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Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

Northwest Michigan
posts: 141
reviews: 17
Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

Have rented mobility scooter for hubby in the past and we now purchased one. Previously, we had a wheelchair meet us at the airline gate to provide him transportation between gates, baggage, etc. We will be traveling to Vegas in March 2012 and are trying to decide if we want to check his scooter through to Vegas or check it at the gate.

Taking into consideration that attendant with wheelchair knows the fastest route between gates, we can see the benefit of simply checking the scooter through to Vegas. But at the same time, we are concerned about the scooter being damaged in transit and think that checking it at the gate would be best for it so it will not be banged around on the luggage carts etc. We are also considering a mixture of both. Have wheelchair for hubby so we can benefit from the attendant's knowledge, and me use the scooter to keep up with the long-legged attendants who seem to walk a mile a minute. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of the scenerios.

If you have any info to share with us about traveling with your scooter via air, we would GREATLY appreciate you sharing with us. This is a new experience for us.

THANKS for ANY input you can give us.

Gig Harbor...
posts: 4,117
reviews: 110
1. Re: Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

I think your second scenario sounds very good, as you state there are pluses and minuses - or you take the wheelchair and let hubby have the scooter. Yes - attendants move very fast.

. Checking your scooter at the gate is preferable - for several reasons and yes I think you have it all figured out.

I would not check the scooter - take it to the gate and with you idea upon landing I think sounds good. Have a great trip.

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
posts: 12,953
reviews: 208
2. Re: Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

I have never checked my scooter with my luggage. I always take it right to the door of the plane, and I pick it up there after we land. I find it so much more convenient to have my own transportation rather than wait for someone to push my wheelchair.

Your second alternative would provide you with the assistance that comes from having someone with good knowledge of the airport accompany you to your next gate or the luggage claim area. In your situation it might be a wise choice.

It is not something I would do because I pretty much know the way around the airports I use on a regular basis. I probably would feel guilty using someone to push a wheelchair for the primary purpose of guiding me, if I could accomplish them same thing by myself. There never seem to be enough wheelchair pushers to go around. I suppose I still take pride in doing as much for myself as I can.

I also like to plan my lay-overs with a couple of extra hours so we can get something to eat, browse in a bookshop or even visit the stores. I can do none of these things if I depend upon someone to push my wheelchair.

If you are extremely unsure of your ability to navigate the airport, then it might be best if you used a wheelchair pusher. I would not, however, tell anyone that you are using this person for navigation reasons rather than physical needs.

Northwest Michigan
posts: 141
reviews: 17
3. Re: Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

Thank you to both of you!!

Using a wheelchair and gaining the extra assistance does sound a little selfish in some ways. Having to deal with hubby's carry-on, cold medications, my carry-on and keeping hubby "on task" can be a bit overwhelming at times. MS plays with the short term memory and hubby gets tunnel vision time and time again as he is trying not to forget the one thing he wants to do. Example,...we need to stop by a restroom and he wants a cup of coffee. He'll by-pass the restroom to get a cup of coffee then complain that he needs a restroom. He is still VERY independent and actually still works. If it's just me at the airport, no problem. Have flown solo many times beginning when I was 14.

We have mounted a backpack on the chair of his scooter and it is removable. Would the airline consider this a carry on or part of the scooter or will each airline be different?

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
posts: 12,953
reviews: 208
4. Re: Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

Under your circumstances I believe it would be very prudent to put your husband in the hands of someone who will push his wheelchair while you take charge of your scooter. Hopefully the scooter will be delivered to the door of the plane prior to the arrival of the person who pushes the wheel chair.

My husband has your role in our marriage, and I know if I were to become any more forgetful he would need assistance getting both of us to our next gate. You have a very legitimate need for additional help in transferring and/or reaching the luggage carousels.

I do not know what to tell you about the backpack on your scooter. I am thinking that the crew who loads the scooter would not even pay any attention to it. I travel with a C-Pap and I always put it on the back of my scooter. About half of the time I forget to take it off, so it goes with the scooter into the plane. No one has ever said anything about it. I do have an address tag on my C-Pap. I would make sure to include that with your backpack. I have luggage tags on all of my luggage including my carry-ons.

Northwest Michigan
posts: 141
reviews: 17
5. Re: Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

Busy-Retired.....thank you so much for perspective from what could be my husband's view of the situation. Can't tell you how many times he will argue with me about something just to tell me after all is said and done that the way I wanted to so something was the best.

Our very first air travel together was only a couple years ago heading to Florida. Had ordered a wheelchair for him and knew NOTHING about what we needed to do. We checked in at kiosk and never had to go to the counter as our luggage was going down with my mom who was driving. So we did not get the wheelchair through security and had to deal with all of the carry on stuff by myself. Hubby refused to wear easy on / easy off shoes and was so concerned about putting his shoes back on I had to deal with EVERYTHING myself. Tubs were actually starting to fall off the conveyor as I couldn't get it all fast enough. TSA was of no help either.

I really do think we are going to gate check the scooter and still request wheel chair for hubby. I try hard to let him be as independent as possible while he still can. But there are times when I really just want things to go smoothly more.

THANK YOU AGAIN!!!! I really did need to hear it from "his" perspective so to speak.

Los Angeles
posts: 25
reviews: 1
6. Re: Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

Hi guys,

Would any of you be willing to talk to me about your experience at the airports while traveling with a disability?

I have traveled for a while with my family and friends with disabilities. I have an idea to help alleviate some of those burdens and concerns. But I would love to speak to one on your to validate some of my assumptions.

Thanks so much.

Orange, California
posts: 7
7. Re: Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

I will be traveling with my father in October from Los Angeles to Europe. It appears that my first question regarding using them for air travel has been answered by reading the responses from others in the postings. However, once in Europe, we will be taking a river cruise on the Danube for 8 days. He suffers with serious back problems and has numbing and pain in his feet from diabetes. As a result, he needs a walker to get around, but for longer walking distances and sight-seeing during land excursions the walker is not enough support. It is why I thought a mobility scooter would be great. Does anyone know if they are allowed on the river vessels or if they can be rented in the towns along the way? Looking forward to your input.

SheliaOrange County, CA.

Orange, California
posts: 7
8. Re: Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

I will be traveling with my father in October from Los Angeles to Europe. It appears that my first question regarding using them for air travel has been answered by reading the responses from others in the postings. However, once in Europe, we will be taking a river cruise on the Danube for 8 days. He suffers with serious back problems and has numbing and pain in his feet from diabetes. As a result, he needs a walker to get around, but for longer walking distances and sight-seeing during land excursions the walker is not enough support. It is why I thought a mobility scooter would be great. Does anyone know if they are allowed on the river vessels or if they can be rented in the towns along the way? Looking forward to your input.

SheliaOrange County, CA.

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 56,739
reviews: 70
9. Re: Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

Welcome to TripAdvisor, Shelia;

FYI...Proper forum netiquette is not to change the topic of a thread.

New topics get more visibility and therefore more qualified replies, as some people don't look at old topics once they have replied.

Also it is "considerate" to the OP so that replies don't get confused between their questions and those posed by others. It means that they will then not be receiving emails from TA telling them to check "their" topic for replies.

Please go back to this forum’s main page where you found this topic and click on the orange "Ask a question" button. You can then post your own question, and receive replies to it.

Best Regards

Scotland
posts: 5
reviews: 32
10. Re: Mobility Scooter - check through or check at gate?

I have a Prism Pavement scooter because my walking distance is limited and I am very slow. This model is small and light enough to lift and it will break down into three pieces if required. So far I have travelled with it from Glasgow or Edinburgh to France, Teneriffe, Gran Canaria, Kuala Lumpur via Dubai, Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi and Bali without problems or damage in transit. I have always been allowed to drive it to the gate but once there it depends upon the facilities as to how it is loaded into the hold.

a) if the plane is on the tarmac, the scooter can be taken at the gate or a special hoist vehicle may be used to transport wheelchair/scooter passengers direct to the door of the plane, after which the wheelchairs/scooters are loaded in the hold.

b) If the plane is linked to a moveable passage, then usually I am asked to drive the scooter right to the door of the plane from where the porters take it and load it in the hold. If there is a lift from the waiting area at the gate, sometimes the porters will take the scooter down to the hold that way and I will walk to the plane.

The porters are not supposed to lift the scooters for health and safety reasons, but they often carry mine down the steps at the plane door to the tarmac! I will always show them how to disengage gear for easy pushing,