Can you bring an electric scooter on the plane? Based on the carrier airline and legal regulations the answer can vary. There are various policies you need to adhere to before bringing an e-scooter to the plane.
Mostly dealing with the lithium-ion battery that powers your electric scooter. Before you carry any electric item with you to the airport. You need to know if the battery capacity is allowed on the plane.
Typically, electric batteries found in e-scooters can go beyond the capacity limit. This is why the answer can get tricky and your knowledge on the subject needs to be sharp.
We created this post to provide you with information you need to travel safely with an e-scooter. Without further undo, fasten your seat belt we are now ready for takeoff.
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Are Electric Scooters Allowed On Planes?
Yes, you can but some carriers are stricter than others. For example, Air Canada will inspect batteries before luggage can board the flight. Other companies will inspect the scooter and the battery.
There are some conditions that your scooter must meet before it gets permitted on a flight. An essential requirement for an electric scooter to be allowed on a plane is the battery watt-hour rating.
Therefore, depending on the battery Watt Hour (Wh), your e-scooter might be allowed or rejected on the plane. The electric scooters with a lithium battery with more than 160 watt-hour rating can’t be allowed on planes.
Thus, before you carry your e-scooter, you need to consider the battery capacity. If the value is below 160wh, you can consider traveling with it.
FAA regulations differ. They stipulate that only batteries up to 100Wh (cabin or checked) are permitted. Though, this all depends on airline policies. Some may consider packing carry-on bags with spare lithium batteries.
They must always be protected preventing accidental activation and short circuits. Battery terminals should be protected by manufacturer’s packaging. Covered with tape and placed in separate bags to prevent short circuits.
Companies like Smart Scoot uses a lithium-ion battery rated at 288 watt-hours. Claiming their battery is compliant. So, you can test your luck but the safe range we see is between 100Wh – 160Wh.
How Can You Know Watt-Hour For An E-Scooter Battery?
Having mentioned the battery watt-hours that can be allowed on a plane, some people do not know how to determine the battery hour of their electric scooter.
If you find that the battery of your e-scooter contains only the voltage and the current, it is easy to calculate the watt-hour. To calculate the watt-hour, you need to multiply the battery current with the battery voltage.
For instance, if your scooter’s battery contains a maximum of 5Amperes and a maximum voltage of 20 volts, then your battery Watt-hour will be 20* 5=100. Batteries with 100 Wh are allowed on a plane.
The Process Of Electric Scooter Check-In
To avoid some inconveniences. Contact the respective people at the airport. Report to the relevant technician about your e-scooter 48 hours before the departure time. That will allow the technicians to have adequate time for the e-scooter checkup.
People make a mistake of traveling without contacting anyone beforehand. Later walking to the gate and going through a load of headaches trying to board the flight.
One advantage of telling the relevant technician on time is that you will know if your scooter will be allowed or not. Many travelers are forced to dispose or sell their e-scooters at a throwaway price. All because the fail to inform technicians before the flight.
It is essential to know what fees you’ll be charged with at the gate. In doing so your avoiding hefty baggage fees. Extra baggage fees will depend on your bag size.
Weigh your electric scooter with the bag you intend to carry it in. If you plan on packing your e-scooter in separate bag we recommend Lamaki heavy duty transport foldable bag.
At the check-in, ask the agent at the gate for a gate check tag. The scooter batteries are removed and kept around the scooter owner. One can keep the cells on the cabin near the seat he/she is using.
Before boarding, if it hasn’t been done already fold down the steering column. Secure it with the velcro strap. Your bag will be inspected and should be allowed to continue to the plane.
Various airline regulations are governing traveling with an electric scooter that uses battery. The regulation works on both non-rechargeable and rechargeable batteries. The spare batteries are allowed to be carried on a plane only if they are in carry-on baggage. The battery terminals are highly protected to avoid short-circuiting
Some of the essential airline regulations you need to know are such as;
-Battery shouldn’t be defective
Damaged, defective or recalled lithium batteries must not be carried in carry-on or checked baggage. Especially if they are likely to be a safety concern by overheating or catching on fire.
-The quantity limits
Although there is no quantity limit for the batteries, the only cells allowed on the plane are the ones the travelers are using. One is not permitted to carry a battery for resale. Only two spare batteries are allowed per single traveler.
-Battery size limit
The battery size limit is among the things that get considered when you need to travel with your electric scooter on a plane. The size limit indicates that batteries with a low power rating of less than 160 Wh are allowed.
If your cell contains more than the watt-hours mentioned above, you cannot be allowed to carry it. Another essential thing you need to know about the size limit is that no battery is allowed on plane if it has more than 2 grams of lithium.
-Type of batteries
The batteries to be carried on the plane must be either a lithium-ion or dry/gel cell.
A pre-authorization order is crucial for the electric scooters that weigh more than 150 kilograms
-What are some of the electric scooter travel rules for various airlines?
Since there are various airlines in the world, we shall discuss some of the few popular airlines and their electric scooter travel rules. Some of those airlines are such as;
1. United Airlines
The united airlines ensure they conduct a thorough check on battery watt-hour. This travel airline allows an electric scooter that can weigh less than 40 pounds once assembled fully. Also, it is essential to know that the united airlines enable various types of scooters provided they meet the weight requirement.
Arrive to the airport an hour before the published airport check-in processing time for your departure airport. Click here to view United Airlines complete travel guide for electric scooters.
Unlike the united airlines, the delta airlines will not accept the transport of balance gilders, hoverboards, powered skateboards, motorized riding suitcases and self-balancing boards of any type which use lithium or lithium-ion batteries on board its aircraft.
Therefore, there are meager chances of getting onto the plane with a battery more than 160 Wh. Since the delta doesn’t allow it. Delta regulation is in place in response to hover boards.
Due manufactures not consistently providing detail about the size or power of their lithium-ion batteries. We can only assume the same reasoning applies to electric scooters. Conventional battery types can carry an extra battery under the 160 wh range. The full guide can be seen here.
3. Southwest airlines
The southwest airlines allow travelers to travel with the electric scooter on the plane under few conditions. You need to request for the gate check tag.
If your electric scooter battery is removable, then you can consider removing it for further checking. Therefore, the summary for the battery requirements for the smart airlines are;
-Battery should contain a maximum of 25 grams of lithium content
-The battery watt-hour rating should be less than 300Wh.
-Must have a document to show that the battery checking is over before allowed on a plane.
If you’re looking for more information on the subject specifically from Southwest airlines Click here.
4. American Airlines
The American airline allows a maximum of 4 lithium batteries with less than 100 Wh per person. If your battery rating is between 100 and 160wh, then you are allowed to carry only two.
Lastly, if your electric scooter contains about 160 to 300Wh, then you need to consult the special assistance before proceeding with your scooter to the plane. Here is link to that page.
Therefore, the above-discussed information can help you to now the various thong you need to know about traveling with your electric scooter on the plane.
Hence if you have been asking if I can bring an electric scooter on a plane for a long time without the right answer, consider the above-discussed things.
5. Air Canada
Air Canada does allow passengers to travel with electric scooters. They require a form to be printed and filled out. Affix one copy of the form to your scooter. It will serve as a useful handling guide. Air Canada has complete guide on their polices here. The scooter must be inspected and the battery label to verify if it is spillable or non-spillable.
They can remove and pack batteries separately if:
- Your mobility aid is powered by spillable batteries and we must tilt it while loading or stowing due to the size of the aircraft, or
- The battery is not secured to your mobility aid.
6. Alaska Air
Although we’ve seen electric-powered carts or scooters mentioned as acceptable to be carry on Alaska planes. It isn’t entirely clear if Alaska Air policy specifically applies to wheelchairs.
We recommend you contact someone from there staff to confirm. Here is resource page you can access here for more information.
To be clear traveling with electric scooters is convinces not all airports support. Electric hover boards have given electric scooter and all other EV’s a bad rap.
The perceived danger is significant enough that major airlines have banned the hover vehicles altogether. Which has entrapped others in this web.
That’s why it’s important to take precaution and see how your airline fares when comes to e-scooters. Factors like Watt hours, weight, the overall perception should be tested before you board your next flight.
We listed a few major airlines and their regulations but as always, we recommend you calling beforehand just to play it safe.
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