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21+ Tips for Air Travel with Mobility Devices + Walker Wheelchair Review

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Traveling with a disability does not need to be a challenge. Mobility aids like a Rollator transport chair or Rollator walker come in handy as an excellent device for seniors or anyone who need to use a wheeled walker.

Rollator transport chairs allow people to continue with their love of traveling. The device that my family uses to travel with my mother is a folding walker that converts into a rollator transport chair.

We’ve purchased the Rollz motion 2-in-1 Rollator and haven’t looked back with this rough, uneven terrain rollator (also known as a walker wheelchair) as our primary rolling walker.

Rollator

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Walker that Converts to Wheelchair

From my own family experience, growing older or dealing with a disability can sometimes take a toll on those who are traveling. But rolling walkers and rollators are popular mobility aids that can help you or your loved ones continue their love of travel.

When we found the 2-in-1 Rollator walker wheelchair by Rollz motion, (amazon link)we knew that we could continue to travel with this travel rollator transport chair combo.

Traveling has always been something that my family enjoyed. It wasn’t until my mother got sick with a neurological disease that left her disabled that challenged the way my family traveled.

Once she got sick, we had a whole list of unknowns. These unknowns included how to slow down while we travel, what mobility devices work for mom’s needs, and how to even travel with a Rollator or rolling walker without it breaking.

After some trials and tribulations over the years, we have landed on the Rollz Motion rollator, (amazon link). Jump down to read my 15 tips for traveling with a mobility device!

travel wheelchair lightweight; walker wheelchair
Rollz Motion2 WALKER ROLLATOR, travel wheelchair; best rollator transport chair

The Plaid Shirt Yoga Pants Travel Story

Our family has always loved traveling and exploring new places. We hopped on the plane and got away whenever there wasn’t a reason to stay in New Orleans for the weekend.
When mom was first diagnosed with a neurological disease in December 2010, she was hospitalized for a month with one leg completely paralyzed.
Thanks to great physicians, physical therapists, and prayers, mom regained control of her leg, but the damage was done to her spinal cord and body.

The three of us in Rome getting ready to see the Coliseum.
The three of us in Rome getting ready to see the Coliseum.

Traveling with a Disability

Our first trip after that terrifying experience wasn’t until September 2013, when we visited Chicago. We traveled without mobility aids and learned a lot about flexibility in plans during that trip.

Even though mom was getting stronger, it would have been better to have a device with a comfortable seat while we bounced around museums and other attractions.

In March 2016, something was not right with mom. She relapsed, suffered from double vision, and spent another month in the hospital.

That is when we finally were matched up with two physicians who declared that she had a rare disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord called Neuromyelitis Optica.

Right before mom became ill, we planned a whirlwind trip to Italy, which we canceled our 9-day journey across the Midwest.

We eventually got back to Italy (and Spain and France!) in 2018, but the ability for mom to see Barcelona, Pompeii, Rome, Florence, and Nice because we invested in the . Rollz Motion 2 in 1 Rollator, (amazon link)

Rollz Motion 2 in 1 Rollator Review

We decided we needed to upgrade our device after traveling with a Drive Medical transport chair for two years and a Drive Medical traditional walker.

We upgraded mom’s mobility device to a Rollz Motion 2-in-1 Rollator.

Our trip to Brussels opened our eyes that we needed to buy something to tackle the cobblestones, older architecture, and most uneven surfaces. We were having a tough time navigating the streets safely and effectively. 

We needed a walking aid that had the ease of a traditional walker but also gave us a smooth ride no matter where we traveled.

Mom’s former Drive Transport chair seemed extremely heavy when we were lugging it around Brussels, and the smaller rear wheels kept getting caught on any tiny crack.

Wheelchair that we use while traveling, convertible wheelchair

Rollator Walkers with a Seat

After extensive research, we decided that mom needed a high-quality rollator. We had a lifelong dream of traveling to Pompeii, and we needed a rollator chair that gave us the freedom to walk or roll.

We decided the ideal choice for our vacation style is to get the Rollz motion 2-in-1 Rollator.

The reason for our choice? Simple!

The Rollator transport chair combo is a walker with a padded seat and has a small basket underneath to place personal items and belongings. These larger wheels allow mom to walk long distances, easily fold up to fit in the trunk of a car, and many more reasons!

We were happy to upgrade our traditional walker to this foldable rollator walker by Rollz Motion.

Best Rollator for Travel with Wheelchair Accessories

We opted to purchase the Rollz motion 2-in-1 rollator with all of the bells and whistles, including a water bottle holder, cane holder, storage bag, and removable back support for when it is in walker mode! Rollz Motion has to be one of the best rollator transport chairs because even without all the accessories, it does so much.

If you are debating if you need additional bells and whistles for this already pricey walker with a padded seat, I highly suggest investing in the Storage bag for the portable rollator.

When gate-checking any mobility device, the item will get banged up no matter what, and the storage bag will protect and pad the lightweight frame.

I’ve found that the storage bag alerts the gate agents to take extra caution when handling this piece of equipment. The easy storage bag also helps avoid scratches and protects the wires controlling hand breaks and rear wheel locks.

Ally pushing mom in Pompeii, flying with a rollator and best rollator for travel
Mom and Ally navigating the streets of Pompeii! Luckily most of it was paved but there were some super tricky areas on the path!

Which rollator should I get?

Since we purchased the Rollz Motion Rollator transport chair combo back in 2018, there have been a few new products you can get!

RollatorPriceFeatures
Rollz Motion$1,299.00The Rollz Motion comes in four colors and two sizes.
Rollz Flex$699.00Rollz Flex is a compact, stable, and lightweight rollator and is perfect for doing daily errands and shopping.
Rollz Motion Performance$1,599.00The Rollz Motion Performance is an all-terrain model made for those with sensitive hands, wrists, shoulders, and back problems
Rollz Motion Rhythm$1,999.00The Rollz Motion Rhythm was designed for those living with Parkinson’s.

Flying with a Rollator

Can you take a rollator on a plane? The short answer is yes!

I fully believe that this walker-transport chair Rollator hybrid can go anywhere! It has traveled abroad, visited a few national parks, and even a shopping trip to the Mall of America!

The Rollz Motion lightweight frame makes it so that it is easy to go from the trunk of the car to rollator mode in just a few seconds.

I also love the ability to transform from a four-wheeled walker to a transport chair mode and back within a few moves!

While in Atlanta, Georgia, we visited the Country Living Fair, where everyone asked mom about her Rollz Motion 2 in 1 Rollator.

At the Country Living Fair, I realized that many people are not enjoying an active lifestyle they once wanted because they do not have a mobility device that converts to their needs.

Rollz Motion has to be one of our family’s best rollator transport chairs. Mom can quickly go from standing to sitting when she needs a rest.

The padded seat allows Mom to sit down whenever she needs a rest, and we do not need to worry about looking for a bench.

Did you really spend that much for a Walker?

I will admit the Rollz Motion 2 in 1 Rollator is quite expensive compared to traditional walkers, but it is a significant investment to help with the quality of life.

Health insurance refused to cover the price of a decent transport chair. Investing in a rollator transport chair was the best move for our family.

When we went to Savannah for 30 hours, mom brought her Drive Medical walker that her doctor ordered and insurance provided. After one trip (equivalent to four flights), the entire walker was trashed.

The lightweight aluminum frame was bent and scratched; after the fourth flight, the hand breaks no longer worked.

After that trip, we knew we needed to find the best rollator transport chair, so we ordered The Rollz Motion.

This Rollator walker has held up very well with all of the trips (including international trips!) on which we’ve taken this rollator walker. Yes, it is expensive, but if you have a few more travel years left, I suggest investing in this rollator transport chair combo.

Three ladies standing on the italian coast. flying with a rollator
Using mobility devices while traveling allows us to travel as a family and do more each day. This is a photo of us during a Disney Cruise in Italy!

15 tips for traveling with a Mobility device

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination based on disability in air travel. The Air Carrier Access Act passed in 1986 protects passengers with mobility aids and devices from discrimination.
Just because there is the Air Carrier Access Act doesn’t mean we don’t all need some tips on how to make air travel smoother while using a mobility aid.

1. Check-in and Special Assistance

If you are not using your mobility aid, but need assistance at the airport, make sure to go to the special services counter when you check-in.
A customer service representative will be able to assist you and confirm that you have everything prepared for your layovers and final destination. They will also give you wheelchair assistance and will be able to escort you through TSA more quickly and efficiently.

2. TSA Precheck for everyone in your party

If you are traveling solo with your mobility equipment and do not have a customer service representative, having TSA PreCheck is the next best thing.

TSA PreCheck can become pricey and is more of a luxury when traveling, but I found that when the entire travel party has TSA precheck, it makes the whole process much more manageable. Sometimes, when traveling with our device, only my mom and one traveler can skip the line to go through the airport security screeners.

With TSA Precheck, the entire party does not need to worry about taking off their shoes or placing all electronic devices into different bins.

If you do not have a pre-check, you can get a complimentary pre-check for one person with a luxury travel credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

When you go through security, you must get out of your wheelchair, or your cane must go through the x-ray.
Searches are all a part of the TSA protocol, and often there is a wooden cane that helps you walk through the metal detector.
While at the security checkpoints, you request the wooden cane while navigating TSA.
You can also request a same-sex pat-down if you cannot walk through the metal detectors.

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4. Be Prepared to Wait

Everything is scanned by security that goes onto an airplane. Luggage, people, pets, and even medical devices!
Sometimes TSA quickly checks a transport chair and hands it over to its owner.
When other times, you wait for what seems like a long time for a particular agent to come over and pat down the mobility device.

5. Ask if the Airport Permits Escort Passes

If you are traveling alone, but a loved one is dropping you off at the airport, ask if the airport permits an escort pass for your loved one to help you to the gate. At the New Orleans Airport, you can book a guest pass for your loved ones to see you off at the airport and make life easier.
If not, pre-arrange a time with one of the airport escorts.

6. Have your name on your device

I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but when we were using a Drive transport chair, somehow, one of the gate agents mistook our chair for the airline’s chair.
Our tag was on the side of the chair. But I had to abandon my mom at the gate and run through the airport to grab our chair.
The employee and other customer didn’t believe that the chair was ours, but luckily her wristband from the hospital was still attached, and I was able to grab the chair back and make our connecting flights.
Always double-check that your mobility device is yours and that it didn’t sustain any damage.

7. Prep Your Chair for Gate Checking It

Each airline is different, but most airlines will require mobility aids to be gate checked. While waiting at the departure gate, prep your mobility device. It will save the headache of trying to do it in the gangway.

The Rollz Motion 2-in-1 Rollator removes all wheelchair accessories, including the foot pedals and a seatback, and puts it in its special travel bag.

8. Consider Preboarding

Do you know how the airline asks those who need extra time boarding the plane to line up and start the boarding process early?
Well, preboarding is super helpful for those who use a mobility aid because they take a little extra time walking down the gangway, transferring out of the mobility aid, and settling into their seat.
You get to go before most travelers on the flight, and you don’t need to feel rushed to board.

9. Wheelchairs, Walkers Can Be Gate Checked for free

If you travel with a wheelchair, walker, or other large mobility aids, these items can be gate-checked! If your chair has any parts that come off (back to seats, foot pedals, controls), make sure to remove those and have your loved one carry them on.
These items do not count against the carry-on or checked-bag policies.

10. Advise the Airline of Your Mobility Limitation

When booking your ticket, ensure you document your mobility limitations and will travel with a mobility device. Informing the airline of your needs will help smooth the day of travel plans.
When booking your ticket, you can also request an aisle chair or transportation if you need to. Declaring you limited mobility will also prevent you from being ‘upgraded’ to an emergency row seat.

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11. Inquire about a discount for an attendant or travel companion

Some airlines allow an attendant or companion to travel with you at a discounted rate. These people generally aid that you hire to take care of you. If you have a travel companion or attendant, you may need to go through your health care providers and airline medical desk to see if there are any discounts for your aid.

12. Pick the Aisle seat as the Location of Your Seat

If you have a choice in your seat while purchasing a ticket, choose the aisle seat over a window seat while traveling.
An aisle seat will help transfer to a chair and use the restroom. Also, get a seat close to one of the bathrooms if you need to use it while on the plane.
It is much easier to walk down the aisle on the ground than 20,000 feet in the air.

13. Make Sure the Airline Documents Your Device

If you are traveling and need additional assistance when you arrive, ensure the gate agent at your departing location has this noted.
The worst thing is needing assistance; the destination airline isn’t equipped to help get you off the plane.

14. Take your time getting off the plane

Unless you are sitting close to a window and can keep an eye on when they bring up your mobility device, you don’t know when the device will arrive.

Usually, our rollator is sitting there waiting for us, but sometimes we have to remind the ground crew members to get our chair, or sometimes I have to run after someone because they took the wrong chair.

When purchasing your mobility device, make sure to get a color that pops and is unique!

15. Do I need a transport chair? Would it be better if I just walked?

Look into a mobility device like the Rollz motion 2-in-1 Rollator when traveling. Sometimes, when there is a tight connection or your travel companion is exhausted, it is better to transform the walker into a transport chair and get to the next destination.

16. Where Will Your Mobility Device Be Upon Arrival?

It will come out on domestic or international flights at the gangway if you gate-checked your device. Usually, all mobility devices and strollers are delivered right when you get off the plane so those with walking issues can navigate the gangway.
Don’t leave the gangway without your mobility device. The gate agent generally cannot let you back into the gangway if you forgot something.

17. Rent Mobility Aids and Equipment

Did you know you can rent mobility aids and other medical equipment while traveling? If you typically use medical or other mobility devices at home, you can rent the equipment on a land or sea vacation.

18. Get travel & travel health insurance

Travel Insurance and Travel Health insurance are two essential items to purchase when using air travel. Often, an airline could break or lose your mobility device, and if you buy something like the Rollz Motion, which is expensive, you would have to rely on other mobility equipment while on your trip.

Travel insurance can assist if your device gets lost or damaged while traveling, and Travel Health insurance can help if something happens to your health.

19. Insure your Mobility Aid

Getting additional insurance for your mobility devices might be one of the best travel tips for traveling with a mobility device. If you cannot get insurance, get some cover to help protect your device from damage.

20. Read up on your Rights

In America, the Air Carrier Access Act protects those with disabilities from discrimination. Knowing your rights when traveling with a disability and mobility devices will make you feel more comfortable.

21. Consider using an Accessible Travel Agent

If you do not want to book your travel, you can use an accessible travel agent. Sunset Chasers Travel Agency is a Special Needs Group Certified Accessible Travel Advocate and is more than happy to help you with your travel needs.

You can always rent if you do not want to travel with mobility devices or aids! Renting mobility scooters or other assistive devices is perfect for those who do not use these devices daily but want to rent them to assist with their vacations.

Rent a Scooter for your Cruise Today!

Travel with Rollz Motion

I hope you found this blog post informative on why my family decided to go with the Rollz Motion Transport chair. Whether you are a pro at traveling with a transport chair or a high-quality rollator walker, or just beginning this journey, I hope these different tips help you with your future travel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to pay to take a walker on a plane?

In the United States of America, you can bring a walker or wheelchair onto the plane for free. Airlines must gate check your walker, wheelchair, or other mobility device and give it to you upon arrival, undamaged.

Can you take a rollator on a plane?

You can take a rollator on a plane. To ensure a safe return of your rollator, make sure our name and phone number are on a tag. You will then gate check the rollator with your flight provider. The rollator will safely arrive at your next destination for you to use at your connecting airport.

Does a walker count as a carry-on?

A Walker or a Rollator does not count as a carry-on. You can bring your mobility device to the gangway with you, where the flight crew will then gate-check the walker or rollator to your next destination.

What is the best walker for Air Travel?

The best walker for Air Travel is the Rollz Motion Rollator with a seat. Rollz Motion can act as a walker and transport chair in one and can help you stretch your vacation.

Still not sure which walker you need? Check out these specs of the top-rated walkers and rollators on Amazon. When picking out a walker or rollator, you need to see which design will suit your needs. The best choice of walker is the one that can help you and your individual needs.

If you have any questions about the Rollz Motion 2 in 1 Rollator feel free to leave a comment.

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