Over recent years, technology has stepped up to help conquer the many challenges that were associated with flying with a mobility scooter and world travel, for business or for pleasure, on your own or with your loved ones has become a truly viable possibility. Here are some our top tips for flying with a mobility scooter – make sure to send us a postcard!
For many people with limited or impaired mobility, travel by air may seem like too great a challenge; international airports require distance walking, airlines may require you to check your scooter with baggage, you may even be deterred by the fear of extra support expenses. But over recent years, technology has stepped up to transform almost every aspect of our daily lives, and the mobility scooter has not been overlooked.
Today’s scooters are faster, lighter and more flexible than ever before. Some are even designed specifically to help you accomplish your most ambitious travel goals with safety and convenience. That said, there are some important things to know before you set your travel plans in motion.
Here are some of the top tips we’ve collected from our community of limited mobility world travelers over the years; tips that we believe will help to unleash your own travel dreams and support your plans to take off!
1. Have no fear, the lithium battery is here - but call ahead just in case. Non-spill, lithium batteries are one of the great technological advances to enter the world of disability over recent years. What this means is that vast majority of electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters are powered by a lithium battery that is approved (by most airlines) for air flight. It’s best to utilize a scooter that makes it easy to remove and replace the battery so that you don’t have to spend time going through a cumbersome process every time you pass a checkpoint. That said, it’s always wise to call the airline ahead to ensure they are one of the approvers and let them know you will be traveling with them so they can offer assistance.
2. Choose a scooter that doesn’t have to be checked with baggage. Being geared to travel throughout the airport on your scooter only to learn you have to check it with baggage and be wheeled (at extra expense and time) onto the aircraft, can be very frustrating and possibly embarrassing for some. Luckily, you can opt for a scooter that is easily folded and even simply stored in the overhead compartment like a trolley. You shouldn’t have to be the last to board and leave the plane just because you have a scooter!
3. Make sure you are well prepared to avoid any scooter damage. Folding mobility scooters are expensive and essential and must be protected from any damage that a trip of this kinds can bring about. Purchasing a durable cover for your scooter is a great way to protect it. Make sure you take pictures of your undamaged scooter before the trip just in case.
4. Be accessorized to the T. Many people with limited mobility need to carry crutches, canes and bulky medical equipment with them at all times and this can get very awkward when you have luggage, a spare battery and travel documents to carry and repeatedly access as well. Todays’ scooters will offer contemporary accessories that latch seamlessly on to the scooter and make travel a great deal more convenient. Seek these out – they are life-changing!
Although travel overseas is often associated with long periods of walking, and technical hurdles and expenses, we urge you to learn more about the wonderful innovations that are increasingly available for you to take advantage of. For those who think twice about bringing their less mobile loved ones along on trips, or those avoiding travel for fear of being a burden, using the right kind of mobility scooter and accessories will transform any type of travel from a cumbersome challenge into a memory-making adventure.
Now that you know it’s quite simple, we would love for you to send us some photos and tips from your next trip, so we can encourage more friends across the global community to get out there! Where to next?