Plane Talk - Electric wheelchairs on-board
Air travel is becoming more and more accessible to those with disabilities, so what do we need to consider if travelling with an electric wheelchair?
There are different procedures in place depending on the type of batteries a wheelchair uses. Most modern types use gel-type non-spillable batteries, which are considered to be non-dangerous and can be loaded along with the checked baggage in the cargo comopartment of an aircraft without further restrictions.
Older wet cell batteries require disconnection of the battery and possibly removal of the battery from the wheelchair with the battery being packed in a special box, depending on the type of aircraft.
Lithium battery powered wheelchairs will also have additional requirements.
Please check with the manufacturer / distributor of the wheelchair and battery to get appropriate documentation and also, it's best to check with the airline well ahead of your planned trip.
More information on travelling with batteries can be found here in our Plane Talk episode on lithium batteries.