Hoverboards banned by a growing number of airlines as a fire risk

Just before the 2015 holidays hit, America's 3 largest airlines are banning hoverboards. Why? In-flight fire danger from the lithium-ion batteries that power them.

The motorized, two-wheel, skateboard-sized hoverboard scooters are a hot item this holiday retail season.

Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines said Thursday they will all ban hoverboards in checked or carry-on luggage. JetBlue was among the airlines that had already prohibited passengers from checking or carrying them.

United said its ban took effect immediately, Delta's kicks in on Friday, and American's on Saturday. Southwest asks passengers who are traveling with a hoverboard or any other device powered by lithium battery to carry them on the plane, but a spokeswoman told AP today they're reconsidering their policy.

Several smaller airlines including Alaska, Virgin America, Hawaiian, Spirit and Allegiant said they too had banned hoverboards.

Delta said some hoverboards are poorly labeled and use batteries that exceed the wattage of batteries allowed on planes.

The Federal Aviation Administration has urged airlines to tell passengers not to pack spare batteries in checked bags because they can ignite and cause a fire in the cargo compartment. More than a dozen airlines around the world have stopped accepting bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries.

Delta, American and United ban hoverboards as a fire danger