My experience has been, when the entire scooter is stored inside the bag, the airport baggage handler treats it like just another bag and often does not handle it with the proper care. This occasionally leads to damage on scooter and/or bag. Also, airport personnel don't always realize that they are dealing with a mobility device inside the bag; once in a while they ignore the gate check tag and forward the bag containing the scooter to baggage claim.
Below I describe a way to transport the TravelScoot that allows airport personnel to clearly see that it is a mobility aid. Furthermore, this method practically forces them to use both hands when carrying the TravelScoot (up and down the gangway steps, for example), resulting in more careful handling. I have traveled this way already several times, and not once was my TravelScoot damaged. Also, when traveling, I no longer fold the TravelScoot, and I leave its carrying bag at home.
At this point I want to emphasize that the single capacity Li-Ion battery contains 24 grams of lithium, which is below the upper limit of DOT regulations Department of Transportation (DOT). For further information also visit the website of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Because of the light weight and compact size of the TravelScoot, no special arrangements have to be made with the airline in advance of your travel. However, as policies and handling practices differ, we recommend that you contact your airline in advance of your travel. Print out the above DOT document and include with your request and also carry with you. This will help avoid problems shortly before your departure. Additional battery documentation is available on request. Also, if you receive approval after contacting your airline, have the agent include this approval in writing in your ticket information; gate agents are not always 100% informed on all policies and regulations regarding mobility devices, and this may result in redundant and time-consuming questions. Before you start your trip, be organized. Your carry-on luggage shall fit underneath your seat across the trailing arms. Like your carry-on luggage, your check-in luggage should have rollers. You can also take a spare battery.
At the airport, when you set up your TravelScoot, stack the second battery on top of the main battery If you are traveling alone, tow your check-in suitcase with your left hand and drive to the check-in counter. Drive slowly because you can apply only one brake.
At the security checkpoint, you can usually bypass the waiting crowd, ask for assistance. They ask you whether or not you can stand up. You could remain seated but be aware that you may be subjected to a body search. To avoid this embarrassing procedure, better stand up and walk the few yards through the x-ray frame. They will perform a security check on your scooter. After you are cleared you can proceed to the gate. Park in the vicinity of the counter. Disabled persons with their equipment are asked to board before the rest of the passengers.
At the door of the aircraft you are boarding, protect the handlebar with the cover *1 of the travel kit and slide the steering column all the way down. Remove the batteries and store them in the padded battery bag *2. Depending on the airline and/or their staff, you take either the batteries into the cabin or they will be loaded with the scooter in the cargo bay. For the latter, briefly remove the seat, slide the bag *2 over the yoke’s receptacle and re-attach the seat. This will ensure that scooter and battery will not be separated during cargo handling.
After arrival stay seated until most of the passengers are gone because usually it takes a while until gate checked items are delivered.
Have an enjoyable Trip!