Can you take electric scooters on a plane? The simple answer is yes for scooters with a battery size of less than 160Wh. The longer answer is you will need to double check with your carrier and local laws. The most important question you will be asked is what is your battery size.
If you read on, we will also have information on electric scooters that are approved for flight. We will also break down the cost and how to get actually get your scooter on a plane.
Airline approved travel requirements
The FAA has specific guidelines on the size of batteries and the type of batteries that can be taken on board. The EU and other areas have very similar laws. If you are in Asia, you will find that the regulations are much stricter, particularly in China. I will be working from the FAA guidelines, and you will have to double check with your carrier and local laws.
The FAA rules state that it only allows batteries of 100Wh as carry on and checked in luggage and you can take up to two spare batteries with you. With airline approval you are allowed to carry on a device with a 101 to a 160Wh battery, you must get prior approval though.
More on battery size rule
160Wh is the maximum battery size you’ll find in laptops and the battery rule is designed for laptops rather than an electric scooter. Finding an electric scooter with a battery that is below 160Wh is great fun. Most of the manufacturers list only the ampere-hour. To know what that is in watt-hours we need to multiply that figure by the battery’s voltage. You’ll be doing well if you can find manufacturers that list both.
That is why we have done the legwork for you and have a list of electric scooters that sit below the 160Wh limit below. Please be aware that the manufacturer’s specifications can change at any time so if you are buying an electric scooter for traveling with, please double check before purchase.
How to take an electric scooter on a plane
As with taking your scooter on buses or trains make sure your airline will allow you to take on a scooter. If they would prefer it to be checked in, make sure you ask them for guidelines on how they would like it packed. Don’t just wing it and hope for the best. Proper planning will make your travels easier.
If you can take your e-scooter as carry on luggage, ask them if it needs a bag or has to fold into a certain size. You do not want to be at the check-in desk and discovering you have a problem. The people behind you the queue don’t want to be held up easier. Airports are stressful so be calm and know what your airline’s guidelines are.
Regardless of the battery being approved for flying you need to make sure you hit all the requirements your airline may have for bag size. Going above the bag size set by your airline will incur extra charges or refusal to carry. We have an entire article dedicated to carrying your electric scooter. Check it our here.
Check if extra charges
You may also see they have charges for sports equipment, trying to argue at the airport that your scooter is transport and not sports equipment is doomed to failure. If you think you may be charged for sports equipment mention this when you book your tickets. The ticket seller may let you off with the sports equipment charges. Make sure you keep a note of this.
So at home fold your scooter and get out the measuring tape. All e-scooter manufacturers will have their methods for folding so follow them. If you are putting it in a bag or cover make sure you put it in whichever you choose. Then measure it, then measure it, and to be sure measure it a third time. You should now know for a fact whether it fits your airline’s bag requirements.
Scooters that airlines can carry
Some of the scooters listed below will have an above 100Wh battery so you will need to call your airline and let them know. There are scooters with batteries below 100Wh, but they will all have so low a run time or power that you will just be carrying extra weight with you.
Viro Rides Electric Scooter
The VIRO Rides comes with 12V 7Ah battery. This size of the battery sits below the 100Wh limit so you will not need to contact your flight company to book it onto flights. It is capable of 10 mph, and your thumb easily controls this speed with an easy to use throttle.
It has a recommended 120 lbs limit, and if you are under that weight, you can expect it to take you 6 miles before needing to be recharged. It is also worth remembering that it is a heavy e-scooter, almost double the weight of the SoFlow below. Something worth bearing in mind if you have to carry it around.
SoFlow Flowboard Air Aluminium Electric Scooter
Looking at the SoFlow, you would be hard pressed to realize that it is an electric scooter. There is no big bulky battery. It looks like a standard run of the mill commuter scooter. It is also reasonably light and folds into a pretty compact space. Perfect if you are carrying it on and off of flights.
Its lithium-ion battery is capable of lasting for 10 miles, and it has a top speed of 15 mph. It could be a great way of hopping between metro stops as you explore a new city or getting to that gallery you have to see before it shuts.
JD Bug Sport Series
The JD Bug is a slick looking e-scooter. JD Bug initially specialized in making scooters for children. They then took this experience and have translated it into creating scooters that are great for people just getting in electric scooters.
The JD Bug has a top speed of 10mph. Which is handy if you are just getting used to e-scooters and do not want an e-scooter that will take off and just leave you hanging on for dear life. Its battery is just under the 160Wh limit, so you will find that this speed will last you for 40 minutes.
By utilizing just a thumb start the JD bug is a simple scooter to get on and just start riding. It also folds up into an easily carried package to make sure you can get on and off public transport with ease.
Razor E-Prime Electric Scooter
Razor scooters (link to Razor website) have been around for around 20 years at this point. In their first 6 months of existence, they sold 5 million scooters. That is a lot of scooters. It is only natural that as e-scooters became popular, they would use their popularity to back the trend.
The Razor E-Prime (link to Amazon) folding scooter comes with a Li-ion UL2271 battery. A little googling and we found out that this battery is rated at 159Wh — not a lot of room below the battery limit but just enough to get you on a flight.
The Razor E-prime is good for getting you up to 15mph and has a run time of 30 minutes. It is ideal from small hops around places, and it is excellent for quick sightseeing missions. You will also need to be aware that the E-Prime has a weight limit of 176 lbs.
There is other good news though if you are using the E-Prime around airline travel. It comes with 8” solid rubber tires so you won’t need to worry about punctures and you’ll also have a nice ride height.
Cost of electric scooters
What you will find is that many of the scooters that you will be able to carry on a flight come in at under $500. The reason is that over $500 manufacturers are focused on the best batteries they can source for their products. Read more about the real cost of ownership of a scooter in this article.
These batteries are designed for higher speeds and longer running times. That takes them over many air carriers policies. The easier and lighter a scooter is the more powerful its battery is. Meaning that many of the great new e-scooters all have a battery that you will not be allowed on a plane with.
If you want electric scooters with longer running time when you arrive at a holiday destination, it may be worth checking to see if you can hire e-scooters. There are many companies which now specialize in the hire of e-scooters, and this may simplify your holiday experience. You won’t have the extra hassle of trying to fit your scooter on the plane and you won’t have to pay to add it to checked luggage.
The other option may even be to buy one when you arrive at your destination and sell it at the end. Obviously, this idea benefits a longer stay and may not be ideal for a weekend city break.
Now you know whether your scooter has a battery that airlines will allow on. You know whether your scooter can be taken as carry on or checked in luggage. You also know how to fit it and baggage size requirements.
Having this knowledge should mean that flying with your electric scooter should be a breeze. As we have said, proper planning makes your trip easier and will give you peace of mind as you embark on your globetrotting experience.