Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?

7/21/2020

Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?

Wondering whether you can take your electric scooter on an airplane? As with all things air travel-related the answer should be simple, right? As you might expect, it’s not—or not entirely—but the short answer is no, you cannot take most folding electric scooters for adults in carry-on or checked baggage unless they have been specifically designated as a mobility aid.

Domestic Flights in the U.S.

The FAA has firm guidelines around lithium ion batteries, allowing only those up to 100Wh (watt hours) in carry-on luggage and up to 160Wh in checked baggage. Battery watt hours is a different measurement than the watts listed for the motor size. The watt hours might be marked on the scooter’s battery or in the manual. If not, you can multiply the ampere hours (ah) by the voltage to calculate the watt hours of your battery.
Most laptop, phone charger, phone, and tablet batteries fall under the 160wh threshold, while most electric scooter batteries are well above it. While there are electric scooters with small batteries under 160wh, these are very low-powered vehicles usually only designed for children. If you do have a small scooter that meets the requirements, you should still check on the specific rules for travel with your specific carrier. Batteries usually need to be removed and stored separately in carry-on or checked baggage.

If you can show that your electric scooter is a medically necessary mobility device, you should contact the airline several days before your flight to relay the details about your scooter’s size, weight, and battery size so that preparations can be made beforehand. Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight and find out about any additional surcharges and requirements for removing and packing the battery.

Mobility scooters have different requirements than recreational scooters. Batteries usually cannot exceed 300Wh, with a spare battery allowed of up to 300Wh or two spares of up to 160Wh each. Each airline will have its own rules and restrictions, so you’ll definitely want to call your carrier well in advance before you pack up and get ready to go.

International Guidelines

International guidelines around lithium-ion batteries tend to be even more strict. Because of the rare possibility of Li-ion batteries becoming overheated and exploding, they are classified and regulated as “dangerous goods” by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Their general guidelines are mostly identical to the FAA’s:

  • In cases where the lithium-ion battery does not exceed 100Wh, passengers may have
    these devices in either carry-on or checked baggage. This does not beg for the approval of the operator.
  • In cases where the lithium-ion battery exceeds 100Wh but does not go beyond 160Wh, passengers may have these devices in either carry-on baggage or checked. However, the approval of the operator is required and finally,
  • In cases where the lithium-ion battery exceeds 160Wh, the device is utterly forbidden from being in either passenger or crew checked or carry-on baggage.

These regulations apply on international flights, but aviation authorities in each region will have their own rules. In China, these are particularly strict. If you’re traveling in Europe, you’ll want to check with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), or contact administrations in specific countries. Each aviation authority and airline will likely make exceptions for mobility devices, so you’ll want to contact the relevant parties to make arrangements in that case.

In most cases, however, unless your scooter is a designated mobility device or a very small, low-powered vehicle, you will mostly likely be unable to take it on a plane anywhere in the world. Rather than traveling with a recreational scooter on an airplane, your best bet is to look into rental options at your destination. Electric scooters are fun, economical, and environmentally friendly ways to navigate your city, or a new city you’re discovering for the first time, but they are not currently suitable for air travel. Perhaps with the widespread adoption of electric scooters as ideal personal vehicles, the situation will change in the near future, and the FAA and other agencies will pass new rules to accommodate riders.


Need to Knows
The 2022 Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

9/30/2022

The 2022 Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

“Is my scooter legal?” is a question many are increasingly asking. The micromobility industry is one of the fastest-growing and most exciting in the world—with promises for...in addition to abundances of the basics of time and money savings. And with this pace of innovation comes a struggle for regulation to keep up.

Are electric scooters easy to ride?

9/21/2022

Are electric scooters easy to ride?

It might be a little bit of a generalization, but for most people, electric scooters are very easy to ride. They’re lightweight, have a low center of gravity, and usually feature some form of suspension, making them comfortable and fun to ride.

How To Maximize Your Electric Scooters Battery Life

6/10/2022

How To Maximize Your Electric Scooters Battery Life

Whether your battery is brand new or has already exceeded 500 cycles, taking proper care of it will help you get the most out of your e-scooter. So let's dive in.

The Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

3/30/2021

The Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

*Disclaimer: Unagi, INC. has used best efforts, but does not in any manner guarantee the accuracy of the below findings regarding electric scooter laws in the United States or internationally. Electric scooter riders or those considering to purchase or begin…

The True Environmental Impact of Electric Scooters

2/15/2021

The True Environmental Impact of Electric Scooters

It’s beyond question that we must drastically reduce carbon emissions in the coming years to head off the worst effects of climate change. How we do that has been a matter of considerably drawn-out debate. As individuals, it can be…

Do You Need Insurance for an Electric Scooter?

2/13/2021

Do You Need Insurance for an Electric Scooter?

The electric scooter boom has come with some highly publicized fears about scooter safety. Some of these concerns are justified. Nearly all studies have shown that scooters face the same dangers that bikes do, in addition to them being less…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Road?

1/28/2021

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Road?

New modes of transportation have been popping up all over the place thanks to incredible developments in lithium-ion battery and electric motor technology. These include electric bikes, innovative modern electric scooters like Unagi, as well as the shared scooters clustered…

Do You Need a License to Ride an Electric Scooter?

1/13/2021

Do You Need a License to Ride an Electric Scooter?

You’ve seen them all over your city’s streets, and everyone who rides one looks absolutely thrilled. So, why haven’t you picked up your own folding electric scooter yet? Maybe you’re worried about whether e-scooters require a driver’s license, or a…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Sidewalk?

12/21/2020

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Sidewalk?

It’s a reasonable question to ask. After all, it seems like the safer option. Can you, and should you, ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk? In many cases, the answer is no: you cannot. Story after story in electric…

Are Electric Scooters Legal in the UK?

9/28/2020

Are Electric Scooters Legal in the UK?

The electric scooter market, like virtually every other industry, has experienced some dramatic ups and downs in 2020. In March, for example, as the coronavirus spread uncontained, The Verge reported that in dozens of cities around the world, share companies…

Why Electric Scooters Are a Must Have for Commuters

9/19/2020

Why Electric Scooters Are a Must Have for Commuters

Micromobility is the “future of urban transportation,” analysts write in an extensive report from Deloitte, and electric scooters lead the way: “Adoption rates during their short time on the market have been impressive, surpassing that seen by popular ride-hailing applications…

Are Electric Scooters Legal in NYC?

9/9/2020

Are Electric Scooters Legal in NYC?

It finally happened, and not a moment too soon. New York has legalized e-bikes and e-scooters statewide in an agreement reached in April during the last legislative session. This is great news for commuters, students, delivery workers, and all New…

Public Transportation in a Post-COVID World

9/2/2020

Public Transportation in a Post-COVID World

In only a few short months, the current pandemic has changed the way we do nearly everything, from getting to work to gathering (or not) in public. Fears of the virus multiply when it comes to public transportation. Public transit…

Electric Scooters: Range vs Weight

8/19/2020

Electric Scooters: Range vs Weight

Advances in battery technology have led to a market filled with high-quality electric scooters for everything from tooling around the neighborhood to competitive off-road racing. It’s an exciting time to buy a scooter, but also a confusing time, given the…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter in the Rain?

7/21/2020

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter in the Rain?

“No” is the standard answer to the question of whether you should ride an electric scooter in the rain. But can you ride an electric scooter in the rain? There are times when it may be safe to do so…

Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?

7/21/2020

Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?

Wondering whether you can take your electric scooter on an airplane? As with all things air travel-related the answer should be simple, right? As you might expect, it’s not—or not entirely—but the short answer is no, you cannot take most…

Is It Worth Buying an Electric Scooter?

6/17/2020

Is It Worth Buying an Electric Scooter?

As cities become more crowded and traffic worsens by the year, the old ways of commuting have become increasingly unsustainable. So, is it worth buying yourself an electric scooter?

How Fast Can Electric Scooters Go?

2/24/2020

How Fast Can Electric Scooters Go?

How Fast Do Electric Scooters Go Step aside, skateboards, electric bikes, and mopeds.  These days electric scooters are so ubiquitous, you can hardly pass by your neighborhood coffee shop, ATM, or happy hour hotspot without encountering one (or a few).…

Micro Mobility & Local Culture

4/15/2019

Micro Mobility & Local Culture

“Nice neighborhood you’ve got there. Sure would be a shame if someone put a highway through it.” So says the text over the face of Robert Moses in a meme that launched the Facebook group “New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented…