No matter where you go in the world, a scooter helps with mobility.
A mobility scooter benefits you in a lot of ways, but it does take mindfulness to care for while traveling. The only problem you’ll find when traveling on an airplane is answering questions about what type of battery is used. Some airlines have restrictions based on the battery, but the FAA and ADA require airlines to transport medical devices like mobility scooters free of charge.
For a detailed list, check out the full scooter/wheelchair regulation from the FAA, which mentions that lithium-ion batteries must have a capacity at or below 100 wh. Battery types like dry cell, gel cell, or absorbed electrolyte batteries have no legal limits.
Be sure to contact your airline at least 48 hours before the flight to ensure you have their exact specifications. Nothing is worse than being stranded in the airport without your scooter, which lightens your load, increases your independence, and makes excursions with family and friends more accessible.
Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know when traveling with a scooter.
What Are Mobility Scooters Used For?
Mobility scooters are electric personal vehicles meant for those with health conditions preventing normal movement. They’re great for moving around the house and getting what you need done, but some people worry about how to care for the scooter while traveling. Those worries are often unwarranted.
Scooters are useful tools that free you up to do everything you need while on the road. People often use them for extra storage or movement while shopping, going out to eat, and going on vacation.
However, you’ll want to ensure you have the right scooter, accessories, and protections in case something happens during travel. Let’s break down what to expect when bringing a mobility scooter on your plane trip.
Which Mobility Scooters Are Best for Air Travel?
Your first priority is ensuring your scooter is FAA compliant, as described at the top. While you will not be able to fly in your scooter, it will be loaded into the plane. As soon as you check in with your airline, they’ll check the scooter, and you’ll receive personal assistance in boarding and getting seated.
Make sure you take photos of your scooter so you can document any damage that may occur during travel. You wouldn’t want someone to scratch or break your unit while it’s in transit, but if it happens, at least you’ll have proof.
Although it’s not a motor vehicle, you should have insurance on your scooter. This protects both the scooter and any other property that may be damaged by it. If something does occur, the manufacturer and insurance company will likely cover it. Be sure to contact them immediately and provide all possible information.
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Are Mobility Scooters Dangerous?
Mobility scooters are not dangerous when used properly. But you’ll definitely want to get insurance to cover any accidents because the units themselves - though safe - don’t have the type of standard safety features an automobile has. Some people prefer to wear a helmet when riding, and that’s a great idea depending on the top speed of your scooter.
You’ll also want to get some extra security to ensure your scooter is not stolen while traveling. Add an alarm, keep the key on you, and buy a wheel clamp to ensure it’s as safe as possible. If anything does happen to you and your scooter while on the road, feel free to give us a call for advice.
Can a Mobility Scooter Be Made to Go Faster?
On most models, the speed of a mobility scooter is bottlenecked by a speed limiter. This ensures the scooter can not go faster due to regulations and how the scooter can be marketed and sold. While you can remove the speed limiter, you risk violating local laws while traveling and your personal safety. Medical devices are typically covered, but making these types of adjustments could violate the law along with voiding your warranty.
Make sure you speak with a certified professional technician about any possible changes you wish to make to your scooter, especially when traveling. It may be to your benefit to have a travel-specific scooter that’s easier to transport, although if you have a limited budget, work with what you have.
How to Get Help With a Mobility Scooter
At My Own Wheels, you can find the perfect mobility scooter for your needs. We go above and beyond to ensure you experience all the advantages of a motor scooter, whether you’re at home or on the road. If you need even more protection, an in-home service plan is the way to go.
Even if you’re on the road, you can depend on this network of certified professionals to keep your scooter operating in pristine condition. Don’t travel without this protection.