Traveling with a mobility scooter requires proper planning. Without it, you could experience problems that were otherwise avoidable. To ensure that your planning takes into account the most important aspects, here are some tips to remember when traveling by plane.
Research the Airlines
Some airlines offer more accessibility options than others. When booking your flight, inquire about the accessibility of the restrooms and whether or not there are weight limits for a mobility scooter. Weight restrictions are in place to ensure that the plane's overall weight does not exceed the limits set by the manufacturer.
If your scooter exceeds the weight limit, it is possible that the airline might not allow it onboard.
Alert the Airline of Your Special Needs
The best time to alert the airline that you will be traveling with a mobility scooter is when you are reserving the ticket. If the airline is aware of the situation, staff can be prepared to assist you with the equipment.
Staff can also help you with boarding and departing the plane. You can be provided with a folding wheelchair to help you get to and from your seat until you are able to use your scooter again.
If you have a layover, staff can also assist you if alerted ahead of time.
Prepare the Scooter for Travel
Remember that your scooter will be loaded by airline staff. You can leave the battery for the scooter in its place. Attach a label to the chair that details what type of battery it is so that staff can ensure it meets the requirements to be loaded on the plane. You should also attach a copy of the scooter's assembly and disassembly instructions in case they are needed by the staff.
Disconnect the battery's connectors on the scooter to avoid a short circuit. If you do opt to take the battery out, contact the airline to determine whether or not special storage is required. Place caps over the tips of the connectors to ensure they are not exposed.
Take a picture of your scooter before it is loaded onto the plane. In the event that it is damaged, you will need the picture to illustrate the scooter's condition before airline staff took control of it.
Consult with a travel agent who is experienced in accessibility travel and your scooter dealer, such as Action Health Care, to find other ways to ensure that your airplane travel goes as smoothly as possible.