under 12 volts do not need to be declared at check-in. (conversion to Wh = Amp hours (Ah) x Voltage)
- Lithium batteries must not exceed 160Wh.
- Virgin Australia does not accept UN3480 lithium ion batteries (exceptions may be made when these batteries are contained in medical devices).
- Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries (non-spill able) must not exceed 12 volts.
- Batteries can either attached to the item or taken as spare. If battery is spare, it must be carried as carry-on baggage only.
- The device must be carried in a manner as to prevent inadvertent activation – e.g. Switches prevented from being activated. Packed in a hard molded case such as power tool cases.
- The carriage of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Devices is prohibited on all Virgin Australia flights as checked in or carry-on luggage.
- Permitted as carry-on or checked baggage although recommended as carry-on as per the Dangerous Goods regulations.
Thank you for your email. Please be advised the skateboard is allowed as either checked-in or carry-on. Their weight would be part of your permitted check-in baggage or carry-on weight as advised on our website for the different class of travel. Please detach the lithium battery when carrying the skateboard onboard.
For further information on bringing restricted or prohibited items, you may refer to the following link to verify if your item is allowed on our flight:
We hope the above address your concerns.
If you would like to go into a deeper dive, I suggest reading the International Airline Transport Associations guideline on traveling with batteries.
We hope the above address your concerns.
Here is Inboard M1 on their advice concerning the same matters (Same conclusion).