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A trip or holiday can be anything but relaxing if you can’t get around, so it makes sense to bring your own mobility scooter with you. However, there are a number of pitfalls along the way. Read on to find out more.
Your airline, ferry company, train operator, hotel or resort needs to make reasonable accommodations for you. For example, the Civil Aviation Authority says that you can travel with ‘reasonable’ amounts of medicines and medical equipment, as well as two pieces of mobility equipment free of charge.
Carriers are permitted to refuse equipment they cannot safely carry so it’s essential that you check with your airline, ferry company, train or coach operator to before you travel. Expect to need to give them at least 48 hours notice and detailed information about the equipment you need to travel with. It’s best to check before you book – look online for general guidelines or contact the carrier or tour operator directly. Type of battery, size of the mobility scooter and the weight of the scooter can all be issues. You may also need to deliver the scooter to a particular drop off area, so contact the carrier to arrange transport from the drop off to the aircraft, ferry, train or coach.
If your airline, tour operator or train loses or damages your mobility scooter, then you’ll be due a replacement and compensation. However, you may not get a like-for-like replacement (for example, you may be offered a bigger chair which doesn’t fold, so you can’t get it in the boot of your car) and compensation may be limited to a fixed maximum. For airlines, the maximum is £1,300. As a result, additional insurance to cover damage and out-of-pocket costs is essential.
While standards for accepting and transporting mobility scooters are fairly uniform across the EU, outside that area the options available vary. It’s essential that you consider your whole journey, including any transfers or taxi rides, as it may be difficult or impossible to find a vehicle which can accommodate your mobility scooter.
Depending on where you’re going, mobility scooters may be very common or entirely unheard of. Cobbled, rutted or potholed streets, steps, and road traffic laws may make getting about much harder than at home and it’s your responsibility to make sure your mobility scooter is safely and securely parked; that you’re complying with local laws and regulations (particularly traffic laws); and that you’re not a danger to yourself or others.