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Hoverboards not welcome on Air Canada, WestJet or big U.S. airlines

Air Canada, WestJet and three major U.S. airlines have banned hoverboards — also called self-balancing scooters or mini-Segways — from both carry-on and checked baggage.

Self-balancing scooters are powered by lithium ion batteries which safety experts say can catch fire

Aaron Saltzman explains why many airlines, including Air Canada and WestJet, are refusing hoverboards in the cabin or checked baggage 1:53

Hoverboards — one of the Christmas season's hottest gifts — are not going anywhere by air this year.

Air Canada, WestJet and three major U.S. airlines have banned the boards — also called self-balancing scooters or mini-Segways — from both carry-on and checked baggage.

The concern is that the lithium-ion batteries that power the hoverboard can catch fire.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating at least 10 reports of hoverboard fires.

Chris Brown, Justin Bieber and other celebrities have been pictured trying out the scooters, and videos of hoverboard prowess and mishaps are going viral, adding to the popularity of hoverboards as a holiday gift.

Just don't try to carry it by air.

Air Canada banned them as of Dec. 8. WestJet and JetBlue also have bans. The three largest U.S. airlines — Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines — announced on Thursday that they would not carry hoverboards.

"As a precautionary measure effective December 8, 2015, Air Canada no longer accepted small, lithium-battery powered vehicles as checked or carry-on baggage given safety risks associated with the size of the batteries that power them. These items are commonly referred to as hoverboards, electric skateboards, airwheels, mini-Segways and balance wheels," Air Canada said in a statement.

Lithium-ion batteries are blamed for some laptops and cellphones catching fire and caused a fire in the cargo hold of a UPS jet that crashed five years ago.

One Canadian distributor of a hoverboard says the devices became popular so quickly that poorly made knockoffs have flooded the market.

The devices aren't bound by any regulations, says Sean Kane of the U.S. Safety Institute.

"You really don't know how well they're designed, how well they're going to function and what safety defects they can be introducing," he told CBC News.

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