Can you bring an electric scooter on a plane? Ultimate guide!

Electric scooters are among the trendiest gadgets nowadays. Many people can´t imagine their lives without them and they will want to take their electric scooters on long-time business trips or vacations. But most electric scooter owners are confused about the vague rules regulating e-scooters transportation via passenger airplanes.

Before you take your electric scooter on board you should find an answer to an important question:

Can you bring an electric scooter on a plane?

Can you bring an electric scooter on a plane

Unfortunately, the answer won´t make you happy.

Most airlines don´t allow bringing electric scooters on a plane because of their lithium-ion batteries. The first priority for all air companies is the safety of their passengers, and an electric scooter battery might be risky since it has the potential to explode.

Very few commercial airlines are friendly to electric scooter owners and let said gadgets aboard: Vietnam Airlines, Delta Airlines, and S7. However, there are many restrictions. If you want to bring an electric scooter on board, you should check the scooter’s battery capacity. The maximum lithium-ion battery storage allowed for taking on a passenger flight is 160 Wh (or 100 Wh for carry-on luggage).

Nevertheless, you may bring your electric scooter with you if you can prove that it is a medically necessary mobility device that is required by your condition.

This article will explain to you the rules currently enforced by the main airlines so that you won’t get into trouble.

How can I find out if my electric scooter is allowed on an airplane?

According to all guidelines and regulations, the main factor deciding whether an electric scooter can be taken on a plane is the battery size. No, it is not its height or length. It is all about battery storage.

It can be easily calculated: just multiply the battery capacity (nominated in Ampere hours) by the battery voltage (nominated in Volts). Both numbers should be given in your scooter’s manual. The result will be the battery storage nominated in Watt-hours. Then, check if the lithium-ion battery of your electric scooter is approved by the passenger airlines.

Let´s see the rules in different parts of the world.

International flight rules

International flights are regulated by IATA (International Air Transport Association) guidelines. IATA is not fond of transporting Li-ion batteries on board passenger flights, since they see the batteries as a fire hazard. This guideline was set as a reaction to the questions operators and carriers constantly asked. Here are the most important rules:

  • An electric scooter with battery power up to 100 Wh can be brought on board either as carry-on or checked baggage. Thus, it won´t need the operator’s approval.
  • An electric scooter with a lithium battery from 100 to 160 Wh can be brought on board as accompanied or checked baggage, but you will need the operator’s approval to bring an electric scooter on board.
  • An electric scooter with battery power exceeding 160 Wh is prohibited from taking electric scooters on a passenger flight, fair and square. You shouldn’t even try to seek the operator’s approval. Unfortunately, most electric scooter batteries are above this limit, so more likely that you won´t be able to bring an electric scooter on board.
IATA rules

Speaking of international flights, you should always check the carriers’ rules before booking a flight. They may differ from country to country and from airline to airline. Moreover, the rules can change, and more often they´re getting tougher every year, so make sure you have up-to-date information.

A general stipulation for all e-scooter models allowed to be brought on a passenger flight is that the battery should be removed and isolated to prevent it from creating a fire hazard risk during the flight.

If you got the approval it´s better to have it with you (you can print it or just have it on your smartphone) because the TSA officer is the one who makes the final decision and it will help you to save your time while passing through the security screening. You´ll just show your permission and will follow to your flight.

European Airlines

Besides IATA guidelines, you should check EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) rulebook if you go to Europe. It is not so different from IATA rules, but you should remember that every airline has opt-out rights.

EASA rules

The electric scooter rulings for most European carriers are strident. For example, Lufthansa (one of the leading commercial airlines in the world and a German flag carrier) outright prohibits passengers from taking e-scooters (among the other similar devices, like hoverboards or electric bikes).

British Airlines or KLM follow basically the same rules. Ryanair (one of the biggest European low-cost airlines) doesn’t let electric scooters on board, too. Other big European low-cost services (like EasyJet or WizzAir) don´t allow to take such devices as hoverboards, drones, or electric scooters neither on board nor as checked-in baggage.

Good news: there are some e-scooter-friendly airlines in Europe!

The most notable is Russian S7 Airlines. This airline allows its passengers to bring electric scooters with them on board (in compliance with all said IATA regulations).

Another prominent European airline letting its passengers bring electric scooters aboard was Turkish Airlines (or THY), but, sadly, the Turkish flag carrier now prohibits the e-scooters from being on board their planes.

Asian Airlines

Asia is a big continent with many countries. It’s not surprising that different countries may have different approaches to commercial flight luggage regulation.

China is known as the biggest electric scooter manufacturer. However, every Chinese airline (from juggernauts like Air China to small regional carriers) bans scooters (and other similar vehicles) from being taken on a passenger flight board.

All the biggest Middle-Eastern airlines (Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, and Saudia) don’t let electric scooters be taken as carry-on luggage or checked baggage.

Speaking of Far-Eastern airways, we should mention Vietnam Airlines as one of the most electric scooter-friendly airlines. It also lets its passengers bring scooters if the battery storage doesn’t exceed 100 Wh and carries the scooters with battery storage of less than 160Wh in hand baggage. Lithium batteries should be approved by operating airlines beforehand.

Vietnam airlines rules

Other carriers are not so friendly, by the way. Air Asia doesn’t let “personal motorized vehicles” on board its planes. The two biggest Japanese airlines (Air Nippon and Japan Airlines) don’t let electric scooters as carry-on or luggage, either (Japan Airlines clearly names “electric small scooters” among the blacklisted items).

South American Airlines rules for electric scooters on board

Virtually all South American air carriers prohibit their passengers from bringing their electric scooters on their airplanes. Most of them clearly say it in the guidelines published on their websites (or social media accounts). There is some uncertainty with Viva Air regulations, though.

African Airlines rules

There are not so many big passenger services in Africa, but some publish their carry-on luggage and baggage regulations on their websites. Royal Air Maroc, for example, clearly states that electric scooters (among other similar devices) are prohibited from taking aboard.

Can I take my electric scooter on a plane

North American Airlines rules

Domestic flights in the United States are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). FAA issued regulations for all battery types. Here is the summary of FAA regulations:

  • Dry cell rechargeable batteries (like NiMH batteries) are allowed for passenger flights.
  • Lithium-ion batteries of all types are allowed for taking on board if the said batteries don’t contain more than 2 grams of equivalent lithium content (or have a battery size exceeding 100 Watt-hours). This rule spreads to all battery types (from AAA and buttons to most laptop batteries).
  • There are plenty of gadgets that can be taken as carry-on baggage (smartphones, tablets, laptops, camcorders, etc.) Sadly, most e-scooter models exceed the limit, so it will be difficult to take your beloved electric scooter on a plane. Said rules do not apply to medically necessary mobility devices (like electric wheelchairs or travel mobility scooters).
  • All batteries should be isolated (in order to prevent the short circuit). You can do it with the isolation switch or similar mechanisms.
  • With airline approval, passengers may also carry up to two spare larger lithium-ion batteries (101–160 Wh) or lithium metal batteries (2-8 grams) in carry-on baggage only.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Some people try to use the said rule as a loophole while splitting their scooter’s battery pack in an attempt to pass it as a spare battery, but you shouldn’t do it. It is not the safest thing for air traveling (since you still deal with lithium-ion batteries).

Electric scooter rules by major US carriers

As it was stated earlier, airlines may opt out of IATA and FAA rules, setting their own. So, you should check the rules of all available carriers to find out whether it is allowed to bring your electric scooter with a lithium-ion battery both as carry-on baggage or checked baggage. Let’s take a look at the main American airline rules considering the possibility of taking the electric scooter on a plane as either carry-on baggage or checked baggage.

American Airlines

American Airlines is the largest commercial carrier in the world, by far. So we must check AA rulings related to electrically-powered scooters and similar vehicles (like self-balancing scooters). It turns out that American Airlines outright bans any mobility devices powered by lithium-ion batteries (like electric scooters or hoverboards). It is clearly stated on AA’s official website and social media accounts.

American Airlines

United Airlines

United Airlines has a comprehensive list of banned items. One of the significant paragraphs is the description of “recreational self-propelled vehicles or devices designed to carry one or more persons or goods“. Among them are self-balance wheels, hoverboards, electric bicycles, motorized riding suitcases, and electric scooters.

United Airlines

Delta Airlines

Atlanta-based airline requires all lithium-ion batteries to be disconnected for visual inspection. Delta bans all self-balancing vehicles and devices from taking on board. There’s no certainty whether electric scooters fall under this definition, however. Collapsible mobility gadgets (like mobility aid scooters) are allowed, by the way. Passengers can have two spare batteries (each less than 160 Wh) on one bigger spare battery (less than 300 Wh).

JetBlue

JetBlue is the best-known low-cost airline in the USA. According to JetBlue regulations, most mobility devices (like hoverboards, electric skateboards, or electric scooters) can not be brought on board by passengers. They are not allowed either as hand or checked baggage.

JetBlue

Airline-approved mobility scooters

All these rules make an average electric scooter owner wonder whether this or that gadget can be taken on a plane. Well, there´s no room for doubt. Most high-performance electric scooter models with lithium batteries are barred from taking aboard.

However, there are some models that shouldn’t be a problem for the e-scooter-friendly air services. For example, there is Viro Rides (its battery size is just 84 Watt-hours). Other airline-approved scooters are E Micro Falcon X3 (90 Wh) and Razor E90 (90 Wh), Razor EcoSmart (108 Wh), Razor EPrime (115 Wh), Razor E100 (120 Wh), and JDBug (158 Wh). All those models should be carried as checked-in luggage.

Airline-approved mobility scooters

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to take a lithium-ion battery scooter on a plane?

Taking lithium-ion batteries is not dangerous per se. However, having a powerful device turned on or a bunch of batteries wounded up can be pretty dangerous for a plane and the passengers. Planes are considered safe transport mean, sure, but emergencies in the air put many lives at risk, so you shouldn’t abuse the transportation rules.

If you wonder whether you can use your electric scooter manually without its battery, you can find it out here: Can electric scooters be used manually?

Which airlines allow bringing an electric scooter on a plane?

We should name Delta Air Lines, Vietnam Airlines, and S7 Airlines as the most notable carriers letting their passengers take their electric scooters on a plane.

Can I bring another assistive device on an aircraft?

In comparison to recreational devices (like electric scooters or hoverboards), rules for mobility aid devices are not so strict. You can bring an electric scooter (not a recreational, designated mobility device) on board with a disconnected battery. WARNING: never try to use this ruling as a loophole for bringing an electric scooter (or its battery) on a plane!

Can I take my child’s electric scooter on a plane?

Many kids will want to take their favorite electric scooter with them wherever they go. Children’s models are less powerful, so it is possible to bring some models on a plane. It can be taken as a carry-on in most cases. However, check the carrier’s rules and the battery storage on its official website before reserving the tickets.

How do you transport an electric scooter?

  • First, you should turn the electric scooter off.
  • Then, fold the kickstand and every foldable part of your scooter.
  • Remove all the accessories.
  • Bubble wrap your scooter and tape the wrap (the most vulnerable parts require extra layers of bubble wrap).
  • Then, put your electric scooter in a waterproof bag (most models have one by default).
Can I take my child's electric scooter on a plane

What to do if you can not bring your scooter on a plane?

If you go on a vacation trip, you should rather rent an electric scooter. There’s a wide variety of electric scooter rentals now, so it isn’t a big issue. If you move to another place you will need to sell your scooter and buy a new one in a new place. It won’t be a problem to find a store and pick a model that best suits you.

Tell us about your experience if you tried to take your electric scooter on board and if the air company let you do it. We´ll appreciate your comments!

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