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Need info. RE Airline regulations regarding scAt them online a bit. I’m a little bit conooters. Especially battery and storag

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While we have not yet purchased a scooter for my husband and I’m not even sure I can get him to agree to it, I’ve been looking at a few foldable travel scooters online and I think he may be coming around a little. I’m not very informed about the battery issue. I see there are two types of batteries you can get. Lithium and whatever you call the other kind. I think somewhere on these boards I have seen discussions about what types you can and can’t bring on an airplane. Since it seems the lithium batteries are lighter and appear to offer the most range between charging‘s, what is the rule? It seems very cumbersome to have to bring along the heavier non-lithium types. And some scooters say you must have two! I’m trying to avoid weight at all costs.

I don’t want to get one that you have to start removing seats or things like that to fold it up. So with a scooter that you can easily fooled by push button or maybe in three easy fold up steps, are those stowed in the passenger closet’s on the plane or are they checked in the baggage hold? Any information regarding the whole process would be of great help to me. If you have a scooter that must be stored in the cargo area, is it easiest to have it delivered to

your arrival gate or to have it arrive at the baggage pick up with your luggage and have an aid push the disabled person to the baggage area? If you have traveled with a scooter many times, have you ever had the scooter damaged when it is out of your possession and in possession of the airline ?  Sorry about all the questions but I don’t want to possibly make a purchase and find the whole thing is just to come for some for us and end up wishing we would have continued to rent scooters for cruises.

please don’t hesitate to add any tips or other helpful information.
 

I will mention here, that my husband can walk somewhat and the distance varies from day today. He can make it from a parking lot to a movie theater and has started using a cane to help his balance but walking through an entire cruise terminal or airport terminal would be prohibitive. He can walk onto or off of a jetway. Even on a scooter he would not be able to pull along a bag because he only has one good arm and that would be needed to drive the scooter. For clarification he drives the scooters we rent OK.

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Just checked to see if there were any replies and am now so embarrassed!  Initially it looked fine except for one misspelled word. Must’ve done something when I went back to correct it because somehow it REALLY got  screwed up. Sorry!

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I am certainly no expert but I’ll give you my experience. First I can also walk a little. However getting through an airport and on a cruise ship is beyond my capability. So my choices are a chair or not go. I have chosen to go. That’s my choice and he will of course make his.  
I have owned two different  power devices. The first was a drive medical scooter the second is a ForceMech. Power Chair. I much prefer the power chair for two reasons. It’s much more maneuverable and the batteries last much longer. The total weight about the same both weigh around 60 pounds. TheDrive scooter would come apart into four pieces the heaviest around 25 pounds. The forcemech Folds up but doesn’t get much lighter.  My wife could get the drive scooter into the car by taking it apart by herself. With the forcemech  I lift one side as she lifts the other and we slide it in the back of our SUV.
When we take an airplane,  I would drive them down the jetway. I would get off and get into the airplane. The baggage people would pick up the scooter put it in the baggage area and return it to the jetway when we arrived. With the Drive scooter all we had to do was fall down the handle. It uses sealed AGM batteries. They weigh around 12 pounds each and there are two of them in a sealed compartment that pops off the scooter. So that’s the heaviest piece of the scooter. The forcemech Has two lithium ion batteries that each way around 2 pounds. FAA rules mandate that you remove them from the scooter and carry them into the cabin with you. We have a small gym bag that we put them in and put them in the overhead compartment. Then we fold a scooter down and the baggage people take it from the jet way to the baggage compartment on the plane and bring it up to the new jet way when we arrive. We unfold it slip the batteries in and away I go.  With the drive scooter I was lucky to get a full day of sightseeing. With the forcemech sometimes goes several days without needing charging and if I just use it around town it’ll go several weeks. With the drive scooter we always took the charger with us and plugged in at lunch or whenever we had a few minutes and a 110v outlet available.  Hope this helps

 

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I have used a Travelscoot for about 7 years and travel with it extensively.   It is very light compared to most scooters - only about 15 kg or 35 lbs.   I can lift it myself into my car.  It does come apart if needed and folds up also like a golf bag.   I never put it through as baggage because I have heard horror stories of damaged scooters coming off the luggage carrousel.   I drive mine right up to the door of the plane and the airline personnel carry it down to the luggage hold.   I take off the battery and bring it into the plane in the bag that came with the scooter.   When I get off the plane the scooter gets delivered to the door of the plane and I drive it into the airport.   

 

I can carry a roll on suitcase (my carry-on) with my left hand and drive with my right hand.   I can zip through airports very easily on my own.

 

There are many types of scooters and I have seen the one that folds up at the touch of a button.   Do your research before buying.   Lots of choices.  Good luck.

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You should be able to get a wheelchair at the airport to the gate and rent a scooter for the ship.  We did this for our last cruise when we flew to seattle and not only had the scooter on the ship but also a wheelchair waiting at the hotel.  We didn't have to worry about his wheelchair being damaged or lost.  Our next cruise we are driving to port so he will have his own chair.

 

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So glad to read the  helpful information in the replies above! 

 

Mosttoyswin, I am a bit confused about the Drive  medical scooter you posted the picture of.  You mentioned that it breaks down into four pieces. You also mentioned that before you hand it over to be stored in the baggage compartment of the plane, you just fold down the handle. So does it actually fold up? Can it be pulled sort of like a rolling suitcase? I looked up one that I thought might be it but there was no mention of it folding. While breaking it down might be fairly simple, I feel that something that can be folded and pulled like a suitcase would serve our needs best. The chair does look pretty handy too. Our former NFL player son in law has used a heavy duty electric wheelchair on & off during recovery after multiple knee surgeries. My husband has used it on multiple occasions at an indoor NFL stadium. It has been a godsend at times. The mesh one looks great for travel but my husband has been able to actually go up some of the hills in San Juan in a 4 wheel rental scooter. Not sure about a motorized wheelchair but I wonder if it might be a little more difficult on bumpy surfaces? At any rate, I think at this point he would prefer a scooter. I did talk to him a little bit about it the last two days and he is SORT of coming around I think. The most major problem is finding one that will fold up quickly and easily and isn’t so expensive. I have seen a number of scooters that one can get for less than $1000 but most of the easily foldable, lightweight ones I have seen cost a lot more than that. I really appreciate your explanation of your own airport procedure, too. Very helpful.

 

Mexico8, I actually looked up the travel scoot this morning. Turned out I had found that one online before this but had not watched the video of how easily it folds up. If the price were lower, it seems like it would work great. What about the stability of those? It seems like the lighter weight and the slim triangular design with only one front tire might be more prone to tipping, but since we have not seen nor driven one, I thought I would ask you. (?) Personally I feel the higher cost would be worth it for the transport ability but I don’t think my husband is going to agree. I believe you also mentioned that you pull a suitcase with one hand to the airport. He would not be able to do that because he must drive the scooter with one hand since the other one has some mobility impairment in both the hand & arm. Though they work somewhat, it isn’t well enough to take over the task.  As if that wasn’t bad enough already, the humerus in his disabled arm is currently broken! He will still have to wear the sling when we go on the cruise.  Normally  that disabled hand helps just a little at times, but it’s really his uninjured  hand that drives a scooter - or a car. Your suggestion to do research before we buy is an absolute must. I have found it difficult even to do the research because it seems every time I go online to check out scooter types and prices, I get a lot of different stuff. The same exact scooter varies greatly according to who is supplying it. Additionally sometimes I have typed in the exact name of a scooter and all kinds of other scooters come up! It is very annoying. I see certain scooters over and over, offered by the same companies over and over, but the prices vary even when offered by the same company,  depending upon the moment! I just wish we could go to a medical supply place in our own city and find a couple of styles of travel scooters. It would be so much better if my husband could try before buying.
i’ve not checked every single store in our city yet, but a couple of the ones I have checked with do not carry foldable travel scooters in store. 

 

TRadle, I have rented a scooter for him several times already within the last three years. I agree it’s very convenient to arrive at the ship and not have to worry about transporting a scooter. However, The rental costs begin to add up. Besides, they are never fold up travel scooters although I can get one that weighs about 50 pounds for this trip if I pay a higher rental cost. I imagine that’s what we will end up doing this time. We have never rented a fold up one. I’d like to be able to fit it into the trunk of a regular taxi or not have to worry about a special storage bin and locking it down with straps on a bus. Opens up a lot more possibilities of where we can go without having to wait for some type of special accessible transportation vehicle. 
 

Thanks to all of you VERY much for the info.! Do not hesitate to post if you think of anything else!

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Re the Travelscoot, there is a Facebook group called Elizabeth’s Travelscoot, I see there are some people in St Louis in the group, it may be possible to try the scoot there by asking if they would mind, this is a fairly common request. I bought mine after I saw one live, so to speak, here in Edinburgh and thought it looked ideal. I then met several other women who had them and was reassured about it, mine is definitely ideal for travel, also goes well on cruises, including tenders excursions etc. 
I think it’s a good idea to try out a scooter anyway, but it is good to evaluate your needs, is the most important criteria weight, stability, or ability to be transported in a car? Travelscoot is super lightweight, and very small and easy to transport, but it does need a user who is able to maintain their balance. You don’t need two hands to operate.

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ozscotart, I did go on to the Facebook page you mentioned. Could only see a few different posts. Like the ones talking about a trip to target and Walmart, showing the travel scoop in its arrival box, etc. Clicked onto the link to a webpage blog but nothng much showed up on there. Not very familiar with Facebook and use it sparingly so I’m not sure how to find out the names of the followers and where they are from to try to contact any regarding the scooter. I have emailed the company which only lists one U.S. supplier (apparently the only one is in the state of Washington), to see if there are any retail outlets within 100 miles of St. Louis where I could see a scooter myself. Hate to bother anyone personally until I know my husband would even consider purchasing one.  I think I may have seen a scooter like this, or something somewhat like this, on a cruise a couple of years back. Two ladies had them and I asked them how they liked their scooters. They really liked them, said they each cost around $3000, but admitted that the daughter of one of them was in charge of transporting and folding them. laughingly, one lady said neither of them actually knew how!  Coincidentally, the daughter walked up near the end of our conversation and heard that part. She rolled her eyes and said, “Yeah it’s easy for them because they’re not the ones doing it!  Then said something along the lines of it was kind of a pain in the ...(you know where)! Since my husband is 6 foot three and about 185 pounds, I was concerned if it would be too small for him. But I did see the photo on that Facebook website of the poster who was really large. I have taken a screenshot and plan to show my husband. Of course I doubt that lady’s legs or nearly as long as my husband’s.Thanks so much for the information!

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About only having one front tire on the Travelscoot.    When I am on uneven ground I do have to try to lean a certain way so the scooter does not tip over.   Having two front tires would make a scooter more stable I imagine.   

 

It's too bad that you can't have your husband try one.   I bought mine without having tried it out and it was shipped to me from Vancouver.    I had seen the videos and I ended up really happy with the purchase.   

 

I have had the scooter for many years and we avoided taking it apart and folding it up for a long time.   We waited for special cars (taxis)  to accommodate the scooter without folding it up but now we realize it's not that hard to take off the seat and remove the battery and then push a button to fold it.   We are mad at ourselves for not doing it over many years.   

 

I was thinking to buy one of the folding up scooters that were advertised for a few hundred dollars but I read some reviews that were not  that good.   I think I will just stick with mine and buy a new one next year.   Travelscoot will take mine on trade-in and sell it.   

 

Hope you can get to try one in your area or find a store that carries different models for you to try.  If you lived closer to me I would offer for you to try mine.  It would also be good to see how to fold it down but I think the video does show that.   It's really not all that hard.

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17 hours ago, mlbcruiser said:

 

 

TRadle, I have rented a scooter for him several times already within the last three years. I agree it’s very convenient to arrive at the ship and not have to worry about transporting a scooter. However, The rental costs begin to add up. Besides, they are never fold up travel scooters although I can get one that weighs about 50 pounds for this trip if I pay a higher rental cost. I imagine that’s what we will end up doing this time. We have never rented a fold up one. I’d like to be able to fit it into the trunk of a regular taxi or not have to worry about a special storage bin and locking it down with straps on a bus. Opens up a lot more possibilities of where we can go without having to wait for some type of special accessible transportation vehicle. 
 

Thanks to all of you VERY much for the info.! Do not hesitate to post if you think of anything else!

We also have a Fold-and-Go electric wheelchair.  I can lift into the trunk of a car.  You take the battery out when you check the chair at the gate.  We can't use it anymore because my husband can no longer transfer from a chair to the car.  It has held up for years.

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TRadle, it’s nice there are different pieces of equipment since different people seem to need different things.  One of the posters above postef a photo of a lightweight wheelchair In his reply that looks like it would be great for traveling. 
 

The travelscoot company replied to my email In which I asked if any stores in my area might carry that scooter. It said they only have the factory up in Washington. However, if I send them my name and address they might be able to contact someone in my area that has one so that we could go see it. However, they did warn that the newer model is somewhat different from older models of those who might be willing to let us look at their’s. Not sure if we will pursue that avenue or not yet. Additionally, tomorrow I’m driving down to a medical mobility store that supposedly has two used travel scooters for sale. I have a strong feeling at least one of them is the kind you take apart. The salesman that returned my call didn’t seem to want to confirm the weight, the brand, or the style, but I guess I will go down there anyway, just in case.  If nothing else, we can rent one type of folding scooter for this cruise. It will at least give some idea of what it’s like being able to fold and unfold a scooter & to get it out of the way fairly easily when needed.

 

Thanks again!

 

 

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In Elizabeth’s Travelscoot group you can post asking if there’s anyone in your area who wouldn’t mind your having a look at their scoot, or you can search in the group for St. Louis, that’s what I did because I was fairly sure I had seen posts from people there (I don’t know where it is, somewhere in the US a long way from the Travelscoot shop I gather). I gather the Travelscoot people in the US are very helpful, but they won’t necessarily know about all the scoots in your area as there is a second hand market also. 
The other very small scooter I’ve seen is the Smartscoot, I didn’t look into it in detail because they aren’t currently available in the U.K. I would check how wide they are before buying for cruises, mine is 52cm wide, and goes through all doors. 

 

Another issue to consider in buying these types of scooter is the batteries, you need the lithium battery to be less than 300 wph to go on the plane, and batteries are expensive and don’t last forever so if buying second hand consider how much life might be left in the battery and the cost of replacement. I found that in the end, in the U.K., it was better value to buy new, as we also get tax relief for equipment for the disabled and you get a new battery. 

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Good point about the battery replacement.   For the Travelscoot I think the cost of the battery is about $900.00 (Cdn) or more.   That's for one lithium battery.   Mine has been used for about 7 years and it's still okay but I am thinking of buying a new  battery or a new scooter next year.

 

I have heard good things about the Smartscoot too so if you can check that out it would be good.   I think it's around the same price as the Travelscoot.

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Yes Ozscotart, the battery cost is definitely something to consider! Today I went to a mobility scooter store after calling & learning that they had one used fold up travel scooter for sale. All of the scooters in the store, even the brand new scooters, are used the other type of regular battery. He showed me the two most lightweight pride scooters that he had. They were much less than they used scooter that folds ip. But in my opinion, would not offer the convenience that I am looking for in our present situation. I did ask the guy about a lithium battery and he said they were very expensive where is a two pack battery for the GoGos cost a total of $200. At least that was his price. As I looked on the Internet I thought some of the scooters came with a battery included. I’ll have to pay special attention to that when I am looking at Internet ads! I know that I’ve seen the Smartscoot online and a couple of other brands of foldable scooters that would work as well, but again, it all comes down to paying for them and talking my husband into it. I will admit, it’s one thing to look at how much tread is left in the tire of a used scooter and it’s general condition overall. However, since there is no odometer, and no one can tell how much life the battery still has, It is a bit scary. Who wants to be on shore somewhere went on a cruise, or maybe vacationing in another country, and suddenly your battery goes? Of course it can happen with a new scooter as well But it’s not quite as likely. The foldable scooter I saw today does not require a key to start. Just press a button and it starts. I’m sure if someone really wanted to steal a scooter they could but there’s no sense in making it extra easy. Again, I had difficulty with the Facebook group thread regarding the Travelscoot. The US supplier is very very very far from where we live! The north west corner of the United States. We live a bit east of the center of the US. That company seems to have some contact with travelscoot owners throughout the country. Just haven’t decided if I want to put anyone to the trouble until I am sure we would consider buying one. Thanks again very very much to everybody on here for all the help! I’ve learned a lot.

 

 

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I see no one commented on damage caused by airlines so thought I’d jump in.

 

I use a power wheelchair but I imagine the issues are the same.  I have had my chair totally trashed once and damaged on several other occasions.  I’ve found the safest thing to do is remove any and all parts possible and store them in the cabin with you.  Once I’m in my seat, I have the seat and back, the joystick, the foot rests and the battery taken off.  I’ve only experienced cosmetic damage since doing that.

 

I’m not able to do that amount of dismantling with my current chair because of additional functionality.  Because of that, I’ve decided to take my old chair on my next cruise and leave my $31,000 chair at home.  I hate to have to make that decision but I figure I’m better off with a working wheelchair rather than be stranded with an unusable chair!  
 

 

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Thank you for touching on the subject. It was already on my mind, especially today because we are very close to going ahead and purchasing a folding travel scooter. While I understand the one we are considering is allowed to be stored in the cabin of the aircraft, I bet the airline crew will still put it in the cargo hold. I do worry about it getting damaged.

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On 1/29/2020 at 8:20 PM, mlbcruiser said:

Thank you for touching on the subject. It was already on my mind, especially today because we are very close to going ahead and purchasing a folding travel scooter. While I understand the one we are considering is allowed to be stored in the cabin of the aircraft, I bet the airline crew will still put it in the cargo hold. I do worry about it getting damaged.

In all my years of flying, both with manual and power wheelchairs, I’ve only been able to get my chair stored in the cabin once - and then it was a huge hassle getting them to do it.  I never want to go through that again so now I just strip the chair and let them stow it in cargo.

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Miki_moto,  what a shame you have to go through that every time! You would think that even a baggage handler who is busy would realize that someone needing a mobility device really needs that device and would be more careful with it. Accidents do happen, but I hope you were able to get compensation from the airline(s).  

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I have flown about 30 times with my Travelscoot and it always gets taken to the hold with strollers and walkers etc. and it has never been damaged.   I leave it at the door of the plane and they bring it to me at the door of the plane when we land.

 

One time in inadvertently got put through as luggage from Ottawa  and it arrived in Rome without any damage,  but I have heard of people having their scooters damaged when they put it through as luggage.

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mexico8 (or anyone else who drives a scooter to the gate), when you ride your scooter through security, do you get to go to the front of the line the same as if you were being escorted by an airport attendant? If so, does anyone in security assist your passage through so that others in line make way or how is that handled?

Edited by mlbcruiser

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There is usually a special lane for people in wheelchairs and scooters.   It is usually quicker that the other lines.   If you are able to stand you can walk through the scanner and they check the scooter with a special wand.   That's what I do.  

 

I rarely have to wait in security lines because they have a special lane for wheelchair and scooter passengers.   It has saved me a lot of time in busy airports.

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Thank you so much, mexico8. Now that you have mentioned that, I think I have noticed people in wheelchairs, etc., going through a different lane.  My husband is usually transported in a wheelchair and does get up and walk through the x-ray machine. 

( In case you see a post by me on this board asking about getting through security again, I posted it shortly before seeing your reply.)

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On 1/27/2020 at 4:19 AM, ozscotart said:

Re the Travelscoot, there is a Facebook group called Elizabeth’s Travelscoot, I see there are some people in St Louis in the group, it may be possible to try the scoot there by asking if they would mind, this is a fairly common request. I bought mine after I saw one live, so to speak, here in Edinburgh and thought it looked ideal. I then met several other women who had them and was reassured about it, mine is definitely ideal for travel, also goes well on cruises, including tenders excursions etc. 
I think it’s a good idea to try out a scooter anyway, but it is good to evaluate your needs, is the most important criteria weight, stability, or ability to be transported in a car? Travelscoot is super lightweight, and very small and easy to transport, but it does need a user who is able to maintain their balance. You don’t need two hands to operate.

Did I see you are on the cruise to Hawaii with us in March with Princess out of San Francisco?

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8 hours ago, PG13 said:

Did I see you are on the cruise to Hawaii with us in March with Princess out of San Francisco?


Sadly, we are not on a cruise out of Hawaii, we are booked on the Diamond Princess in a few weeks! No idea whether we’ll be going or not. 

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13 hours ago, ozscotart said:


Sadly, we are not on a cruise out of Hawaii, we are booked on the Diamond Princess in a few weeks! No idea whether we’ll be going or not. 

I seem to remember that is the ship that is in quarantine for 14 days because of the Coronavirus.   Feel so sorry for those people - especially those in inside cabins with no window or fresh air.   My husband would go crazy if he was stuck there for 14 days.  I would not be too happy either. 

 

Hope you get to go on your cruise.   What a stressful time for you watching and waiting.

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