It Would be Amazing if My Mobility Scooter Could Also Go on an Airplane

CruiseSkooter mobility scooter for cruise and world travel. Lightweight foldable mobility scooter airplane

If you’re traveling by air and using a mobility scooter, it’s essential to know what to expect. While air travel can be challenging for anyone, traveling with a mobility scooter can bring unique challenges. Here are ten things to expect when traveling by air with a mobility scooter:

  1. Pre-Boarding Assistance: Airlines are required to provide pre-boarding assistance to travelers who require additional time or assistance to board the plane.  However, this almost always means that you cannot check in for your flight ahead of time.  You, and your party, typically need to present to the counter of your airline to check in and to get a tag (no extra charge) placed on the scooter so it can eventually be transported on the airplane.

  2. Gate-Checked Mobility Scooter: Mobility scooters will be gate-checked and returned to you at your destination. You’ll receive a claim check to ensure that your scooter is returned to you safely.  Some airlines will allow you to drive right up to the door of the plane.  Others will require you to leave the scooter at the top of the ramp and have an agent wheel you down the rest of the way in a wheelchair.

  3. Know key data: Each airline is very different in what information they need.  Some will ask your battery power to make sure it is compliant.  They often like to also know the dimensions and weight of the scooter.  It is good to have this information on hand before going to the airport, especially if you are traveling outside of the United States.

  4. TSA Screening: TSA agents will need to screen your mobility scooter before you board your flight. This will include an X-ray and a visual inspection.

  5. Battery Requirements: Airlines have strict requirements for the batteries used in mobility scooters. Ensure that your battery is in compliance with airline regulations before you travel.

  6. Storage: Your mobility scooter will need to be stowed in the cargo hold of the plane. This can be a tight squeeze, so it’s essential to ensure that your scooter is appropriately packaged and secured.  The best way to make sure this is not a problem is to have a scooter that is capable of folding/collapsing into just one piece.

  7. It Does Not Count as Luggage: Most airlines do not count mobility aids as luggage.  Regardless if you are checking a bag or not, the mobility scooter generally is not something that needs to be paid for as an extra piece of luggage.

  8. Extra Time: Traveling with a mobility scooter can take extra time, so be sure to arrive at the airport early to ensure that you have plenty of time to navigate the airport and board your flight.

  9. Confusion: Do not be surprised if you are the first person a ticketing agent or gate agent has encountered using a mobility scooter.  Believe it or not, it is a relatively newer practice and many airline employees simply have not had that experience.  You might need to help educate them a little about what you have learned!

  10. Accommodations: Airlines are required to provide reasonable accommodations for travelers with disabilities, including those using mobility scooters. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance if you need it.

While traveling with a mobility scooter can present unique challenges, with a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy air travel and explore the world with ease.  Happy travels!

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