If you’re planning a trip or a vacation, your mobility scooter is an essential piece of equipment that you’ll need. But if you’re flying, what should you do with your scooter? Here are the details about taking your scooter on a plane.
The Truth About Taking Your Mobility Scooter On a Plane
So can you take your scooter on a plane? The answer is yes, and the FAA and ADA help to protect your rights to bring your scooter along. Here’s what you need to know about flying with your scooter.
The Facts About Scooter Batteries
Perhaps the most confusing part about flying with a scooter are the regulations concerning the scooter batteries. Here’s a basic outline of what you should know about your scooter’s batteries.
- Lead acid non-spillable batteries can be stowed on planes, no matter what their size. These batteries are safer to transport, since they don’t contain water. You can see the FAA’s guidelines for non-spillable batteries here.
- Lithium batteries are allowed on planes, but all of the batteries in your scooter must add up to less than 300 amps. Lithium batteries must be housed in protective cases, and they need to be disconnected from the scooter. You can see the FAA’s guidelines for lithium batteries here.
If your scooter has lithium batteries and you plan to travel with it often, you may wish to purchase a non-spillable battery for simplified plane travel.
Scooters as Baggage
You likely won’t be able to bring your scooter directly into the plane cabin with you, even if it folds up. Most airlines check scooters as baggage. You’ll find that policies and requirements differ between airlines. For instance, American Airlines checks scooters at the ticket counter or departure gate. JetBlue details exactly how it handles different types of batteries, including when staff will disassemble batteries and what types of scooters are accepted for transport.
Your best bet is to check with the specific airline that you’ll be flying on to get the details of how to transport your scooter.
Tips for Taking Your Mobility Scooter on a Plane
If you do opt to bring your scooter along on a trip, consider these tips to help the process go smoothly.
- Have a copy of your scooter’s specifications on hand. You may be asked about the scooter’s size and weight, and this documentation can make the process smoother.
- Bring along a doctor’s note. A doctor’s note may be essential if you run into any questions or difficulties at the airport. Have your doctor document the fact that you need your scooter for health and mobility reasons.
- Call ahead about special accommodations. It’s a good idea to call the airport ahead of time to find out about any special arrangements that may be needed for your scooter, such as having you check the scooter in early. You may be able to load the scooter as it is, but some airports have special baggage arrangements to get your scooter safely loaded onto the plane.
- Take pictures of your scooter. Bring a camera along and take photos of your scooter as it’s sitting in the airport, before it’s loaded onto the plane. These pictures can be important documentation in case your scooter is damaged in transit.
Airlines understand that scooters are necessary medical equipment, and airlines need to be able to accommodate that equipment. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your airline well in advance of your trip to be sure that you have all of the details about bringing your mobility scooter on the plane.