Travelling with a Mobility Scooter
Taking a trip or planning a journey can be challenging at the best of times. When factoring in limited mobility, those challenges can be further compounded. Whether taking your mobility scooter on a plane or whether your journey is by road or rail, discover where you can travel with your mobility scooter to ensure your travel plans won’t be interrupted.
One of the most important steps is to buy the correct type of scooter or electric wheelchair to make your travels more straightforward. If you’re a frequent flier, then choosing an aeroplane-friendly model is always a good idea. Likewise, if you are a daily driver, then choosing a mobility scooter that is easily folded into the boot of your car is just good sense.
In this blog, we’ve put together some of our most useful tips for travelling with a mobility scooter.
Top Tips for Air Travel
- Research airlines. When it comes to booking a flight with mobility scooters – whilst most operators are experienced at looking after passengers with different needs, it’s perhaps the case that not all airlines were created entirely equally where mobility is concerned! The cheapest airline may not always be the best option if you want to take your mobility scooter abroad. So it’s worth taking some time to do your research.
- Check the airline rating and reviews for mobility scooter users and pick your flights carefully. It is worth contacting the airline in advance in order to ensure your needs will be met both at the airport and on the plane.
- Book early. Make sure they’re fully aware you intend to take your mobility scooter with you on the plane and discuss exactly what that entails. Generally, scooters are considered assistive equipment, so would not affect your baggage allowance. Do bear in mind, though, that some flights or planes may not be fully equipped to transport and store your electric scooter, so booking early is a must.
- Be prepared to give your chosen airline your scooters’ specifics, such as dimensions, make, model, and weight.
- Make contact and arrange help before travelling to the airport. Avoid unpleasant surprises on the day of travel and discuss any access arrangements you may have with your airline, travel agent or tour operator before your flight. The good news is that special assistance staff are on hand to assist you on arrival at the airport right the way through to boarding the plane. At your destination, airline staff will return your scooter to you for your onward travels.
Top Tips For Car Travel
- When choosing a mobility scooter, make sure your car is suitable for transporting and storing it. Van-based MPVs are better for transporting larger electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters, but you should consider also the physical effort required to load/unload your scooter.
- If you have a standard-sized car, then it would be best to research collapsible mobility scooters or folding boot scooters. Lightweight scooters will be a better option for regular lifting into your car boot.
- You can check out our range of folding mobility scooters here. Our skilled staff are on hand to advise and ensure the weights and dimensions of your chosen lightweight scooter are right for you and your vehicle.
- Be prepared. Before embarking on a car journey, make sure your scooter is fully charged. If you know you regularly cover lots of distance on your scooter then it’s a good idea to keep spare charged batteries in your boot.
If you would like to see any scooter or powerchair up close call us today to book a FREE home demonstration on 0800 002 9633.
Top Tips For Public Transport
- When travelling by train, the great news is you can take your scooter with you without any difficulty. Take a look at the National Rail website in advance. There you can find useful information about their Passenger Assist service.
- You can contact the Passenger Assist service via the National Rail website or app, or you can phone, text or textphone/minicom in order to book any assistance you may need at the stations you are visiting. This could include help with carrying your luggage and providing mobility assistance such as ramps for embarking/disembarking from trains.
- When travelling by bus or coach – definitely do your homework first. Many companies do have priority spaces for wheelchairs, and there is often a permit scheme for mobility scooter users also. Research bus companies to find out which ones are part of a permit scheme – but be aware such schemes are often only valid for class 2 scooters with dimensions less than 60cm by 100cm.
- If you’re considering travelling on the Underground, again, it’s essential to plan ahead if you wish to take your scooter with you. Although steadily improving, many of the much older stations still don’t have lift access or step-free service. Use the TFL website to create a route that meets your needs.
Our overall top tips
- Of course, when travelling anywhere with mobility equipment there are a few top tips that are universal. Smaller scooters win in most scenarios where travel is concerned – a smaller folding scooter/travel scooter will pay dividends over a larger electric wheelchair.
- Although not a legal necessity, it’s a good idea to have insurance for your wheelchair or scooter, which will cover you against any potential claims against you and for any damage caused by or to your mobility device.
- Always keep your scooter charged and ready to go. And last but not least – take a spare key in case of emergencies!
If you’d like any further advice or information about travelling with your mobility scooter, you can contact us here and one of our friendly, expert team will be happy to assist you.