Reinforcing scooter to avoid flight damage?

From a member of our community:

Has anyone had success reinforcing their scooter for a flight to avoid damage? Any tips?

I’ve flown several times on Southwest and never had damage to my scooter. I ride it up to the plane door and someone puts it in luggage, then brings it as soon as we land. I never check it at luggage check though.i

I will take the basket off and fold down the seat and steering column as far as it will go. I drive up to the door of the plane as well. I never worry about damage as it is the responsibility of the airline to repair or replace your equipment. They also must give you a loaner till it is repaired. I have had repairs twice and a replacement once. I even had to use a loaner on a cruise I took while they repaired my scooter. The damage has not been bad. Minor scratches, torn leather, basket bracket.

We also drive it up to the plane door and take the basket off. We usually pop it into manual mode and suggest they push it instead of drive it. We also always bring extra scooter keys. We travel a decent amount, mostly on American. We’ve only had the scooter broken once. They actually broke a wheel. It was on American and they did fix it.

I suggest taking any basket or attachments off before getting on the plane. Also, I usually rubberband instructions for moving scooter (put in neutral position instead of drive to push), and how to make it more compact. I also take the key with me.

I flew east coast to west coast and back without issue. The airline shipped it and my 4 wheeled rollator as adaptive equipment. I loosened the screw to the control arm and folded it down and tightened it. I also took the searvoff and packed it as flat as I could. I kept a key with me and left one in the ignition. When we reached Seattle someone from the airline came to our group and asked who owbed the scooter; he said we can’t get it to go. I went with him and first off; they had seat on backwards so I had him fix that. Then I noticed they had gear in neutral and I explained to him that it would not “go” in neutral. Once the fear was corrected it was fine. I did make sure that I had 2 brand new batteries in it before leaving home. I took it all over the ship for one week and then all over the week we went into Alaska by train. Coming back across country I had no issues regarding airlines and I even had to change planes in Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Kitty Wright