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Advice on European air travel with a scooter?

Los Angeles...
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304 posts
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Advice on European air travel with a scooter?
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We plan to travel to Sweden and Denmark this winter. Complicated rehab on two knee replacements may mean I won't be able to use a walker as I did on a previous trip and will need to take a rental scooter or electric wheelchair. We will have a rental car which of course needs to accommodate whichever we choose. I need advice please;

1. British Airways, our air carrier, has been unresponsive to my email and doesn't take phone calls I am concerned about connection times when I may not have access to my scooter and will be dependent on their providing assistance with the transfer at Heathrow.. Anyone with experience with their rules on mobility devices? Can I bring both a scooter and a walker?

2. Any specific recommendations on brands or specs for use on cobblestone streets? Is it better to have one that disassembles or one that folds?

3. Is an electric wheelchair ever preferable? I have no experience with an electric wheelchair but I have used a scooter several times.

As always, TIA for the wise advice I always get from otherTAers.

5 replies to this topic
Wrexham, United...
Destination Expert
for Singapore, Traveling With Disabilities
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2,967 posts
331 reviews
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1. Re: Advice on European air travel with a scooter?
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There are all sorts of problems when flying with a scooter, the batteries can be a major issue, as lithium batteries can catch fire, so you may have to avoid them. There are rules about size as well. When you hire, you should discuss this holiday with the company you hire from.

I would trust the airport to get you to the gate by wheelchair. I've flown from Heathrow several times, and it's the airport, not the airline, who organises help for the disabled. You must make sure the airline is aware of your needs before departure date.

It is worrying that BA haven't responded to your email.

it would be best to have a scooter which breaks into pieces. Make sure your carer can handle comfortably the weight and bulk of the heaviest piece. Otherwise you'll need a large vehicle which can also hold a ramp.

London, England
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2. Re: Advice on European air travel with a scooter?
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I have travelled throughout Europe on a regular basis with my scooter. I have the type that breaks done into 5 separate parts, but never have to do that on an aircraft.

Airlines do have weight and size restrictions, but shouldn’t affect a small scooter. All details will be in the T&Cs on their website.

I have taken my scooter on BA flights with no problem whatsoever. My scooter has a dry cell battery which I leave on the scooter. If the scooter has a lithium battery, then you are normally asked to take it in the cabin with you.

You need to book Spacial Assistance direct with the airline. I do this at the same time as I book my flight. You will be asked to supply the specifications of the scooter.

At the airport you will be fast tracked as are all disabled passengers. I ride my scooter to the door of the aircraft. It is then taken and put into the hold . I take out the key and take it with me. I also show the handlers how to operate the brake. It really is very easy.

When I arrive at my destination it is waiting for me at th3 door of the aircraft. I don’t disembark until I see it waiting for me.

It really is quite simple and efficient.

Both Copenhagen and Stockholm do have some cobbled streets, but the majority are ok. They both have accessible public transport systems.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Advice on European air travel with a scooter?
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My scooter weighs 30 pounds (13KG) with battery and I have never had a problem with any international airline (although I hear China and Emirates are a problem). Because my scooter battery is lithium I have to take it off the scooter and carry it on the plane. Basically, I ride the scooter to the plane door, remove the battery, walk to my seat while my scooter is put in the hold. The scooter is generally waiting for me when I deplane.

High Wycombe...
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4. Re: Advice on European air travel with a scooter?
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I have a Titan 4 from https://www.tzora.co.uk/ I travelled to France with my scooter in May this year. I downloaded the certificate from the website CE compliance and presented it to check-in. The scooter was taken on board as luggage. I was then driven around the airport. At the other end, I was again driven to collect my luggage, including my Titan scooter. The process was relatively comfortable.

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Advice on European air travel with a scooter?
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Thanks to all who responded to my post. Unfortunately, my own experience was far from positive. I have already contacted British airways without a response from the company. I have flown the LAX-LON-CPH route several times before with BA but without a disability requiring a wheelchair or scooter. Without hesitation, this was the worst trip, by far, of any I have ever taken on any airline (and I am a veteran of 1970s student charters.) Despite submitted forms and emails from me, and many hours on the phone over several months, no promised accommodations were provided by BA for my flights. When I was boarding at LAX, a BA staff member touched me repeatedly in ways that had nothing to do with boarding (despite my loud requests that he stop touching me.) There was no aisle chair that fit the plane aisles on our long outbound flight (requiring me to haul myself over several rows of seats to reach my seat) and no opportunity to use the bathroom during or between flights either direction because, according to the flight attendants "there was no way to get [me] there." I cannot recommend that anyone with a mobility issue rely on British Airways at this time.

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