What if you own an electric scooter and wish to travel by plane to another destination? Will you be allowed to bring your electric scooter with you on the airplane? If the same question also comes to your mind, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll be answering this question.
Electric scooters are a popular mode of transportation for people of all ages, but they can be a little difficult to transport on airplanes.
There are regulations in place for how much weight an electric scooter can weigh and how large the battery pack can be. This is because electric scooters are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which are dangerous and tend to catch on fire.
Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?
Getting straight to the point without wasting any time, a simple and straightforward answer to this question is NO. A scooter designed for adults cannot be taken in carry-on or checked baggage unless it is designated as a mobility aid.
For Domestic Flights in the US
The FAA in the US has clear-cut guidelines regarding lithium-ion batteries allowing only those above 160Wh in checked baggage and 100 WH batteries in carry-on luggage. If you’re considering battery watt-hours with watts, you’re wrong.
Battery watt hours are a different measure than the watts when it comes to the motor size.
You can find the watt hours of your scooter’s battery on it or in the manual. If not, there’s another way you can calculate them. Just multiply the ampere-hours (ah) by the voltage, and it should give you the battery watt-hours.
The majority of electric devices we use in our everyday life, like phones, chargers, laptops, and tablet batteries, fall under 160wh. However, most electric scooter batteries are above this.
I’m not saying that electric scooters under 160wh don’t exist; they do, but these are primarily low-powered and are meant for children to drive.
Even if you have a small scooter that matches these requirements, you should always check the rules and regulations put in place by the carrier you’re using for travel. You might be required to remove batteries and store them in checked baggage or a carry-on.
Steps that can help bring Your e-scooter on plane
You can take your electric scooter with you on a plane if you can show that your electric scooter is a necessary mobility device. But this only applies to mobility scooters, not recreational ones. Even for the mobility scooter, you should contact your airline service days before the flight.
It would be best if you informed them about the details of your scooter. These include the scooter’s battery size, weight, and size. You should inform them beforehand to make preparations before the flight. Apart from that, arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight.
You should find additional requirements or sub charges for removing and packing the battery. Mobility scooters have different requirements than recreational ones. It is allowed to have a spare battery with up to 300Wh or two spare batteries with each having up to 160Wh for these devices.
There are, however, different rules and regulations for every airline, so it is best to call ahead and inquire about the rules and regulations before you board.
Talking about international rules and regulations, these guidelines tend to be stricter when it comes to lithium-ion batteries. Although rare, lithium-ion batteries tend to overheat and burst, making them dangerous and classified as “Dangerous Goods” by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Their general guidelines are mostly identical to FAA’s:
- If the lithium-ion battery doesn’t exceed the limit of 100Wh, passengers may have these with them in either checked or carry-on baggage. There’s no need to have the operator’s approval when it comes to these batteries.
- In cases where the battery exceeds the 100Wh mark but is below the 160Wh mark, passengers may have these in checked or carry-on baggage. Here, however, the approval of the operator is required.
- If the lithium-ion battery exceeds 160Wh, you cannot bring it with you on a plane in either passenger, the crew checked, or carry-on baggage.
Although these rules and regulations are applicable on international flights, every region’s aviation authority has its own rules. These rules are stringent in China.
If you’re traveling in Europe, you should check with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) or contact the administration in specific countries.
However, in most cases, you’ll be unable to take your scooter with you on a plane unless it is small and low-powered or a designated mobility device. Looking for rental options at your destination is better than carrying a scooter with you on a plane.
In concluding the discussion above, it is better to check with your air carrier about taking your electric scooter with you beforehand to avoid any problems.
Moreover, if your carrier allows, you should inform them beforehand and try reaching the airport a few hours before the flight to make necessary arrangements for your electric scooter. I hope the above article clears up any confusion that you might’ve had.