There is no doubt that having a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair is a convenience that many of us could not easily do without. They permit us to get places that we would not be able to get otherwise, and it offers us the ability to move about conveniently. That being said, there may be some inconveniences involved with these items as well.
Many of us enjoy our mobility, and we want to take a step further by doing some traveling. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling for business purposes or for pleasure when you decide to get on an airplane, you want to make sure that you can take your scooter or wheelchair along with you. This has led to many people asking questions because of updated security and different rules that are being enforced by the FAA and the TSA.
First of all, it’s important for you to get the facts about traveling with your mobility scooter or with a wheelchair. Unfortunately, there is a lot of inaccurate information online, and this can, in some cases, frighten you out of leaving on an airplane or keep you from traveling in the first place. The fact of the matter is, it is possible to travel on a plane with these items, but you do need to know the facts about doing so.
One of the most common pieces of misinformation is that you can’t travel with any power wheelchair or folding mobility scooter because of the lithium batteries. Although it is true that there is lead acid in those batteries, the batteries are also non-spillable. Unlike a Marine or car battery, they don’t contain water, so it is less hazardous to carry onto an airplane.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t need to be aware of how to handle these batteries. For example, if you are using lithium batteries in your mobility scooter or wheelchair, they must be in their protective cases. These cases are often a part of the device that they are designed to power, so it is not typically a problem.
Something else that you have in your favor is the Americans with Disability Act. When we are using any public transportation, regardless of whether it is getting onto a bus or getting onto an airplane, the public location must be compliant with the ADA. Since a power wheelchair and a mobility scooter are classified as being medical equipment according to the FDA, things need to be set up so that it is convenient for your use.
It is important for some planning to take place before the time that you travel with your scooter or wheelchair. This can certainly make things more convenient for you and reduce some of the potential problems that could occur.
If you should happen to run into somebody who says that you cannot take your scooter or wheelchair on the flight, you should ask to see a supervisor. You can also simply mention the ADA, and see how quickly a supervisor is brought over to you. Any questions that they may have about your equipment can be found in the user manual.
Check with customer service immediately upon arriving at the airport. They will do what is necessary to accommodate your needs for boarding the plane. The device will be taken by a worker at that point to be put on the plane, and you will be transported to the gate via a standard wheelchair. You will find that it is not only possible to take these items with you, but it is also a convenience when doing any traveling.