Unplanned flight incidents for my Travelscoot

Unplanned flight incidents for my Travelscoot

Damage to the footrest, its unusable

I think I’ve got a problem sorted then something happens and no amount of planning I do can possibly predict this. I have just returned from a five-week trip to Australia with seven flights. Call two of them problematic 🙁 just unplanned flight incidents for my TravelScoot. My mobility scooter was damaged by an airline twice in Australia.

Flight from Melbourne to Adelaide

The baggage handlers at Melbourne told me to fold up the Travelscoot, big mistake.  We landed and I saw the luggage being unloaded Next I see The Trike and it had been unfolded.

‘Oh that’s very kind and considerate of the baggage handlers’ I said.

When I got off the plane a stewardess said, ‘The baggage handlers lost a spring on the leg hinge. They were trying to unfold it for you’

‘Yeah it is a bit of a knack to unfold it’. Brute force or ignorance are unnecessary.

‘Oh shit but it’s not the end of the world’ I say to myself. At least I can ride it so I thought no more about it.

Flight from Uluru to Sydney

Unplanned flight incidents for my Travelscoot

Missing foot lock, look carefully

The Trike went onto the plane unfolded. As we landed at Sydney the heavens opened, there was an almighty thunderstorm and mistake number two.

The landing was bumpy and there was thunder and lightning. No one was allowed onto the tarmac until the storm was over. All the passengers had to wait for their luggage at the carousel. A wheelchair took me into the arrivals hall. Twenty minutes later our bags arrived, we put them onto a trolley.

Unplanned flight incidents for my Travelscoot

‘Where is the trike?’ The Wife asked me a few minutes later.

‘Ummmm, that is a good question. I don’t know. Do you think it could be in Outsize Luggage with my Rollator.

Both arrived a few minutes later. I put the battery into The Trike, turned the power on and drove out of the arrivals building. The Wife went ahead to get a taxi. All of a sudden the trike stopped, the power lights were now off.

She organises a large taxi. She looked for me saying ‘well where are you?’

‘It’s not working there is no power.’

Meanwhile someone jumped the queue and tried to take our taxi. Stress levels were now getting a bit too high.

I sat on The Trike where it had broken down, I cried and swore profusely. What was the matter with The Trike? I need it and its broken, it doesn’t work.

Four days later

I see the TravelScoot rep in Sydney. He fixes the spring but it breaks again a couple of weeks later. Also does a temporary fix by taping the electrical power lead into the throttle. He said the baggage handlers must’ve pulled The Trike by the electrical cables. The foot pedal has sheared off the frame and the damage is not repairable. The cause was stress to the metal when the Travelscoot was on the oversized luggage conveyor belt.

I could not have foreseen either problem

I just did as I was told. The problems and consequences of the damage are horrendous. Did any of you have unplanned incidents when your scooter or wheelchair was in transit and how did you move on?

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October 2018


14 responses to “Unplanned flight incidents for my Travelscoot”

  1. Isla Burton says:

    Thanks for the tip about taking the backrest on as hand luggage (with the battery) – last time I did Edinburgh to Oz I packed the backrest in my case, which made getting on and off a challenge! Qatar got me to change to a wheelchair at Edinburgh airport and the TravelScoot went right through to Melbourne (via Doha) with no problems. Fingers crossed it’ll be the same when I do it again next month!

  2. Allan Miller says:

    Based on the dismal record of airlines damaging powered mobility scooters and wheelchairs I won’t fly with one. I travel with a Volaris Smart Patrol Rollator and a couple of folding canes I use manual wheelchair assistance at airports.

    I’d rather rent or borrow a mobility scooter at my destination.

    • Hello Alan,

      I have traveled lots of times and collection or delivery of wheelchair/mobility scooter to the aircraft cabin door eliminates so many opportunities for damage to take place. Get it gate tagged in the departure lounge but speak to airline in advance and at check-in. I’m afraid bad news always hits the headlines.

      Damage to my scooter only occured when it was treated as oversize luggage. My walker has never been damaged and that travels with me as oversized luggage

  3. Anne Davies says:

    How was your trip to Oz? Did your Travelscoot have to go into the hold in its bag or could you ride it to the departure gate? Am flying Singapore Airlines this summer.

    • Hello Anne,

      Trip to Australia was fantastic. I also went with Singapore airlines, no problems with them at all. Make sure they know about the Travelscoot long before you fly. Ride Travelscoot onto airbridge and make sure people at departures area put a ticket on it so Travelscoot returned to you on the airbridge when you land. Do not fold it up but lower handlebars as far as possible and take backrest unit and battery into the plane with you. Just in case of something happening it might be sensible to take photo of it on airbridge

      I hope all goes well. There is a Travelscoot agency in Sydney is there is any problem

  4. harald maschina says:

    hello i wood not travel with my scooter by plane ore even
    bay taxi unless you can load and unload your self
    they do not know how to grab it picking up wrongly can
    all ready create damage lots off problems with taxis
    load up your self

    • Hello Harald,

      I understand your sentiments and baggage handlers do not have a very good record for looking after fragile items. I would not be allowed to stow my mobility scooter on the aeroplane and I am not capable of doing it either. If it is collected and delivered from the air bridge and gate tagged it should be perfectly safe. The biggest problem occurred when it could not be delivered to the air bridge went through ‘Outsized Luggage’ and I believe this is what caused problems to my TravelScoot.

      Virgin Australia have offered me compensation. This is for half the price it will cost to replace the frame. I am negotiating with them.

  5. jozee lee says:

    Hi Patrick, I’m very sorry to hear of these problems and can appreciate the stress it all caused. I wonder if, because of these problems, it might be best to fold the T/S into it’s carrybag at boarding gate so no one but you does the folding and unfolding? I’m off to Australia in 2 months with mine so this is very useful info.

  6. I hope that there are no more problems lurking, Patrick.

    When we moved from Wales to the US, my power wheelchair was shipped by container – and the removers forgot to switch the power off. Six weeks later and I had a flat battery.

    The local wheelchair company changed the battery – it worked for a month. Now, I have a dead wheelchair and a company refusing to service the machine as it was built in Germany (by Invacare).

    Their solution: buy a US bult machine from them.

    • Hello Roland,

      No matter how careful you are something unexpected occurs and it can leave you totally floored. I am dealing with an Australian airline but there is a 10 working day turnaround of every email. Total disgrace

  7. Judy says:

    So sorry to hear this. What in the world were those baggage handlers doing?? Clearly, not paying attention to what they were supposed to be doing.

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