A guide to travelling by plane with your mobility scooteredit
If you struggle to walk long distances or have a disability that affects your mobility, mobility scooters are the ideal way to get around. But if you’re going abroad, is it safe to bring your scooter with you on your trip? There are a number of options available to you here, so let’s take a look at what these are below so you can make the right decision for your circumstances.
Option 1: Taking your mobility scooter from home
If you want to take your own mobility scooter with you, there are a few things to consider:
Do your research
Make sure you research the different airlines and their policies regarding mobility scooters before making your booking. While choosing the cheapest airline can save you money upfront, it’s possible they won’t offer the same standard of service, which is particularly important when travelling with a mobility scooter. To learn more about your selected airline’s terms and conditions, look them up online or contact their customer service staff directly. The government also has some guidelines which are worth a read.
Make arrangements for support
Regardless of whether you choose to arrange your holiday on the internet or in person with a travel agency, it is recommended that you inform them of your travel preferences in advance. You must also notify your airline at least 48 hours before your scheduled flight in order for them to make any changes for you.
Make sure the battery is in good working order
While many mobility scooter users are already aware of this, knowing what type of battery your device is powered by is important when travelling by aeroplane. Wet or dry cell batteries that are not spillable are considered safe, however, if your scooter is powered by lithium batteries, these must be removed from the frame before boarding to prevent short-circuiting.
Check the size of your scooter
It is necessary for you to tell the airline about the type and dimensions of your mobility scooter for them to make appropriate accommodations. Models capable of travelling at 6-8 mph and on pavements would be too large and heavy to transport aboard, so this could impact your ability to take your own model.
Look up the airline’s guidelines and regulations and see whether the dimensions listed match the dimensions of your mobility scooter.
Option 2: Purchasing a compact travel scooter
Another option you have is to purchase a compact scooter, which you can store at home and use every time you travel. What sets portable mobility scooters apart from ordinary mobile scooters is that they’re easier to fold down and are usually lighter in weight. If you travel a lot, look for a scooter that can be folded manually or automatically in less than 30 seconds. Not only does this save you a great deal of time and effort when assembling and disassembling, but these scooters are also easy to operate, thanks to the use of clearly designated buttons on the dashboard.
Option 3: Booking a rental mobility scooter in advance
A rental scooter may also be reserved in advance, which makes travelling much more convenient for you. You can often reserve one up to a month in advance of your journey, so with a bit of preparation, there is no need to be concerned about whether or not there will be scooters available upon your arrival. This is particularly useful if the scooter you own has broken down in the past or you’re concerned the battery won’t last for the duration of your trip. There are a number of reasons why renting might be the best option, including:
It’s less difficult to board the plane
When you rent a mobility scooter, you will find that boarding the airline at both ends of the journey will be considerably easier. In the event that you bring your own scooter, it will need to be examined at the boarding gate. After that, when you get to your location, you’ll have to wait to be given the scooter by airport personnel. For someone who is travelling on vacation, this is a significant inconvenience. It may be preferable to use a wheelchair at the terminal and then hire a mobility scooter when you get to your destination.
It relieves any worry
Choosing to hire a mobility scooter for your vacation allows you to alleviate the stress of worrying about your scooter being damaged during the flight or perhaps being put on the incorrect plane. If this were to happen, you’d have to rent a scooter and then locate yours when you return home. When you hire a scooter, you can rest easy knowing your mobility scooter is at home and safe until you get back from your trip.