If you use something like a rollator to help you get around, you might be wondering if you can take it on a plane, and what is the right way to fly with a rollator?
Let’s explore the answers and figure out what to expect for your mobility aid during air travel.
Let’s dive right in.
The TSA’s Take On Rollators And Walkers
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows rollators and walkers on a plane as either a carry-on or a checked item.
According to the TSA, rollators and walkers are not considered prohibited items and can go through the security control without any issues.
You may need to request a manual pat-down if you cannot walk through the metal detector without your rollator.
The TSA has a “Passenger Support Specialist” which helps passengers with special circumstances.
So you don’t have to worry about the TSA or any other airport security.
Most airlines do offer complimentary wheelchairs or an airport escort (from the curb to the flight,) to help you get to your seat if you check in your rollator.
You can request this service when you book your flight or at least 48 hours before your departure.
However; whether you will use a rollator on board the airplane or not, you will need to check the dimensions and weight of your rollator and compare them with the airline’s carry-on and checked baggage limits.
You can find this information using this airline’s luggage size and weight calculator, or by browsing your airline website or calling their customer service.
Some airlines may have different limits for domestic and international flights, so make sure you check the right ones.
If your rollator is lightweight and foldable, you may be able to bring it as a carry-on and store it in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.
You can also opt for a bulkhead seat near the front of the airplane so you don’t have to go all the way to the back of the airplane.
This way, you can have it with you during the flight and use it when you need to get up or go to the restroom. You can also avoid the risk of losing or damaging your rollator if you check it in.
It will save you time when debarking the plane.
If the rollator is bulky or heavy, or if there is not enough space in the cabin, you may need to check it in at the ticket counter or the gate.
In this case, you should remove any detachable parts, such as the seat, the basket, or the footrests, and pack them separately.
You should also tag your rollator with your name, address, and phone number, and attach a tag that says “fragile” or “handle with care” as the handling of items will defer from airport to other.
Here is an answer from @AmericanAir on X to @Wendy stating that her mom could use her collator in the terminal and even carry it with her to the plane.
Do You Have To Pay To Take a Rollator On a Plane?
Another question that you may have is whether you have to pay extra fees to take your rollator on a plane.
The answer is usually no, but it may vary depending on the airline and the destination.
Most airlines do not charge you for bringing your rollator on a plane, whether as a carry-on or a checked item.
This is because rollators are considered medical devices or assistive devices that are essential for your mobility and health.
However, some airlines may have restrictions on the number, size, or weight of the items that you can bring for free, so make sure you check with them before you fly.
How Do You Pack a Rollator Walker?
Some passengers have unfortunately encountered situations where their rollators and walkers get destroyed.
And to safeguard your walker or rollator here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Use a strong travel bag or a cover for your rollator. This can help you keep your rollator clean, secure, and easy to recognize. You can buy a travel bag or a cover from your rollator manufacturer or from online retailers. You can also watch this video to learn how to assemble a travel bag for your rollator.
- Pack your accessories separately. If your rollator has accessories, such as a seat cushion, a backrest, a basket, or a cane holder, you should pack them separately in your carry-on or checked baggage. This can prevent them from getting lost or damaged during the flight. You can also use zip ties, tape, or plastic bags to secure them to your rollator if you prefer.
- If you have an electric powered walker or rollator, you should pack the batteries properly: according to the airline’s and the FAA rules. Generally, you should remove the batteries from your rollator and pack them in your carry-on baggage. You should also protect the terminals from short-circuiting by covering them with tape or placing them in a plastic bag. You should also label the batteries with the type and the watt-hour rating. You can find more information about traveling with batteries here.
Can You Bring a Rollator On International Flights?
The last question that you may have is whether you can bring your rollator on international flights.
The answer is yes, but you may need to follow some additional steps or procedures. Here are some things to consider when you bring your rollator on international flights:
Check the airline’s and the destinations policies. Different airlines and countries may have different policies or requirements for bringing your rollator on a plane.
For instance, some airlines may require you to fill out a medical information form or a special assistance request form before you fly.
You can travel with your rollator, a veloped or any type of wheeled walkers in both domestic and international flights.
While there might be additional screening, the TSA has no restrictions on mobility aid devices, provided that you’ve confirmed with your airline beforehand.
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Hope this helps
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