Travelling overseas is often associated with long periods of walking. This makes travelling sound tiresome. For older travellers who own a mobility scooter, why not consider bringing your mobility scooter along? For those who think twice about bringing their less mobile elderly loved ones along on holidays, using a mobility scooters makes it more convenient and enhances both yours and their holiday experience.
In order to successfully bring your mobility scooter overseas, here are some tips to help you out:
Tip #1 - Know the specifications
Before checking in with your airline, it is important to know the specifications of the mobility scooter. Browse through the mobility scooter’s manual again and look out for its battery specification, weight with/without battery and folded size measurements. Usually, mobility scooter that come with detachable batteries are more travel friendly. Most of the airlines will require information about the Watt-hours (Wh) of the battery. If this information has not been readily provided, an easy way to calculate this value is to multiply the Voltage (V) and Ampere- hours (Ah) of the battery e.g. 20V x 11 Ah = 220 Wh.
Tip #2 - Notify your airline early
Notify the airlines provider at least 48 hours before departure if you intend to check-in the mobility scooter. It is usually recommended to notify them during the ticket reservation process. This is to give time to make necessary arrangements onboard.
Tip #3 - Check for baggage allowance
Find out if the mobility scooter will count towards the free baggage allowance of the passenger. In this case, you will have to ensure that the weight of your luggage and mobility scooter meet the allowance. There are some airlines which will provide a separate allowance for the mobility scooter. This means that the mobility scooter will be labeled as an odd size baggage and placed separately from other luggage. This way, you may not need to pay, or pay too much for excess baggage allowance.
Tip #4 - Arrive early to check in
It will be great if you can arrive at the departure terminal early, at least 2.5hrs ahead of your flight. This gives allowance time for yourself and the check in counter staff to process your check-in. Some airports also offer shrink-wrapping services for odd-sized items. Remember to request for the mobility scooter to be labeled as fragile. A picture of the mobility scooter in its pre-flight condition should also be taken for proof purposes.
Tip #5 - Explore shipping options
In the event that your mobility scooter uses a battery which is not airline-approved (i.e. Lead batteries), you can look into cargo services as a viable option. Airport cargo services are efficient as they are very familiar with the airport luggage rules and regulations.
There you go, you're all set for a great holiday!