Air travel with your TGA mobility scooter: a simple guide
Can you take your mobility scooter on a airplane?
Air travel is becoming more and more popular for mobility scooter owners. Thanks to our Minimo and Zest family, you can tackle big airports with confidence and commonly drive your scooter right up to the plane. On arrival at your destination, you have the advantage of using your own familiar scooter with no need to hire a product that may not be entirely suitable. This means your independence is maximised whether you are on holiday, visiting family and friends or on a business trip.
However, it is important to plan well in advance of your flight to ensure the experience is positive and seamless. This needs to involve ‘pre-notifying’ the Special Assistance department of your chosen airline and potentially the airports you intend to use outbound and inbound. By doing this you will also be able to understand what support services are available. Assistance can be booked with the airline so on arrival the appropriate staff will be prepared and ready to assist you. Your airline will need to know details of your mobility scooter before flying to check it will be accepted on board. So, weeks before you fly, here are a few tips to complete so your journey is seamless and stress free:
Checking with your airline and airports
- Talk to your airline well in advance of your holiday so they can arrange special assistance
- Ask your airline to explain the complete transfer process from arriving at the airport to embarkation
- Check the location of the special assistance receptions
- Enquire about fast-track security and special assistance waiting zone when airside
- Ask how and where your scooter will be stored on board an aircraft
- Supply your airline with the specification details they request regarding your scooter – model type, size, weight, battery type etc
- IMPORTANT – check which type of battery they allow on board
- Contact the airports you intend to fly from and land at, to see if any special assistance must be pre-booked
- Research and review accessible parking facilities at the airports
Checking your scooter before flying
- Make sure your scooter is in full working order or book a service
- Ensure your battery is fully charged and take your charger with you – check it works with different voltages. If not, you may need to purchase a voltage convertor
- Locate and photocopy your battery certificate which will have been supplied with your manual
- Contact your insurance company to see if your scooter is covered abroad
Bring to the airport
- Attach a tag to your scooter displaying specifications such as battery type, scooter weight and size
- Attach a print out of the folding instructions for baggage handlers
- A copy of your battery certificate
- An airsafe plug to ensure your scooter is immobilised
- Your scooter instruction and specification manual
- Your travel bag – an optional accessory with standard Minimos
This service operated by the QEF charity provides information and advice for children and adults with disabilities who are thinking about travelling by air. It provides individual cabin assessments, free information about flying with a disability and hire equipment to help make journeys easier.
Your rights to assistance
According to European Law 1107/2006, you have the right to assistance from the time that you arrive at the airport. This can include getting from a nearby hotel to the terminal entrance. Take time to look at airport maps before you travel so you are familiar with your intended route and can locate the special assistance receptions.
Take time to research the Blue Badge and accessible parking arrangements at the airport. Most will allow you to park for the normal fee however it is always advisable to check which provides the most accessible location for the best price.
TGA owner experiences
“If you contact your airline well in advance of flying, fill in the appropriate form and ensure you have all your scooter specifications with you when travelling, it can be hitch free. You just have to make sure the airline will take your make of scooter. Travelling with your own familiar scooter is so much better and cheaper than trying to hire one, we’ve had problems in the past with poor service and inappropriate products. Virgin Atlantic are always very supportive and I will be able to use my scooter independently throughout airport transit at Heathrow and Los Angeles. A far more pleasant travelling experience.”
Carolyn from Suffolk
“My Minimo Plus made my early Summer holiday in Menorca this year. It proved to be an absolute God-send. At both Gatwick and Mahon airports I was allowed to drive my Minimo Plus right up to the door of the plane and I was given priority treatment by friendly and supportive ground staff. I did write well in advance of travelling to both airlines (Monarch and EasyJet) and provided them with simple specification details of the scooter (model, dimensions, weight and Lithium battery type). At the airport check-ins I was asked to confirm a few details about the scooter, signed a form.
Before I boarded outbound and inbound planes, I personally folded the scooter, put on its protective case before the airport ground staff placed it in the hold of the plane. The airline and ground staff all seemed very impressed with the ease I had folding the Minimo Plus. It’s important to plan ahead but I would thoroughly recommend the TGA Minimo Plus to anyone thinking about selecting a folding scooter for overseas plane travel. “
John Phillips from Bromley, Kent
“We flew with Virgin airlines who were excellent in terms of their support – they allowed me to use my Minimo right up until boarding the plane at Heathrow. Within seconds it was folded down and then placed in the luggage hold. We had several connecting flights to catch from Detroit to Cincinnati to Memphis – all airport staff ensured my Minimo was ready for me when debarking, even the Captain reminded them on one occasion to get my scooter!”
Alan Gibbons from Surrey
We do hope this guide gives you the confidence to enjoy air travel with your scooter. Please contact use with any queries on: 0800 107 5349, our friendly experts are always ready to help you.
If you’d like to view our full range of scooter types available please click this link for Mobility Scooters.