Electric wheelchairs

By Airplane: Scooters & Electric wheelchairs
Travelers who travel by scooters and electric wheelchairs should follow all of the appropriate measures above in addition to other precautions.

It is strongly recommend that your electric wheelchair or scooter be equipped with “gel cell” or “dry cell” batteries. “Wet cell” batteries, like the one used in automobiles, are strongly discouraged since airlines must separate these from your scooter or wheelchair and store them in a leak proof container.

Scooter travelers who “gate check” their scooter should assume that some member of the airline staff will be appointed to drive your scooter into the belly of the plane. To protect your scooter, other passengers and other airline staff we recommend the following steps. Before handing your scooter over to the airline staff, place a piece of removable tape on top of the throttle control and secure the throttle control in the slowest position. This tape should read “Do Not Remove.” Make sure your key, or power pin, is well secured to the scooter. Use a strong, durable cord to attach your key or control pin. Do not use a rubber band or an elastic strap to secure your key to the scooter. To secure your key or power pin to your scooter, we suggest using a 12 or 14 inch “60 or 80 pound steel leader” obtained from a fishing supply store. And last, remove any removable baskets and portable seat cushions and carry these into the plane….these do not travel well when attached to your scooter and are likely to be lost.

Electric Wheelchairs:
Electric wheelchair travelers who “gate check” their electric wheelchair should assume that some member of the airline staff will attempt to drive your scooter into the belly of the plane. We suggest making several extra efforts to prevent anyone from actually driving your precious and expensive wheelchair. Switch your chairs’ transmission into “neutral” so it can be easily pushed. Unplug the battery connection between your chair and the battery and place a short piece of electrical tape over both connector ends. Better yet, if the power cord is easily removed take it with you in your carry on bag.

If the entire “joystick control” can be easily removed…remove it! It not, try loosening the knob that positions the joystick control and point the joystick downward, towards the ground. Or last, unscrew the “joystick knob” from the control base and carry it with you into the plane. In any event, try to prevent damage to the joystick! An unprotected joystick is an accident waiting to happen.

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