Traveling with mobility scooters – Airline ICAO Guidance
Lithium batteries have become increasingly popular due to their almost ten-fold energy density (power to weight) and superior longevity over lead-acid batteries. However, lithium batteries pose a certain fire risk, which is why transportation rules and regulations (mainly for air transport, but also land and sea) have been put in place governing their manufacture and carriage.
The IATA (International Air Transport Association) was the lead agency in this effort.
Special allowance for medical mobility devices accompanying handicapped passengers
Battery capacity is determined by multiplying Volts (V) by Ampere-hours (Ah) to get Watt-hours (Wh), which has been adopted as the measure for air transport. The upper limits for lithium-ion batteries for so-called Consumer Electronics such as cell phones and laptop computers are 100Wh, and 160Wh for tools and appliances. These limits are a bit low for electric vehicles, and therefore a special allowance was made for medical mobility devices accompanying handicapped passengers. This permits one main battery of up to 300Wh. In addition one spare battery of up to 300Wh or two 160Wh spares.
All lithium-ion batteries must be tested per UN38.3 by an internationally recognized facility, and this must be displayed on the battery. Most airlines adhere to the IATA guidelines, but a few, mostly small, airlines deviate and allow only 160Wh.
Below is battery documentation to download and print as well as a list of airlines that impose this limit and/or deviate from other standard practices (this list may not be comprehensive).
We generally recommend visiting the website of your airline and viewing their information for travelers with special needs. Tell your airline that you will be traveling with your mobility scooter.
All lithium-ion batteries must be tested per UN38.3 by an internationally recognized facility, and this must be displayed on the battery. Most airlines adhere to the IATA guidelines, but a few, mostly small, airlines deviate and allow only 160Wh.
- Remain seated during check-in. This allows the agent to recognize that you have a walking disability without further discussion.
- It is not necessary to fold and pack your TravelScoot ™.
- Stack any spare batteries on top of your main battery so they are in plain sight when going through security. Do not place any batteries in your luggage!
To ease the aircraft loading process we suggest removing the backrest early (possibly at home) and packing it with your luggage, if possible. This permits larger luggage pieces to be placed across the frame in front of the seat, if you are able and willing to get on and off your TravelScoot ™ from behind.
We have recently introduced a seat plate modification that lets you install the backrest upside down. That eliminates the problem of where to put the backrest when it needs to be removed for stowage aboard a passenger plane. The spring button can remain installed in the bottom of the backrest elbow like before, or, with the aid of pair of pliers it can be relocated to the left or right side to allow inverted installation. With some skills this modification can be implemented also on an older TravelScoot ™
At the gate
Stay in the gate agent’s field of vision; Passengers with disabilities as well as families with children get priority boarding.
Boarding the plane with the mobility scooter
Batteries are not permitted in the cargo hold, but must be removed, placed in a suitable case (our Travel set, for example) and carried by the passenger into the cabin.
Remove the battery/batteries, place in the padded Travel set bag, install the padded Travel set handlebar cover over the handlebars, and lower the handlebars to the lowest setting. Once the backrest is installed in the inverted position, just release the seat lever clamp, lift the seat up a bit, rotate it 180 degrees, lower again and close the lever clamp.
Preparing the TravelScoot for the hold
Pull out the seat of the TravelScoot and turn 180°
Replace the seat of the travelScoot and close the clamp
Now, the backrest is better protected against damage and loss, and also provides a handy center-of-gravity handle to allow easy single-handed lifting.
Remain seated until all other passengers have deplaned. It will take a while for your TravelScoot ™ is either brought to the aircraft or you are taken to baggage claim by wheelchair.
It is a good idea to contact a flight attendant (maybe the one welcoming you on board and who has seen you handing off your TravelScoot ™ ) and ask them to assist you in getting “reunited” with your scooter at your destination.
Useful documents for transportation of batteries
Due to the heightened scrutiny paid to battery-operated equipment by airline staff, misunderstandings can and do occur regarding battery-powered mobility scooters and other medical assistive devices. That is why we suggest, for the time being, that you print out the following documents (these are also listed at the bottom of our airport-information page. These pertain to the TravelScoot ™ lithium-ion battery, and consist of the:
China (All airlines and all airports)
China strictly observes a limit of batteries up to 160 Wh plus up to two spares.
Even in the event that travelers have initiated their flight in a country where the 300 Wh battery was permitted, it is quite probable that the battery/batteries will be conifiscated by Chinese authorities upon transfer reboarding or check-in in China. Even passengers with only an intermidiate layover in China are subjected to the same exacting security screening. Batteries are removed from the vehicles and thoroughly examined. The passenger then has one month to claim the confiscated battery, but they will still not be able to transport the battery by air.
Mobility Aids: Folding mobility scooters using lithium-ion batteries: The lithium-ion battery must be removed from the scooter and transported in the cabin. These batteries shall not exceed 300 Watt-hours (Wh) in capacity if the mobility device is equipped with one battery. If the device uses two batteries, they shall not exceed 160 Wh each. One additional (spare) battery of up 300Wh, or two additional (spare) batteries up to 160Wh each are permitted, and also must be transported in the cabin.
How can my batteries be taken on board?
The lithium-ion battery capacity cannot exceed 300 Watt-hours (Wh) for mobility devices using one battery. For devices using two lithium-ion batteries, there individual capacity cannot exceed 160 Wh each.
One additional (spare) battery not exceeding 300 Wh, or two additional (spare) batteries not exceeding 160 Wh each, may be transported in the cabin, and must be placed in a manufacture-sourced battery pouch.
IcelandAir has no specific published policy towards transporting the TravelScoot ™. but here is a recent response from IcelandAir’s special sevices dept.
For choose one of our world-wide distributors
Can you bring an electric scooter on a plane?
Only the following airlines allow electric scooters on-board: Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, S7, Lion Air, Air India, Vietnam Airlines. All other airlines prohibit bringing your electric scooter. Your scooter will not be allowed if the battery exceeds 160 Wh, and in most cases, you will need special permission if the battery exceeds 100 Wh.
Almost no companies will allow devices with batteries above 160 Watt-hours on board. Most of the time, if your scooter’s battery is between 100 and 160 Watt-hours, you will need to get permission from the airline to take your scooter on-board.
Refer to the resources below to find out the details for your exact scooter and the airline you’re traveling with. For many of the big airlines, the screenshots of their policies, where they clearly state that electric scooters are not allowed at all, are highlighted in red.
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a plane?
- What determines if you can take your scooter on a plane?
- Which airlines allow bringing an electric scooter?
- Common airline rules regarding electric scooters on board
- Battery allowance for electric scooters on airplanes
- North American airlines rules for electric scooters
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Delta flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Southwest flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a United Airlines flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on an American Airlines flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Jet Blue flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on an Air Canada flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Ryanair flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Wizzair flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on an Easyjet flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a British Airlines flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Lufthansa flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Qatar Airways flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on an Emirates flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Chinese airline flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on an Air Asia flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on an Air Japan flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a LATAM flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Copa Airways flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Gol Airlines flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on an Azul flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Royal Air Maroc flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on a Kenya Airways flight?
- Can you bring an electric scooter on an Ethiopian Airlines flight?
- Can you take Xiaomi M365 Pro on an airplane?
- Can you take Xiaomi M365 on an airplane?
- What is your electric scooter battery size?
- Find out if the airline allows electric scooters on board
- Present your electric scooter as a personal mobility device
- Split your battery in two if it’s under 300 Wh
Common airline rules regarding electric scooters on board
In the process of researching this question, I went through a lot of rules and regulations pages.
When an airline had a way for me to reach their support center without an expensive international call, I went straight to the source and asked them. If nothing of the sort was available, I resorted to asking them on
Most airlines simply prohibit the transport of electric scooters altogether, without providing too much explanation.
Some don’t specifically mention electric scooters, but they do say they prohibit all self-balancing devices, electric bikes, hoverboards, and all similar devices, which strongly points to them not permitting scooters neither.
Some airlines do state that they’re respecting a government-mandated limit on battery energy storage of 160 Watt-hours as the reason.
They state the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) limit of 160 Watt-hours as the reason why they prohibit self-balancing personal transportation devices. This is an American government organization, but the rule is very common everywhere in the world.
In case you can’t find the battery energy storage limit for your airline, the following rules will probably apply:
- you can take your scooter if the battery has an energy storage of up to 100 Watt-hours, without needing previous approval from the airline
- if the energy storage of your scooter’s battery is larger than 100 Watt-hours, but less than 160 Watt-hours, you will need to get previous approval from the airline for it
- you can’t take your scooter if the battery has energy storage larger than 160 Watt-hours
These guidelines are from the TSA (find them here), and even though they mostly apply for personal mobility vehicles for people with special needs, they are still the default when it comes to leisure devices as well. The IATA provides similar guidelines in their battery guides document (PDF here).
In any case, it’s better to contact the airline, since they may not allow scooters at all, and their decision will be the final one despite the recommendations from the TSA and the IATA.
Let’s look at an example from Delta Airlines. Here’s what they say about the matter on their website.
To ensure the safety of our customers and employees, Delta will not accept the transport of balance gliders, hoverboards, powered skateboards, motorized riding suitcases and self-balancing boards of any type which use lithium or lithium-ion batteries on board its aircraft. These items are prohibited as both carry-on and checked baggage. Delta reviewed the hoverboard product specifications and found that manufacturers do not consistently provide detail about the size or power of their lithium-ion batteries. These devices often contain battery varieties above the government-mandated 160 Watt-hour limit permitted aboard aircraft. While occurrences are uncommon, these batteries can spontaneously overheat and pose a fire hazard risk.
Delta Restricted Items Rules, Battery Powered Self-Balancing Personal Transportation Device section
Most companies simply prohibit all sorts of self-balancing, self-propelled electronic vehicles.
Some will allow them. But that’s still not good news.
Most batteries on electric scooters today do surpass the limit of 160 Watt-hours, often by a lot.
Some batteries will be within the range, but those are very few, usually older models, or scooters with so little battery power that they’re not even worth dragging around.
Almost all airlines allow electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters on board. For those devices, the limit for the battery is up to 300 Watt-hours. Some, however, limit the total number of those devices they can have in one flight, often two. Plus, those are reserved for people with real mobility needs.
Battery allowance for electric scooters on airplanes
When it comes to airplane travel with electric scooters, the airline is often the biggest limiting factor, and the battery of the scooter is the second biggest one.
Airlines are very strict, almost paranoid even, when it comes to allowing passengers to take devices with batteries on board (and probably rightfully so).
This varies depending on the country or the airline, but typically you will not be able to bring the scooter at all, or you can only bring a device that has a battery smaller than 160 Wh.
That excludes most batteries found in popular scooters today.
Airlines and aviation organizations are hesitant to allow big batteries because they represent a serious fire hazard. These limitations were created to allow most types of consumer electronics like laptops, tablets, phones, and cameras. Sadly, these rules do not take into account most batteries of electric scooters.
Since electric scooters are gaining momentum all around the world, we may see these rules change to accommodate them better.
Until then, the number of electric scooters that are approved for airplane travel will remain relatively small.
For convenience, these are the most common airline associations, whether they allow electric scooters on board at all, and their limits if they do allow them.
Regulations Of FAA On Electric Scooters Aboard A Plane
The Federal Aviation Administration has specific regulations governing the transport of electric scooters on aircraft. These rules are designed to prevent potential safety hazards and ensure that air travel is safe for everyone involved.
First and foremost, electric scooters must be transported in a secure manner. They cannot be left unattended or loose in the aircraft cargo area, and they must be placed in a way that prevents them from becoming a danger to themselves or others.
The device itself must meet all of the same safety requirements as other hazardous materials. This means that it cannot generate heat or sparks, and it must not contain any explosive materials.
Lastly, electric scooter operators are responsible for ensuring that their devices comply with all FAA regulations. This includes making sure that they have the appropriate permits and licenses, verifying that the device is properly maintained, and following all other applicable safety guidelines.
Domestic Flights In The U.S.
Electric scooters are not currently allowed on domestic flights in the U.S. However, there are a few exceptions including certain cargo flights and air travel within the state of California.
Some airlines have started allowing electric scooters as part of their traveler amenities such as Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways. It is important to check with your airline before travelling to ensure that the electric scooter is allowed on your flight.
What Are The Laws Surrounding Electric Scooters?
As electric scooters become increasingly popular, it’s important to know the laws surrounding them. In most cases, electric scooters are considered vehicles, and as such, you’ll need a driver’s license to operate them.
You’ll also need to abide by all traffic laws when operating an electric scooter, including following the same rules of the road as cars. And finally, be sure to keep an eye out for pedestrians and other drivers.
Can You Take an Electric Scooter on a Plane? [Deep Dive]
A couple of years ago, the air travel industry was a bit more relaxed, and you could bring almost anything on a plane. Unfortunately, these days, with the rise of security threats, the rules have changed. It’s not unusual for the security guys to confiscate all sorts of things, from lighters to knives.
So what about electric scooters? Can you take an electric scooter on a plane? The answer is… maybe. It depends on various factors, such as the airline you’re flying with, the type of scooter, its size, etc.
Generally, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has a list of items that are allowed on planes. Based on that list, “battery-powered vehicles” are not allowed. However, the TSA doesn’t specifically mention electric scooters. So it’s up to the specific airline to decide whether or not they allow scooters on their planes.
Some airlines have no problem with electric scooters. You can just fold up your scooter and bring it on board as carry-on luggage. Other airlines are a bit more strict. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of electric scooters and air travel. Let’s get started!
Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?
This depends on the airline you are traveling with. Some are more lenient than others when it comes to electric scooters. While this sounds like good news to scooter-owners, there’s a catch!
The thing is, even if the airline does allow electric scooters, they might not allow them in the cabin. In other words, you might have to check your scooter in at the gate. And we all know what that means…. Your scooter will be thrown around like a piece of luggage, and there’s a good chance it will come out the other end damaged.
So before packing your e-scooter it is good to find out whether you can bring it as a carry-on or you will need to check it.
Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane as a Carry-On?
It depends on the size of your scooter. The maximum dimensions for carry-on luggage are 45 inches by 36 inches by 20 inches. So, if your scooter fits into that, you’re good to go.
Of course, it’s not as simple as that. Even if your scooter is the correct size, the airline still has the final say. Plus, there is a battery issue to consider. Most electric scooters have lithium-ion batteries, which are more than 100wh. The TSA has a limit of 100wh for lithium ion battery type batteries in a carry-on. So, even if your scooter is the correct size, there’s a good chance that the airline won’t allow you to bring it on as a carry-on.
However, if you use your electric scooter to move around (personal mobility device), then you can bring it on as a carry-on. And according to the TSA, PMDs are allowed if they can be stowed in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you. Just make sure to remove the battery before going through security.
Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane as a Checked Bag?
This is another issue you must consider before flying with your scooter. For starters, a large number of e-scooters are big, especially adult ones. So most of the time, it would be hard to bring them to a plane as a carry-on.
Airwheel SE3S motorized rideable luggage helps us to catch flight easily.
The good news is that you can check most electric scooters as luggage. However, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration.
- Battery. – As we mentioned before, most e-scooters have lithium ion batteries. And according to the FAA, these types of batteries are not allowed in checked luggage. So, before you even think about checking in your scooter, you need to remove the battery and carry it with you in the cabin. Plus, if your battery is more than 100wh, you’ll need to get approval from the airline before you can check your scooter. (On some occasions, they can allow up to 160wh)
- Size and weight of your scooter. – Most airlines have a limit for checked luggage. So be sure to check with your airline before arriving at the airport. For example, some airlines allow you to check in electric scooters as long as they’re under 50lbs and fit into a bag that’s 62 inches or less. In contrast, other airlines have a limit of 70lbs for checked luggage. So, if your scooter exceeds the weight limit, you’ll need to ship it as cargo.
There are a lot of things to consider before flying with your electric scooter. So be sure to do your research and plan ahead.
Factors That Can Determine if You Can Bring Your Electric Scooter on a Plane or Not
From the onset, it would appear that the decision on whether or not you can bring your electric scooter on a plane is entirely at the airline’s discretion. However, that does not mean that there are no other factors that can play a role in this decision.
Here are some of the other things that can help determine if you can bring your electric scooter on a plane or not:
The Rules and Regulations Of the Country You are Flying From and To
When it comes to electric scooters, each country has its own set of rules and regulations. So, you need to check the regulations of the country you’re in.
For instance, in the United States, the TSA has one of the most stringent policies when dealing with lithium-ion batteries. A lithium ion battery with more than 100 watt-hours is not allowed in carry-on or checked luggage. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)also has a similar policy regarding electric scooters and other rechargeable devices.
Can you travel overseas with an mobility Scooter or electric Wheelchair?
Before carrying your e-scooter, it’s a good idea to check out the regulations of both countries before starting your journey. You don’t want a situation where you’re forced to leave your scooter at the airport because it doesn’t meet the regulations of the country you’re flying to.
The Airline’s Policy
Each airline has its own set of rules when it comes to flying with electric scooters. So, it’s always a good idea to check with the airline before booking your ticket.Some have a blank ‘NO’ policy, while others are more accommodating and are willing to work something out with you.
The best way to find out an airline’s policy is to contact them directly and ask. You can also check their website or the FAQ section. Most airlines have a dedicated page that deals with electric scooters and other battery-powered devices.
One thing to keep in mind is that these airlines are guided by the rule of the land before their own policies. So if the country you are flying to does not allow electric scooters, then the airline will not make any exceptions for you.
The Type of Battery your Electric Scooter Has
This is one factor that usually puzzles a lot of people. Why is the battery type such a big deal when flying with an electric device? Well, it all has to do with the regulations that have been put in place by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
According to the IATA, there are two types of batteries commonly used in electric scooters: lithium ion batteries and lead acid batteries. Each type of battery has its own set of regulations that must be followed when flying.
- Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type of battery used in electric scooters. These batteries are known to be very volatile and can pose a fire hazard if not handled properly. Because of this, the IATA has placed stringent regulations on lithium-ion batteries.
- On the other hand, a lead-acid battery is not as volatile as a lithium ion battery and is not considered a dangerous good. Because of this, they are not subject to the same regulations.
The Size of The Scooter Battery
Battery size also plays a significant role in whether or not you can bring your scooter on a plane. A smaller battery with 100 watts per hour or less is allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage.
However, a high battery power e-scooter with a battery larger than 100 watt-hours will not be allowed in either carry-on or checked luggage. That said, some airlines will let you fly an e-scooter with a battery larger than 100 watt-hours, around 160wh, but you will have to get prior approval from the airline first.
If your battery is above the 160wh threshold, you simply can’t and will not be able to fly with it no matter what. In this case, you will have to ship your e-scooter as cargo which can be pretty costly and time-consuming.
Size of the Scooter
This is pretty straightforward; the smaller the scooter, the better. Compact electric scooter models, or a child’s electric scooter that can fold up will be much easier to deal with when flying than a big, bulky one. Not to mention, it will be much easier to store in your hotel room or apartment when you’re not using it.
If your scooter is within the weight limit and the battery is under the allowed watt-hour, you are in luck, and you should have no problem bringing it on the plane. However, if your scooter is on the larger side, you might have to check with the airline first to see if they have any size restrictions.
That said, even the smallest electric scooters can be a bit too big to bring on a plane as carry-on luggage, especially if they can’t fit in the overhead bin. In this case, you will have to check it as luggage.
Airlines That Allow You to Bring an Electric Scooter
All airlines take the safety of their passengers very seriously and have put in place rules and regulations to ensure that everyone on board is safe. That’s why it’s always best to check with your airline before flying to see if they have any restrictions on bringing an electric scooter on the plane.
Let’s have a look at some of the airlines that do allow you to bring your electric scooter on the plane.
- Qatar Airways: This airline has a somewhat different policy when it comes to flying with an electric scooter. Unlike the rest, Qatar Airways has no major restrictions on the size or weight of the scooter. However, they do have a few restrictions on the battery. The airline only allows batteries that are 100 watt-hours or less. They also have an exception policy for PMDs with larger batteries of up to 300wh. To be able to bring your scooter to this airline, you will have to fill out an exception request form at least 48 hours before your flight.
- Frontier Airlines: This airline is quite specific on which scooter models you are allowed to bring on board. Currently, the First-generation Segways with Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-Mh) batteries are allowed on Frontier Airlines. However, anything with lithium batteries is not permitted.
- Turkish Airlines: This airline has a very similar policy to Qatar Airways. They allow 100 watt-hours or fewer batteries in both carry-on and checked luggage. However, for batteries larger than 100 watt-hours, you must get approval from the airline at least 72 hours before your flight.
- Alaska Airlines: From their website, Alaska air will allow you to bring an electric unicycle or scooter in check-in, provided you remove the battery before it’s accepted as a checked bag. The battery must not exceed 160 watt-hours, and you must have a proper case for the battery.
- Lion Air: This is another Airline that will allow you to bring your electric scooter on the plane as long as the battery is under 160 watt-hours. However, you still have to get permission from the airline.
- The S7 Airline: S7 is a Russian airline that has a pretty lenient policy when it comes to flying with an electric scooter. They allow scooters with batteries of up to 160 watt-hours in check-in luggage. One thing, though, you need to disconnect the battery from the scooter and pack it in a special fire-resistant and shockproof container. You can buy these containers from most electronic stores.
As you can see, there are quite a few airlines that allow you to bring your electric scooter on the plane. However, it’s always best to check with your airline first to ensure that there are no size or weight restrictions.