If you bring your own wheelchair
When you book a flight you should, as soon as possible and no later than 48 hours before scheduled time of departure, draw the attention of the air carrier or the travel agency to the fact you are a wheelchair user, as there is limited space in an aircraft’s cargo hold. The size and weight of the wheelchair can therefore mean that you cannot fly on a specific type of aircraft or that there is no room for the wheelchair on a specific flight departure
Therefore it is important to contact the air carrier in good time prior to the scheduled time of departure and inform them about the size and weight of your wheelchair as well as to receive a confirmation on the possibility to bring a wheelchair on your preferred flight. In addition, there are special rules regarding wheelchair batteries – read more below.
Electric wheelchairs cannot be brought into the cabin but must instead be handed in at the gate or checked-in with the other baggage. During the flight the wheelchair will be placed in the aircraft’s cargo hold. You can read more under baggage rules for electronic/electrical equipment. To minimize the risk of damage to the wheelchair, it is a good idea to disassemble all detachable parts before you hand over the wheelchair to the air carrier.
Please note that in the majority of airports it is possible to borrow a free wheelchair on arrival at the airport for use until boarding, but the type of wheelchair can vary greatly so for special requirements it may be advisable to seek more detailed information by inquiring at the airport in question.
On wheelchair batteries
Depending on which type of battery is used in the electric wheelchair, there are different rules that you need to be aware of.
IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulates hazardous goods and the rules for transporting wheelchair batteries can be found on their website.
Wheelchairs with dry-cell or gel batteries (dry battery/non-spillable battery): These battery types are deemed to be non-hazardous and are approved for transport in the aircraft cabin without restrictions. The battery must, however, be disconnected or removed – if the design of the wheelchair permits easy removal.
Wheelchairs with old fashioned wet-cell batteries: The battery must be completely disconnected and if possible removed from the wheelchair and placed in a special box, depending on aircraft type. There are also a number of requirements regarding storage of batteries.
Wheelchairs with lithium batteries: The battery must be completely disconnected and carried into the cabin and documentation is required showing that the battery is approved for air transport as well as protected against short-circuiting and damage during transport. In addition there are restrictions on the size of the battery – max 300 Wh or, if the wheelchair is designed for two batteries, then max 160 Wh per battery. In addition to this, a reserve battery of max 300 Wh or two batteries of max 160 Wh each may be carried. If reserve batteries are carried, these must also be carried into the cabin.
Individual air carriers may at any time, on security grounds, impose more stringent requirements so it is important to contact the air carrier as soon as possible in advance of departure.
Read more about documentation for dangerous passenger baggage on the webpage of IATA [new window]
Read more about electronic devices and batteries [new window]
Read more on hazardous cargo (dangerous goods) at the website of the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority [new window]