During the pandemic lockdown, my family developed a love for electric scooters. Now that we are going on vacation, nobody wants to leave the scooter behind. I had no clue if I could carry my electric scooters on a plane or not, so I set out to find out if I could.
It took me quite a bit of time to go through all the legalities and read through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines. Eventually I got my answer that yes, I can take my electric scooter on a plane, but with a few conditions. Most importantly, if the battery is less than 160 Wh, the FAA permits carrying an e-scooter on a plane.
Read the article below to get in-and-out details about how you can take an electric scooter on a plane.
Before understanding whether it is legal and feasible to carry the scooter on a plane, it is essential to understand what watt-hour is with regards to your scooter’s battery.
What Is Watt Hour (WH) And How To Calculate It?
A watt-hour of any battery is the voltage that the battery provides, multiplied by the number of amperes of current that the battery can provide in an hour.
To get the watt-hour ratings, multiply Ah (ampere-hours) x V(Volts) = Wh (watt-hours)
Conditions That Allow You To Carry The Electric Scooter On A Plane
While looking into whether I could take my electric scooter on a plane, I realized there are different standards set by the FAA that need to be fulfilled. There are certain electric scooters that are permitted on domestic flights and certain ways you can bring them on a plane, with consideration for local laws and the conditions set by airlines.
Points you must consider before planning to take your electric scooter on a plane are as follows:
- Scooters with a maximum battery power of 160Wh are permitted to be carried in a plane.
- You need to take proper permission from the airlines and will have to remove the battery of the scooter before handing it over to the airlines.
- Some local laws and domestic airlines permit you to carry two extra batteries along with you while traveling, but together they should not be more than 300 Wh.
- Ask for the airline’s guidelines before planning a trip and before considering carrying your electric scooter on a plane.
- If you are allowed by the airlines to carry the scooter in your baggage, it will be good to note how much weight your baggage must be. If it is more than what is listed by the airlines, you will have to incur extra charges. The airlines have the power to refuse to carry the scooter if the weight of the baggage is excessive.
List Of Scooters That Airlines Allow
There is a list of scooters allowed by the airlines to carry in baggage or checked-in luggage.
- Viro electric scooters: Viro electric scooters have a 12V 7Ah battery which is less than 100Wh, making it ideal for carrying the scooter on a plane. It has a speed of 10mph and a weight capacity of 120 lbs that makes it possible to carry for domestic airlines in the US. But one essential thing you need to keep in your mind is the scooter’s weight. Before you book your ticket, it is important for the airlines to know the details about your electric scooter, especially its weight and battery type.
- JD Bug Sports electric scooter is one of the best-known companies that manufactures scooters for kids and beginners. Their scooter batteries are less than 160Wh.
- SlowFlow Air electric scooter: This is one of the best options when planning to carry an electric scooter on the flight. Their scooters’ lithium-ion battery is under 160 Wh. With a foldable design, they are excellent to carry inside baggage while traveling.
Other scooters that have the permission to be carried in a plane are:
- Merits Yoga 4 wheel electric scooter
- EV Rider mobility electric scooter
- Razor E- Prime electric scooter
- Atom Trike folding scooter with 3-wheels
In general, three things make it possible for you to carry the electric scooter with you on the plane are:
- The scooter’s weight and battery type.
- The airline you are traveling with, and
- Where are you boarding the plane, and where will you be going (place of arrival).
Airlines That Allow Their Passengers To Bring Their Electric Scooters On Plane
Due to safety concerns, many airlines do not allow electric scooters, hoverboards, and other such items at all. In practice, there are very few airlines that allow electric scooters on board.
- Vietnam Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Air India
- Lion Air and more.
Rules Followed By Federal Aviation Administration
- If the battery is between 100 to 160 Wh, there is no need to request prior permission from the airlines to bring the scooter on board.
- The battery’s energy (per hour) must not be beyond 160 Wh for any electric scooter. In this case, the airlines will refuse to carry the scooter. If at all it does, if you take special permissions from a known person/source, they will charge significant prices for permitting to take the scooter along on the plane
- If you manage to get permission from the Transportation Security Administration, then too, you will have to get approval from your airlines.
- The decision the airlines take will be considered as the final one.
- Generally, most airlines allow wheelchair mobility scooters.
- People with mobility issues can take an electric scooter with a battery of 300 watts.
- Delta flights do not allow any electric rideable or self-powered devices on board.
Is It Necessary To Inform Airline Officials About Electric Scooters?
Carrying an electric scooter in a plane is not an issue, but airline officials need to be informed beforehand. It is necessary to notify the airlines two weeks before the date of boarding the flight ticket. The airline is responsible for the safety of its passengers as a scooter’s battery can prove to be dangerous. Thus, the airlines need to know the scooter’s model, battery weight, and battery type beforehand.
If the passenger has any medical condition, then the airlines need to be informed at least one week before the date of departure. If you are booking a ticket through a travel agent, it is better to make things clear about the electric scooter and details about any medical condition of the passenger.
What Must A Passenger Do After Getting Permission?
All the passengers who have received permission from the airlines must come to the airport at least two hours before the scheduled time. This will help the passenger to get their electric scooter packed into luggage.
Before bringing the electric scooter, it is better to disassemble it. Taking out its battery, handlebar, and seat will save you a lot of time that you will waste if you do not disassemble it. Dismantling the scooter will help you keep the battery safe and prevent it from leakage.
The passenger needs to ensure that the mortar is dry and not wet as the airlines will refuse to take wet batteries. Another thing to ensure is to know the battery type before coming to the airport. Going through the owner’s manual will certainly help you understand your scooter and how its components work.
After dismantling the scooter, it is better to cover each part with a plastic sheet/wrap and label it. One of the essential components of a scooter is the throttle, therefore to protect the throttle, it is better to tape it properly. Do not use a rubber band to secure the throttle; rather, a plastic bag will be best. It is better to keep the scooter in a bag that can be carried and packed with ease. Make sure to remove the seat and the basket to reduce the scooter’s overall weight.
Every electric scooter rider who wants to bring their scooter traveling will ask: Can I take my electric scooter on a plane? If you have gone through and read this article, you will have probably thought to yourself that it may be challenging to find electric scooters with a 160 Wh or lower battery.
However, these days, companies are making electric scooters with this power limit with the consideration of travel in mind, so it should be less of an issue than in the past. Do remember that people with mobility issues can carry scooters with a battery power of 300 Wh.