mobile Independence Mobility NHS




© Permobil 

At Independence Mobility, we believe there should be no barriers when it comes to living an independent and fulfilling life as a wheelchair user, and for those who love to travel, we want to empower you to follow your passions and explore the world. 

We understand that air travel with a powered wheelchair can feel intimidating, especially for first-timers. However, with the right preparation and knowledge, you can turn a potentially stressful experience into a smooth and enjoyable journey. 

Here are some essential tips to help you navigate how to fly confidently as a powered wheelchair user; 

1. Research Airlines Early 
Before booking your flight, check the policies of different airlines as each company and country has different standards as to what they will allow onboard.
As standard, powered wheelchairs can’t be taken onto the passenger cabin of the plane, so plan for your comfort accordingly.
Once you book your ticket, inform the airline of the make, model, weight and size of your wheelchair before you travel. Some airlines have restrictions on the number of wheelchairs they can carry on a single flight (usually just 2 or 3), so notify them as soon as possible!


2. Request Special Assistance
As soon as you book your tickets, inform the airline about your need for special assistance. Provide them with all the details they will require to ensure they understand and can plan for your needs on the day of travel. 


3. Consult Your Equipment Manufacturer
Check the travel guidelines provided by your mobility equipment manufacturer. Even if you are an experienced flyer, different models of equipment may have different guidelines for safe transit and useful tips for travelling with your make and model. 


4. Document Your Wheelchair Condition And Know Your Rights 
Take photos of the condition of your wheelchair before your flight. This will be crucial for proof should any damage occur to your chair in transit, as airlines are responsible for this. 

If you find that your equipment is damaged, the airport will be also responsible for providing a temporary alternative for you while yours is repaired or replaced. 

Consider taking out additional insurance on your wheelchair before you fly. Although airlines are responsible for damage in transit, reimbursement limitations mean that the amount may not always cover the full cost of your wheelchair.

5. Charge And Pack Correctly
Make sure your chair is fully charged before you travel. Pack your charger and make sure to include the appropriate adapter for the country you are visiting.  


6. Prepare And Protect Your Chair 
Take steps to prepare your wheelchair for travel. Secure loose parts and protect delicate components with an appropriate bag or cover. 

7. Arrive Early 
Give yourself plenty of time. Aim to arrive with at least 3 hours early for long-haul flights and head to the gate as soon as possible to allow ample time for any additional procedures.


8. Communicate With Airport Assistance 
Get in contact with airport assistance services as soon as you arrive to discuss your needs, timing and next steps.  In most cases, you should be able to remain in your wheelchair until boarding. 


9. Keep Information Handy 
Have details about your wheelchair, including the operating manual and its batteries readily available when you travel and make it easy for the crew to access this information if needed.

Attach a complete set of instructions for handling your device to your wheelchair to ensure it comes back in the condition you left it in. 

10. Inspect On Arrival 
Immediately check your wheelchair’s condition upon arrival. If you do notice any damage, document it with photos and file a claim with the airline right away. 

We hope that wherever your journey takes you, it's a smooth and enjoyable experience, and these tips empower you to travel confidently with your powered wheelchair.

To find out more about power wheelchairs, visit our websiteemail us or call our team on 0113 262 8000. Happy travels! 


Additional useful resources;

Permobil wheelchair travel support

Or for more information on specific airline policies, visit the travel assistance pages for: 

British Airways / Virgin Atlantic / Jet2TUI / EasyJet / Ryanair 

Contact Us


* By providing your email address and contact details, you acknowledge that you have read our Privacy Policy and that you consent to Independence Mobility processing your data in accordance with this. Independence Mobility will send you regular updates containing helpful information and advice. You may opt-out of these updates at any time by clicking the unsubscribe button or by emailing or by calling 0113 2628000.


Thank you for contacting us.
A member of our team will get back to you soon.

Independence Mobility
Independence House
6 Buslingthorpe Green
Telephone: 0113 2628000
Fax: 0113 2628001


Join our mailing list: subscribe



Follow Us