Travelling by plane and unsure if you can take your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair batteries with you on your flight?
We get asked about travelling with mobility batteries fairly frequently. So we have taken the time to research and have spoken to airlines such as QANTAS in regards to their battery policies.
The good news is....you can take your batteries with you on domestic and international fights, regardless of whether you are using AGM, Gel or Lithium type batteries.
While airlines specify that batteries are forbidden on airplanes, they also state that batteries for mobility aids, such as scooters and powered wheelchairs, are exempt from this rule.
But there’s a few important factors you should be aware of before you take off in relation to storing your batteries during your flight. You will also first need the airline’s approval before your flight and will need to declare the batteries during check-in.
In this blog, the Valen team will take you through everything you need to know about taking your scooter or wheelchair batteries on an airplane.
Getting approval from your airline – questions and documentation
Before you fly, you’ll need to contact your airline to request permission to bring your mobility batteries with you.
The airline will ask you a number of questions in relation to your battery. Standard questions asked prior to issuing an airline approval can include:
- What is the make and model of the mobility aid?
- What is the battery type? (e.g. AGM, Gel or Lithium)
- What is the battery Amp Hours (capacity)?
- What is the battery Voltage?
- What is the battery weight and dimensions?
If you’re travelling with a mobility aid, the airline will request you send through a test certificate or Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to ensure the battery has been tested to meet Section 38.3 of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and is therefore permitted to be transported by air.
You can contact your battery supplier for a copy of these certifications as well as the battery specifications to supply to the airline.
Guidelines for taking mobility batteries on a flight
Before you fly, remember to check your airlines' Dangerous Goods policy to confirm their requirements. Please keep in mind that rules may vary when travelling in different countries and with different airlines. So it's always a good idea to call ahead and double check!
The following are general guidelines for bringing different types of batteries on a flight.
AGM and Gel Battery Guidelines
For a collapsible mobility aid:
- It is usually required that the battery be removed from the aid if travel is within or outside of Australia
- If the battery is going to be removed from the mobility aid, it should be packed into a strong rigid container
- The battery terminals must be protected e.g. taping over the exposed terminals to prevent the possibility of short circuiting
For a battery enclosed in a mobility aid:
- The battery must remain securely attached to the aid
- The battery terminals must be protected e.g. in a container
- The ON/OFF switch must be in the OFF position
Lithium Battery Guidelines
For a collapsible Mobility Aid:
- It is always required that the battery be removed from the aid
- The battery must be protected from damage, e.g. individually carried in a protective pouch
- The battery terminals must be protected, e.g. taping over the exposed terminals to prevent short circuiting
For a battery in an enclosed mobility aid:
- The battery must remain securely attached to the aid,
- The battery terminals must be protected, e.g. in a container
- ON/OFF switch must be in the OFF position
Need further advice on taking your mobility batteries on a flight?
The team at Valen are here to support you with all of your mobility battery needs.
If you’d like more information, please click here to get in touch with our expert team. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have.