Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on The Plane?
Many people believe they can bring an electric scooter on a plane. Do the authorities allow you to carry folding electric scooters for adults on a plane? The answer should be a simple yes or no, but that’s not the case!
Many passengers believe they can carry anything they need on a plane. That’s not true! There are certain rules which every citizen needs to follow.
You don’t want to face troubles due to lack of information about these rules. So, continue reading this post to learn about rules regarding electric scooters on a plane. This information can help you avoid future troubles!
Can You Take an Electric Scooter on a Plane?
Folding electric scooters for adults have become quite popular nowadays. People like to travel short distances on these small scooters. The FAA and IATA do not allow passengers to take an electric scooter on a plane.
Some individuals can carry it with them on a plane if their mobility depends on an electric scooter. It should be designated as their mobility aid, otherwise they won’t be able to take this scooter on the plane.
Many brands have introduced models of electric luggage scooter. Although you can fold and pack these scooters with other luggage, you can’t take them on a flight. The problem is not with the scooter itself, but rather the battery. The lithium-ion battery is a potentially hazardous material, and flights across the globe don’t want the risk of having it onboard.
Domestic Flights in the U.S.
The Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, has strict guidelines on what you can take on a plane. When it comes to lithium-ion batteries, you can take only up to 100 Wh batteries in carry-on luggage. They allow you to take up to 160 Wh batteries in checked baggage.
A battery’s Watt-Hours unit has nothing to do with watts used to designate motor size. The Wh unit describes the battery size of your scooter. It is necessary to know this value before you carry the scooter on board. The airport authority won’t allow you to board the flight if you don’t know the battery size.
You must be wondering, “can I bring an electric razor on a plane,” or laptops and other products powered by Lithium-ion batteries. Yes, you can take these products on a plane. However, these products must have batteries below the 160 Wh threshold, else you could run into some serious problems.
Companies design scooters powered by small batteries. These scooters are designed for kids and their battery falls under the 160 Wh threshold. If you are carrying such a scooter in your luggage, you should still check the rules. The airport authorities will ask you to remove the battery, and you will have to carry it in a different pouch to prevent issues onboard.
Different brands equip mobility scooters with different types of batteries. Most of these scooters use batteries more powerful than 160 Wh. Therefore, the FAA does not allow passengers to take them on a flight.
However, you can take batteries in a secure pouch onboard. You are allowed to carry batteries up to 300 Wh in size. Suppose you are carrying two batteries, each 160 Wh in size and stored in different pouches. These electric scooter airline guidelines are followed by all the domestic flights in the USA. So, keep them in mind!
The FAA seems laxer than the IATA when it comes to scooter guidelines. The IATA has stricter rules on carrying Li-ion batteries. These batteries can overheat and explode. It has happened in the past and it can happen in the future if strict rules are not adhered to!
Various international airlines regulate Li-ion batteries as dangerous goods. Their guidelines do not alter a lot from the FAA though.
Passengers can carry products powered by Li-ion batteries if the battery doesn’t exceed the 100 Wh limit. They have to show these products in checked or carry-on luggage, but you don’t need approval from the operator for carrying such products.
If your device is powered by a battery that exceeds 100 Wh limit but it doesn’t exceed 160 Wh, you can take it on a plane, though you will need the operator’s approval to take it onboard. The IATA prohibits passengers from carrying devices powered by batteries more powerful than 160 Wh. Therefore, it is not possible to carry electric scooters powered by large size batteries.
All the international flights follow IATA guidelines, but countries can also impose their own guidelines. Rules are much stricter in China, for example. People traveling to Europe will have to check with the EASA, or the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. Every country has similar guidelines, but some countries are stricter than others regarding batteries and electric scooters.
Though aviation authorities across the globe consider electric scooters a mobility device, taking it on board is usually not an option. So, consider keeping yours at home and rent one at your destination instead. This will keep you out of trouble and still allow you to enjoy your favorite method of transportation wherever you go.
FAA Regulations on Electric Scooters Aboard a Plane:
Taking a scooter on an airplane is not possible in the USA. As mentioned before, the FAA regulations prevent users from carrying battery-powered scooters onboard. These devices are powered by batteries above 160 Wh. Therefore, you cannot take them on board. Keep your electric scooter at home if you want to avoid troubles on a US-based airport!
Though guidelines are pretty strict, you can still carry a few electric scooter models on a flight. These scooters are as follows:
- EWheels EW-07 3 Wheel scooter
- Zoome Auto-Flex folding travel scooter
- Atom Trike 3-wheel folding scooter
- Merits Yoga Folding 4 Wheel Scooter
- EV Rider Electric Mobility Scooter
- SoFlow Flowboard Electric Scooter
- VIRO Rides VR 550E Rechargeable Electric Scooter
- Razor E-Prime Electric Scooter
The airport authorities may not trouble you for taking these scooters on a flight, but you should still show it before boarding.
Protecting Your Electric Scooter from Damage:
If you are traveling with your electric scooter, you should reach the airport at least two hours before your departure time, as this will give you extra time to check-in. Fold your scooter and remove the batteries. Pack the main battery and spare battery in separate pouches.
Follow the battery manufacturer’s guidelines to pack batteries properly. Do not pack a leaking battery as it is hazardous and can cause an accident!
Your electric scooter should depict what type of battery is used to power it. The airport authorities won’t allow you to take the scooter onboard if that information is missing. The manufacturer’s manual should be available on the scooter or its box.
Apply masking tape on your electric scooter’s throttle control to keep it safe. The throttle control should be in the lower position before you pack the scooter. Write “Do Not Remove” on the masking tape to prevent damage.
Use a plastic sheet to pack your scooter. Wrap it tightly and cover the entire scooter carefully, as luggage handlers aren’t always kind to baggage. Therefore, you should pack the mobility device carefully before you take it to the airport.
Taking a Child’s Electric Scooter on a Plane:
Parents often take toys on flights to keep their kids entertained on long flights. Though you treat your kid’s kick scooter as a toy, airport authorities do not treat them in the same way. You should carefully check electric scooter luggage guidelines before packing it in a backpack.
It may be possible to take the scooter with checked-in luggage, but not as a carry-on item. Check whether your kid has an airline-approved scooter or not. If it is powered by a battery that exceeds these guidelines, you will face troubles. So, carefully check the information shared regarding electric scooters in this post to avoid troubles at the airport.
Lithium Batteries & Safety:
You may have seen in the news electronic companies recalling their devices for safety issues. Most of the time batteries are the source of these problems. Li-ion batteries are dangerous. These batteries can easily overheat and ignite if not handled properly. Therefore, IATA, FAA, and other similar agencies do not allow passengers to carry electronic devices powered by large Li-ion batteries.
Onboard fires have caused many disastrous flight accidents. Aircraft also use various systems powered by Li-ion batteries. These are top-quality batteries checked and packed safely. Therefore, they don’t pose any threat to the aircraft.
You may not consider your electric scooter a threat to an airline, but the FAA and IATA don’t agree with you. There are strict guidelines every passenger must follow to stay safe. Passengers face problems when they pack an electric scooter without knowing these guidelines.
You won’t be one of those passengers who face troubles due to electric scooters! You now know all the rules applied on taking an electric scooter on a plane. So, comply with these rules and enjoy a safe journey to your destination.