Can I Take My Electric Scooter On An Airplane?

Carrying a scooter on a plane depends on a couple of factors. The main one that can determine whether you can move with your electric scooter or not is the airline’s rules on the battery type and capacity of the scooter. Most airlines make no problems for scooters with lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of under 100 Wh and allow batteries under 160 Wh with some exceptions for personal use. A wheelchair or other battery-powered mobility aid equipped vehicles are allowed a capacity of under 300 Wh. The other very open factor in airlines is their carrier laws on baggage and their weights.

This article is some sort of direction to help you as the reader with an electric scooter and wants to travel. It has several guidelines that may help you in determining whether you would be able to travel with your scooter or not.

General rules

Owning an electric scooter helps in mobility and sometimes convenience. Scooters, compared to popular means of movement like cars, are more flexible, can be portable and rechargeable once the battery runs out.

If you choose to air travel with your scooter, here are some pointers to help you understand whether you can travel with it or not:

1. Airline regulations

All airplanes have a numerous number of regulations. These are in place for your safety as well as avoiding liability by the airline. When it comes to extra baggage, there are foundational rules to how you carry, package and move your items through the airport.

When it comes to scooters, different airlines have different rules. Scooters have different variations depending on size, battery capacity, efficiency, portability, energy consumption, and even aesthetics.

Your scooter might pass the battery capacity requirements but be banned as sporting equipment. The best piece of advice is to contact your airline at least 48 hours before the flight and ask if you are allowed to travel with your scooter.

2. Allowed battery capacity

Airlines have a limit to any electric or battery-powered items that you as a passenger have while using their services. For personal use, most airlines accommodate lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of under 100 Wh and with airline approval up to 160 Wh. In the case of mobility scooters, the battery capacity must not exceed 300 Wh.

“Wh” is the measurement of watts that an item can use per hour. Having that in mind, you can easily check your scooter manual and know immediately if you can travel with it or not.

Depending on capacity, you can carry spare batteries as follows:

Battery capacityPermission
Under 100 Wh for personal useNo restriction on the number of spare batteries as carry-on baggage
100 – 160 Wh for personal useUp to two spare batteries as carry-on baggage with prior airline approval
Up to 300 Wh for mobility useA maximum of one spare battery not exceeding 300 Wh or two spares not exceeding 160 Wh each

Anything above 160 Wh for personal use is considered as a high energy item on the airplane and will not be allowed by any airline company. With that in mind, one can easily decide whether or not it is necessary for them to travel with the electric scooter or not.

3. Scooter size

In some airlines, one can carry their scooter as long as it can be folded to a specific size for a package in terms of weight or fit into a bag. All airlines have a baggage carrying capacity irrelevant to the item in question. Sometimes, your scooter might have a small battery, under the airline’s accommodative carrying capacity. With this, some airlines can refuse your scooter on board just because of its size. If you are within the baggage capacity with your scooter and it can be folded into a portable package of some capacity, some airlines will let you have your electric scooter without any qualms. If you stay within the weight limit and it stays off, you are good to go.

4. Rules of the destination country

Sometimes, one can travel viably through an airport with your electric scooter. You can have the right capacity, the right baggage in size or weight or the right packaging system. In the end, your destination might be a location that does not allow one to use their scooters. It is vital that before you choose a destination, one should check whether their destination allows them to enjoy the services of their electric scooter or not.

There is nothing as bad as planning for a trip then after passing through all the necessary procedures and getting past customs and their regulations, you eventually get blocked for an item in your luggage. As attached to scooters, some countries do not allow one to come with and use scooters in their countries. Every location has its way of living and how they do things and must be respected by all means. Before you hop on a plane with your electric scooter to head to some destination, make sure it allows you to have your scooter. Imagine going through the whole process of customs and just before clearance, you find out that you are not allowed to enter the country with a particular item. You must get informed about your destination’s regulations. That way, if you show up with your electric scooter, there is no blocking at the airport for you. Information is power. Do your research. Should you need your scooter at these locations, just get your facts right and you are good to go.

5. Packaging

Equipment or vehicle must be prepared and packaged for transport in a manner to prevent unintentional activation. If your scooter has a non-removable battery, you can carry it as checked baggage, otherwise, you have to remove the battery and take the battery into your carry-on baggage. Any battery that is removed must be protected against short circuit by placement in original retail packaging or by otherwise insulating terminals (e.g., by taping over exposed terminals or placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch). It is also advised that you discharge the battery to around 30%. In any case, the battery must be sealed and unspillable.

Airplane friendly scooters

Like all items on the market, scooters have different sizes and capacities. Companies have come to realize, eventually, the importance of traveling with some items. When it comes to electric scooters, some companies have managed to get a niche in the market by modifying their end product in a way that allows you mobility with them, specifically on airlines. These companies make it easier for you to move with the electric scooter without modifying anything. They produced a product that is viable to the end of your travel. These companies saw a need for scooter enthusiasts to travel with them and made gadgets specifically adjusted for the airplane.

Some of these scooter gadgets might be what you own. If not, with this information, you can choose to get a scooter that can allow you to move inside the airports freely without problems.

Scooters that are a brand known for accommodating airport regulations and are portable in some carriage bags are several. They include the VIRO, SoFlow, JD Bug, the Razor, and the EMICRO Eagle X3 and EMICRO Sparrow X4. There is also another one called the SmartScoot, mobility scooter, which is specially made for traveling on airplanes with a capacity that does not interfere with the airline’s rules.

With the right type of scooter, you can confidently hop on a plane without any sort of objection or regulation.

These different models and makes available in the market allow one to choose an electric scooter that works for them in more ways than one, especially on the travel aspect.

Do I Really Need To Carry An Electric Scooter?

A scooter, be it electric or human propelled, is a hassle in transport. When moving it in a car, it is easy to maneuver but hard to carry. You can easily fold an electric scooter into your carriage bag and move with it. In an airplane, the rules are more than you would expect in any other means of transport. Airline transport is filled with a huge number of regulations and rules. Weighing your options is vital in this movement. Is your scooter a need or a want? If it is a need, try to find a way to be in the spectrum that allows you to travel with it. If it is a want, get a viable one for your air transport. From the battery size to the portability, with this information, you can move with your electric scooter however and whenever.

Exceptions to the Rule

Technicalities happen more often in life than we care to admit. Special treatment is usually equated to special circumstances. Sometimes, a person may use an electric scooter because they have the physical incapability to move on their own. Disability has no formula. It can be your eyes, your hands, your feet, your whole body… It can be anything. Some physically disabled persons use an electric scooter for their mobility. In this case, exceptions are given. If you cannot move without your electric scooter, the airport has exceptions for such cases. With a valid doctor’s approval to use your machine, you can easily travel with your electric scooter.

The catch is, in some airports for processing of you and your electric scooter to happen, one has to get to the airport 2 hours before their take-off time. This gives time to the airport to review, process and accept the fact that you are traveling with your electric scooter.

In other airports, you are charged an exempt fee for what you have as luggage. They may check what you have just to make sure that it is legal but as long as it is within the limit, and legal, you can carry your electric scooter to some degree.

Conclusion

So you are flying somewhere but you still want to go with your electric scooter? Well, now you have information that you can use and decide whether you will go ahead and carry your electric scooter on the plane or not.

Do not forget to have fun.

Sources

Mike Reyes

I'm Mike Reyes, a guy behind eDrivePlanet.com. I have a background in electrical engineering and I was interested into technology since my early age. My passion is sustainable transport and energy, and my objective is to make eDrive Planet a pillar of the electric vehicles industry with hopefully millions of site visitors each year. I am counting on you, please spread the voice!

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