Air travel is one of many modes of transportation with strict regulations. So you may be wondering if you’re allowed to take your electric scooter in your carry-on or checked-in luggage. With countless personal mobility vehicles out there, do airlines adjust their policies according to these demands?
Let our experts explore these restrictions to help you decide between bringing your electronic devices aboard or not.
Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?
The query about bringing your electric scooters aboard depends on three major considerations. First, which airline do you plan to take your mobility scooter? Travel safety and fire hazard risk are two of the many reasons why airline companies can be critical with consumer electronics aboard, and that includes your e-scooter.
The next factor is what electric scooter models do you intend to bring with you? You may not know it, but checking the list of airline-approved mobility scooters can save you from all the wasted time and hassle during the plane boarding process.
Most carry-on baggage and checked baggage regulations are very keen on the battery capacity of any mobility device on the plane. This battery rule can be very specific on such devices, which is why knowing your scooter’s model is one of the very critical pieces of information you’ll have to provide.
Last but not least, certain countries may not allow boarding electric scooters on airplanes. So the best advice our team could give you is to check the exact restrictions on the place you’ll depart from and land into.
Other rules that may prevent bringing an electric scooter on a plane are the category of your airline ticket and the model of the plane you’ll be boarding. But these regulations may vary if your electric scooter is declared as a mobility aid.
Guidelines Regarding E-Scooters on a Plane
When in doubt of whether you can take your electric scooter on domestic flights, the best solution you can always count on is to consult the Federal Aviation Administration guidelines. And while they generally understand the passenger’s need to bring mobility devices like electric scooters, electric bikes, or electric skateboards, they’re still strict on which battery type you can bring.
As you know, most electric scooters in the market are equipped with lithium-ion batteries. Considering that these lithium batteries are consumer-sized, it’s not surprising that FAA allows bringing them aboard.
And as long as your electric scooter qualifies the maximum battery size standards of the airline, you’ll have no problem bringing them on your carry-on baggage. Besides your scooter’s battery, you can pack at least two spare batteries with more than 100-watt hours each for your electric scooters on the plane.
Each of these two batteries must have less than 25 grams of lithium content or a maximum of 300 Watt-Hours. However, keep in mind that these lithium-ion batteries must only be in your carry-on baggage.
Besides that, a non-rechargeable lithium-ion battery typically used for small electric devices is also allowed inside. If you’re carrying at least one spare battery, you must pack it carefully to avoid a short circuit or any damage.
Now, can you bring an electric scooter on a plane for international flights? The short answer is: it depends on the Watt Hour rating of your lithium-ion battery.
As long as your electric scooter or its battery power doesn’t exceed 100 Watt-Hours, you can have it packed in either carry-on baggage or checked baggage. In fact, electric scooters with up to 160 watt-hours can still be allowed with the approval of the plane’s operator.
However, suppose your electric scooter was over the said power capacity requirements. In that case, our travel experts urge you not to insist on boarding them as it’s absolutely forbidden even in the airline crew’s baggage.
Factors to Consider
When bringing an electric scooter aboard, one of the considerations you may find tricky is the battery allowance. Most power scooter manufacturers include only the ampere-hour and battery voltage in the user manual, so you’ll have to convert it to watt-hours.
Lucky for you, all you need to do for this is to get the battery’s voltage and multiply it with the ampere-hours of your electric scooter.
Airlines that Allow E-Scooters on Airplanes
As a traveler, you should know that airline rules cover more than only batteries. Unfortunately, the regulations involving electric scooters may differ per airline or country. If you’re flying via United Airlines, intelligent scooters weighing over 40 pounds may not be aboard the plane.
Besides the battery rating, the United Airlines staff will also ask you to remove batteries from the device during the flight, so we suggest doing it before checking the luggage in. European Airlines also have the same regulations, and you must provide the entire scooter information during the check-in process.
And while some Chinese airlines have similar rules as the FAA and IATA regarding electric scooters, Air Asia does not allow these devices. Aligned with them is American Airlines, which strictly indicates the restrictions on electric small scooters, self-balancing devices, or hoverboards. Any luggage or device with Li-ion batteries cannot board their flight.
And according to our expert travelers, some airlines may charge extra if your scooter is for sports equipment. If your device is not sports equipment and you don’t want to be stressed at the airport, we suggest declaring it during the ticket purchase.
How to Protect E-Scooters From Damage
Unlike electric bicycles, mobile scooters are collapsible mobility devices that are easy to pack in your checked-in or carry-on luggage. The width and storage size may not be a problem, but how can you bring an electric scooter on a plane without the possibility of getting damaged?
The most basic tip our travel team could give you is to cover your throttle control with masking tape. Given that it’s one of the most vulnerable parts of electrically powered scooters, it should always be in the lowest position possible.
Apart from that, don’t use rubber bands when securing the scooter key. Instead, use fish tackle cables to keep it in position.
Informing Your Airline + Check-In
Last but not least, the airline should be aware that you’re boarding an electric scooter on the plane. Like any other flight, you’ll be asked to fill up some forms regarding your baggage size or capacity. Keep in mind that the airlines have reserved rights in incurring fees for transporting your scooter, or they can deny its entry into the aircraft.
Can I bring my child’s electric scooter on an airplane?
Yes, you can take your child’s electric scooter on an airplane. However, it still depends on the specific regulations of the airlines and country you’re flying into.
The answer to the common traveler question “can you bring an electric scooter on a plane ride?” differ in every airline. However, if you have no other options, you can try delivery or cargo service. These devices may be economical, but air travel is often not the best way to transport them.