“Gladiator” Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe faced off against Virgin Australia on Monday after the airline, citing safety policy, refused to let him and his sons check in hoverboards.
“Ridiculous, Virgin Australia,” Crowe, 51, tweeted. “No Segway boards as luggage?” he wrote, evidently referring to motorized self-balancing scooters, colloquially called hoverboards, produced by several manufacturers though not Segway Inc. “Too late to tell us at airport. Kids and I offloaded. Goodbye Virgin. Never again.”
The airline responded within a half-hour, tweeting, “Hi Russell, due to safety concerns over the lithium ion batteries in hoverboards, these have been banned on all major Australian airlines and many around the world. We’re sorry you were not aware of this prior to check-in today. We hope to see you on board again soon.”
Crowe, not placated, tweeted, “Virgin Australia why did you not inform me when I booked my ticket? Where is your duty of responsibility in this?” and added minutes later, “ . . . I’m awaiting your reply. . . . Why not tell me when I am booking my ticket?”
The airline again answered, tweeting, “Hi Russell, this information is outlined in the Dangerous Goods section in the booking confirmation and check in reminder emails you will have received. We have also communicated this on Facebook and Twitter, as well as through the media. We understand your frustration, however please appreciate that safety is our number one priority.”
Carriers forbidding hoverboards, which can spontaneously combust, include American, Delta and United. New York State forbids their sale, and they are illegal to ride in New York City.