Can You Take a Mobility Scooter on a Plane?

summer scene with hat, glasses, cell phone, camera, and front of scooter

Can You Take a Mobility Scooter on a Plane?

Short answer? Yes, but don’t stop reading just yet.

Long answer? It takes a little more preparation and coordination with your airline.

With travel season fast approaching, now’s a good time to understand how to get your mobility scooter to your destination by the rules and in one piece.

The Federal Aviation Administration and your airline have their own sets of rules and recommendations. You’ll need to follow both if you want to make your flight, any connections and arrive at your destination.

Let’s break them down together.

What are the federal rules for traveling with a mobility scooter?

All airlines must follow these, so it makes sense to start here. There are a few of them so it’s helpful to break them down into a list. They all concern safely transporting batteries and electronics, which can be dangerous if done incorrectly.

You’ll probably have to check your scooter

Unless it’s collapsible and uses lithium ion batteries — an option on the Go Go Folding Scooter 4-Wheel and standard on the iRide — you must check your mobility device so the baggage handlers can stow it in the cargo hold. Most battery types are allowed aboard the plane, so long as they pass safety checks.

You can take a backup battery, but it might be a hassle

You can take one spare battery with you, but that must go in your carry-on. For lithium ion batteries, you can take up to two as long as each does not exceed 160 watt hours.

The airline prefers to keep your batteries installed and connected

The crew will inspect your batteries and electrical connections to make sure they’re safe. If so, you won’t need to disconnect the batteries.

Your scooter also must have some safeguard against accidental activation. That’s no problem for most devices, which require a key to start. Scooters with an on/off switch, like iRide, are also acceptable.

Trivia: Did you know federal law requires the pilot to know, before departing, that your mobility scooter is on board and where it’s located?

What are my airline’s rules for traveling with a mobility scooter?

Most airlines let passengers take their mobility devices at no extra charge. They don’t count them toward luggage allowance either.

All airlines follow FAA rules, but some have their own preferences or requests. For example, they may ask you to fill out a form.

You’ll likely have to take removable parts into the cabin with you

If your scooter has extra pieces like cushions or a phone holder, be prepared to pop them off and take them with you. Our advice: plan ahead and bring a backpack that easily fits any removable accessories.

The crew may need to disassemble your scooter

Worst case scenario, your mobility device doesn’t fit into the baggage hold door. If this happens, the crew won’t leave it behind. Instead, they’ll take it apart. The best way to ensure you get it all back in one piece is to give disassembly instructions. If you’re traveling with basically any scooter from the Go Go lineup, your step-by-step list should be pretty short thanks to Pride’s exclusive feather touch disassembly system!

Save time, call ahead

Let your airline know at least 48 hours in advance that you’re bringing a scooter and have the dimensions handy.

Most don’t require this, but it helps to ease the boarding process with a little preparation. 

Individual Airline Rules for Traveling with Mobility Scooters
American Airlines
Delta Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Spirit Airlines
United Airlines

Traveling by plane with a mobility scooter is absolutely possible and even enjoyable with the right level of planning.

Preparation could be the difference between sipping cocktails in the terminal restaurant before departure or scrambling to pack up your mobility device at the gate.

Which one sounds more relaxing to you?

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