Can you take electric skateboards on planes?—well, there’s a question you don’t hear every day. We live in a world where transportation is increasingly becoming electrified, and this means new types of ways to get around and new laws that regulate these types of transportation.
There’s no simple answer here as to whether or not you can bring an electric skateboard on your flight as the decision will be up to the airline itself. There are many airlines that have prohibited travel with an electric skateboard—however, there are some that do permit e-boards as long as the battery size is under 160 Wh.
We get it—you might feel more confused than you did when you first asked the question. Don’t worry, this article is here to help. We’ll take a look at some different regulations around the world and with different airlines and give you some tips for boarding that flight with your board.
Flying with Your Board
Ah, packing for a trip, most times easier said than done—especially if what you’re planning on packing includes an electric skateboard. Many of us are familiar with the story of Casey Neistat, the YouTube personality, vlogger, and filmmaker who notoriously had his electric skateboard taken away after an international flight. Neistat was traveling with a Boosted Board, which was confiscated when he arrived at the Sydney Airport in Australia.
Many countries, as well as individual airlines, have regulations regarding skateboards—especially skateboards with electric batteries in them. However, these guidelines are extremely difficult to navigate as the rules around them are rather vague, to say the least.
Many of these laws and regulations are the result of issues involving electric scooters and hoverboards. When they get too hot they’re at risk of sparking and causing fires or explosions and more than 60 airlines have banned hoverboards from being brought aboard the plane.
In many cases, electric skateboards fall under the same category as hoverboards and are not permitted to be brought aboard the plane. However, there is some gray area as well as some airlines and airports that do permit electric skateboards to be brought aboard the plane.
We’ll take a look at some international guidelines that can help you plan for your journey, as well as some certain steps that you can take to ensure the electric skateboard is allowed to travel with you.
Can You Take It with You?
As we mentioned before, the rules are varied with regard to the airline and the airport. The following guide will serve as a guideline only, and it’s recommended that you check with your specific airline and any airport will be traveling through before you travel.
International Air Transport Association
According to the International Air Transport Association, small lithium battery powered vehicles that include hoverboards and electric skateboards are classified as UN 3171 vehicles. The classification varies between lithium ion batteries below and above 100 Wh, as well as if the lithium-ion battery is removed and packed separately. These different classifications contribute to different airports and airlines following producing different guidelines.
Federal Aviation Administration Regulations
This is the governing body of any travel within or to the United States. According to their website, any recreational vehicle powered by a lithium ion battery must be approved by the specific airline.
- An electric skateboard that has a lithium ion battery that does not exceed 100-watt hours (Wh) may be limited to carry-on baggage, or maybe prohibited by the airline completely
- If the device has a lithium ion battery that exceeds 160 Wh, it is prohibited as both carry-on or checked baggage (most electronic skateboards fall just under this limit at about 158.4 Wh)
- The airline that you communicate with may require proof of the battery size and they may also prove that you show that neither the battery nor the skateboard have been recalled
According to the United Airlines website, recreational self-propelled vehicles are limited. These include hoverboards, e-bikes, and electric skateboards, which are not accepted for travel.
The Delta website also indicates that battery-powered self-balancing personal transportation devices, including powered skateboards and hoverboards, are prohibited on both checked and carry-on baggage.
European Aviation Safety Agency
According to EASA, governing any air travel to or within Europe, devices that contain lithium ion batteries are permitted. However, the battery must not exceed 100 Wh. If the Wh is greater than 100 but less than 160, approval from the airline will be required. Any item greater than 160 Wh will not be permitted for transport.
According to Air France, lithium ion battery-operated hoverboards, skateboards, or motorized baggage (regardless of the battery power or whether it has been removed or not) are not permitted in either the cabin or the hold.
Like many other airlines, British Airways has also prohibited any battery powered leisure devices (including skateboards, scooters, and hoverboards). On their website, they list potential fire risk as the reason behind this decision.
Airlines Have Final Say
If things are looking pretty gloomy for your hopes of taking your e-board with you, be sure to check in with the airline. Every airline that we have listed thus far is one of the major airlines that have decided to prohibit electric skateboards, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that who you’re flying with will have the same rules.
Here are a few airlines who do permit electric skateboards.
Virgin Airlines is one of the few major airlines to permit electronic devices contain lithium ion batteries. However, they do need to be under 160 Wh and if they are more than 100 Wh they do need to be declared.
Singapore Airlines does permit an electric skateboard to be taken on the plane as either carry-on or checked baggage. However, the lithium battery must be detached when carried on board.
Boarding with Your Board
Before you head to the airport there are few things you can do to make sure that your flight is as smooth as possible and that you don’t have to leave your electric skateboard behind.
First, check to see if your electric skateboard is one with a battery small enough to be taken on the plane. There are few online resources that allow you to check your battery size to be sure that it is between 100 and 160 Wh.
Second, once you’re sure of the battery size, contact the airline directly to get permission to bring your electric skateboard with you. It’s important to do this before the trip, that way you’re not left with a last-minute hassle. If you’ll be transiting through different countries, also check for any international regulations that could impact you and your skateboard.
*It also might be a good idea to have a copy of any conversation you have, that way you can show it for proof should any one question you or your skateboard.
When you arrive at the airport, check in the skateboard (either with or without the battery attached). Many people recommend removing the battery pack and including it in your carry-on. However, this will be up to you and the flight staff to determine the best option.
If traveling with your electric skateboard is impossible, you may be forced to explore other options. Would it be possible to drive or take another way of transportation? How about renting an electric skateboard once you arrive? If both of these fail you may be able to send your electric skateboard in advance.
Traveling is awesome but it can also cause a few headaches—especially if you have special baggage you want to take with you. Unfortunately, several issues with hoverboards have resulted in electric skateboards getting lumped into the same category of prohibited baggage.
Fortunately, there are some airlines that still permit electric skateboards to be transported. Before you fly, you’re going to have to do your own research to make sure that your trip is trouble-free and that both you and your electric skateboard end up at your final destination.