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Traveling by plane sets limitations on what you can carry and bring with you. In case you are asking yourself “Can you bring an electric scooter on a airplane,” we’d say it depends on a few different factors. The first and foremost is the size of the scooter’s battery. If the battery is less than 100 Wh, you are allowed to fly with it…unless the airline prohibits you from taking it.
Sometimes it also depends upon the state laws and the carrier you are going to take. There are carriers that won’t allow you to bring an electric scooter, hoverboard, electric skateboard, or electric bike with you.
The strict restrictions on electronic devices and batteries are laid out solely for safe and convenient flying. But if we have to give you an in-depth answer, there’s a lot of information we’d like to put forth. Read on to understand more about carrying your electric mobility device on a plane.
Requirements Set By The Airlines
The Federal Aviation Administration has come up with specifications on the size and the kind of batteries travelers can carry with them on an airline. The TSA does a decent job of outlining the lithium ion battery restrictions here.
The laws change from one region to the next. It seems that like US laws, Asian laws are also stringent when it comes to carrying batteries and the rules about traveling by plane.
China is one such country with strict regulations. In the western part of the world, the laws are pretty much similar for every country in the region.
According to the guidelines given by the FAA and the TSA, you can carry devices with 100Wh batteries. The battery type matters too. You are only allowed to take a lithium battery and it doesnt matter if that battery type is a lithium ion or lithium metal battery just as long as its lithium and not lead acid.
We suspect the TSA and the FAA don’t want a spillable battery such as a lead acid on the airlines (and we don’t blame them) on board, even if it is in the cargo compartment of a passenger aircraft. Lithium batteries are a non spillable battery.
You are allowed to hold them in your carry on baggage and not in your checked baggage. Additionally, you can carry two batteries per passenger.
If you have to carry devices that are over 100Wh, you will need to get permission from the airline carrier.
But wait, there’s a trick!
Here’s a bit of a trick to bringing more juice with you on your trip. If your device has a lithium battery that is under 100 Wh then you can bring it with you (of course, if the carrier allows it).
But, the TSA also specifices that you can bring one spare battery not exceeding 300 watt hours. OR (and here’s the trick) each passenger can bring two spare batteries not exceeding 160 watt hours each (or a total of 320 watt hours).
The spare batteries can be brough on the aircraft if they are packed individually with the battery terminals covered and in your carry on luggage.
This goes for any type of device or mobility equipment that you need to bring with you, including a travel mobility scooter, electric wheelchair / power wheelchair, disability scooter, hoverboard, electric bike, etc. So, the trick is to bring a spare lithium battery or two with you.
However, even though the FAA and TSA allow you to have these devices, the airlines have their own specific feelings about your personal mobility vehicles.
The Most Significant Factor Is The Size — If The Airline Doesn’t Prohibit Your Device Outright
It’s true that if the battery size is large, it can cause greater damage at high altitudes, such as short circuiting and extreme heat generation.
There are high possibilities for this if these electric batteries come in contact with metals. If you are carrying an electric scooter with a battery, please make sure you are carrying it in the right way.
We even recommend that you cover the battery terminals so there is really no way to short circuit the battery pack.
Each airline has a slightly different policy when it comes to packing batteries and they ALL have different policies on whether or not you can bring your electric scooter, hoverboard, electric bike or skateboard. Below you’ll find details on what each US airline will allow you to bring (or not).
How To Take An Electric Scooter On A Plane
Electric scooters are well-known for their compatibility and portability. People easily carry them around on trains and buses. But when you plan to take one on a plane, you must know all the requirements and rules.
First, find out if your air carrier is allowing electric scooters (I have compiled a list of the big US carriers below along with their policy).
If yes, then learn about how it should be packed. Remember that you must be prepared well in advance if you plan on taking your electric scooter. Find out all the information a few days before your trip so you can travel with ease.
If you are allowed to take your electric scooter with you, find out if you must carry it in a specific bag or what size you must fold it to be carried.
It’s best if you walk into the airport with all the knowledge about baggage and electric scooters. You can prevent any last minute tensions that would ruin your travel experience.
Make sure that you are approved for everything related to your electric scooter. The battery, size, weight and the way it needs to be carried onto the plane are all important.
If you carry more than what is required, the airline will subject you to pay an extra charge for the added weight or you must leave something behind.
Extra charges will be laid out if you take excess baggage. To avoid this and stay safe, fold your electric scooter in the size that fits into your bag. If you are allowed to carry it in the luggage, it must be included in your larger bags.
If you want to carry it as carry-on luggage instead of checked luggage, you must make sure it weighs just right to suit the luggage guidelines.
Once you pack your electric scooter, measure it and weigh it. This is to make sure that you are sticking to the baggage restrictions. If you are allowed to carry it separately, find out how and make the necessary arrangements.
The ticket seller will help you out by explaining how you can carry your electric scooter. Always think ahead and make the proper preparations.
What Kind Of Electric Scooters Can You Carry On The Plane?
Call customer service on your carrier and ask what specific battery range is allowed and whether or not your device is excluded from being transported.
Most electric scooters will have a battery power of 100Wh or over. There are electric scooters with battery capacity of 100Wh too, but this power won’t let you drive long distances. So, you’ll have to keep charging without being able to use it much.
But, remember, this is only for the airlines that will allow you to bring your electric scooter on board with you.
How Much Would An Electric Scooter Cost?
Most electric scooters that are ready to be carried onto a plane will cost about $500 or more. The manufacturers focus on the batteries and make sure that the capacity is long-lasting.
This undoubtedly increases the battery’s power, making it harder for you to carry on the plane. The more powerful the battery is, the better the electric scooter will perform.
It can become problematic to carry them on a plane because these powerful batteries will be disastrous if something goes wrong.
The best solution is to rent an electric scooter at your travel destination. This will help you enjoy your vacation as well. You will no longer need to worry about the baggage, the weight, or packing your electric scooter. More importantly, you won’t need to navigate the somewhat unclear policy of some of the major airline carriers in the US.
But if you have a handy electric scooter that you love to carry with you, then all the hassle is worth it if the airline will allow you to bring it. Just research information beforehand and keep the airlines informed about the electric scooter you plan to carry so that if you need to pay any extra charges, you will be prepared for it in advance.
Planning is a crucial thing to do before traveling. You can make your travel experience memorable if you are well-informed and prepared, especially when it comes to your electric scooter. See our below description for the devices you can bring on various US airlines.
What about a different kind of mobility device? Can I bring another assistive device on an aircraft?
We’ve really discussed how you can bring your electric scooter on an airline. However, you might have another mobility device such as an electric skateboard, hoverboard, electric bike or a lightweight mobility scooter that you want to bring with you.
Like we’ve outlined, for the most part, it’s all about the battery capacity and battery type (lithium battery only) and whether or not the particular airline you are travellnig on will allow you to bring your device.
However, when it comes to a mobility scooter, you will find that nearly all airlines allow you to bring them. However, they have specific policies for how they will be transported so be sure to check with your airline.
Major US airlines and their policy for electric scooters, hoverboards and electric skateboards.
We thought it might be helpful to check out the policies of each of the major U.S. carriers when it comes to scooters, hoverboards and electric skateboards. You’ll notice there are only a few carriers that will allow you to have your electric scooter on board, even in checked baggage. And, from what we can see, hoverboards seem to be banned outright.
While the TSA and FAA allow these devices it seems as though the airlines have decided it’s not worth the risk of some kind of battery issue when in flight.
The only airline that alludes to why these devices might not be allowed is Delta. In their policy they specified 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 occurances are uncommon, these batteries can spontaneously overheat and pose a fire hazard risk.” Thanks Delta for the explanation!
Allegiant Airlines – No Hoverboards or Electric Skateboards and most likely not electric scooters
Here’s what Allegiant has to say about carrying mobility equipment with you on their aircraft.
“Allegiant will not accept for transport portable recreational vehicles such as electric skateboards, balance gliders, hoverboards or self-balancing boards of any type powered by lithium metal (lithium metal battery) or lithium ion batteries onboard or in either checked or carry-on baggage.”
They probably cover electric scooters under the phrase “portable recreational vehicles.”
American Airlines – No Scooters or Hoverboards
We think American has a pretty clear policy. They state that a passenger cannot bring “hoverboards, balance wheels, electric small scooters, intelligent scooters” on board its passenger aircraft.
Delta Airlines – No Hoverboards or an Electric Skateboard but we’re not quite sure about electric scooters. Looks like Bikes are fine if your battery capacity is under their limit
Delta Airlines’ policy is clear when it comes to hoverboards but we’re still a bit fuzzy about electric scooters. Here is what they have to say on their site (link below)
” Battery Powered self-balancing personal transportation device (hoverboards)”
“To Ensure the safety of our customers, and employees, Delta will not accpet the transport of balance gliders, hoverboards, powered skate boards, 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.”
We aren’t quite sure if an electric scooter (two wheeled upright scooter) falls under the “self-balancing boards” category but if it does, then you won’t be able to bring your electric scooter.
Frontier Airlines – No Electric Scooters, Bikes or Hoverboards and Maybe an Electric Skateboard
Frontier is pretty specific when it comes to first generation Segways with Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-Mh) batteries. They’ll allow you to bring those on board their aircraft. However, no Lithium ion battery powered Segways are permitted:
“Frontier accepts Segways powered by Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries and assistive devices only. Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) powered Segways are not accepted for transportation under any circumstances.”
Then, if you look at their skateboard policy, it doesn’t specify electric skateboards so you might be ok as long as the battery is under their limit and you don’t have a hazmat sticker on your skateboard! That was kinda crazy but here’s what they have to say about skateboards.
“Cannot accept skateboards with haz-mat stickers.”
Hawaiian Airlines – No Scooters, Hoverboards and Electric Skateboards But it looks like Bikes aren’t excluded
“Hoverboards, Segways, electric unicycles — battery-powered self-balancing devices will not be accepted.”
Then, they go on to say the the following are prohibited by Hawaiian Airlines (among other things):” hoverboards, segways, electric unicycles.
So, it looks like you’re out of luck if you want to bring your electric scooter on Hawaiian Airlines.
JetBlue Airlines – No Hoverboards or Electric Skateboards and Likely No Electric Scooter
Like some of the other airlines, we are unsure if an electric scooter falls under the “self-balancing boards” category. If so, then you can’t bring your scooter on JetBlue. But, here’s their official policy on the matter:
“The following items are hazardous materials or dangersou goods and are not allowed in checked bags:
– Balance gliders, hoverboards, electric skateboards, or self-balancing boards with lithium / lithium ion batteries.”
SouthWest Airlines – No Hoverboards or Skateboards but it’s not quite clear about electric scooters
Here’s what SouthWest has to say:
Due to concerns regarding the lithium batteries used in hoverboards (balance boards, gravity boards, self-balancing devices, etc.) and electric skateboards, Southwest Airlines will not transport such devices in either checked luggage or as a carryon item.
Spirit Airlines – No Hoverboards or Electric Skateboards but it’s unclear about electric scooters
We’d like to think that if you have an electric scooter that meets the battery requirements that Spirit Airlines might let you take it aboard. They don’t specifically exclude them in their policy which says:
“Electric skateboards and hover boards are NOT allowed for transport.”
United Airlines – No Electric Scooters or Hoverboards
“To keep our customers and employees safe, we don’t accept any recreational self-propelled vehicles or devices designed to carry one or more persons or goods.” United then goes on the specify the following devices that are NOT allowed on board:
- Smart balance wheels and boards, such as hoverboards, airboards and skateboards
- Self-balancing wheeled devices such as Ninebot
- Battery-assisted bicycles such as e-bikes
- Wheeled vehicles or motorcycles
- Electrically powered scooters
- Riding or motorized suitcases
Here is the image of their site: