Travelling with Lithium powered mobility scooters and wheelchairs
Folding lightweight mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs can make your life easier, and this is especially true when travelling abroad, as it opens up far more options for getting out and about and enjoying the full potential of your holiday.
The lithium battery that powers your mobility scooter or wheelchair, can be a concern for many people, where international travel is concerned, as airline regulations are stricter these days and Lithium is classed as a dangerous product in light of these regulations and controls.
is a lithium battery dangerous for airlines?
Actually, your lithium battery is a very safe unit and doesn’t present a danger when travelling either in this country or abroad. Lithium batteries are the main power source for millions of mobility scooters worldwide and have a superb record of safety, with very few incidents reported.
The reason airlines can regard your lithium battery as a ‘danger’, is for reasons of airline security which has increased in scope over the years and the fact that a lithium battery contains lithium as a substance that is on their controlled substances list.
What size lithium battery can I travel with?
Your lithium battery must be less than 300Wh capacity to travel on most airlines. This is actually the capacity of many scooter and wheelchair lithium batteries, so generally speaking, your scooter should be within the regulatory limits, especially if it is a compact folding model of electric mobility scooter or electric wheelchair.
Some airlines and regions have a smaller limit of only 160Wh, China for example. So it’s well worth checking with your travel provider and for the region of your intended travel before setting off
How do I check the power of my lithium battery?
It’s very easy to check the power of your lithium battery, and the place to start is the battery itself, as all batteries have the power rating included on the battery label itself. This is usually on the label, or on occasion it may be printed on to the surface of the plastic casing of the battery.
Alternatively, you can check the handbook for your mobility scooter or wheelchair, as the power of the battery will be listed in the document.
The other way, is simply to Google the make and model of your folding mobility scooter or electric wheelchair and looking at the technical specs of the battery, here you will find the power rating of your lithium battery.
What if my lithium scooter battery is bigger than 300Wh capacity?
If the capacity of your lithium scooter battery is larger than 300Wh, then it will not be possible to take it onto the airline and you will need to find an alternative solution. This may include hiring a scooter or wheelchair on arrival at your destination, or buying/ renting a model of folding mobility scooter or electric wheelchair, that is under 300Wh and taking that with you instead.
Should I check before I book and arrive at the airport?
If in any doubt about your lithium battery and its suitability for travel on your chosen method of transport, land, sea or air, it is well worth finding out the specifics of their rules and regulations before you travel, as it can cause obvious disruption to travel plans if your battery is not in-keeping with their specific rules and allowances.
Airlines and their battery regs
Below are a selection of airlines and we have included the links to relevant information regarding the transportation of dangerous goods. It is very important to check the rules and regulations of each airline in advance of any travel booking, as details can change over time and you do not what to suffer unnecessary inconvenience to your travel plans.
Here are some common airlines for additional guidance from their own websites:-
Also, you will find additional information from the website of the The Civil Aviation Authority the link is here