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Thread: Flying with a ZX-1 and/or Firefly

  1. #11
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    I'm reviving this post to see if anyone has tips on flying with a ZX-1. We will be flying with a ZRA also, which we plan to gate check. I know that I will need to remove the lithium batteries and put them in hand baggage. I am wondering if I could gate check the ZX-1 with the ZRA attached in freewheel mode. I would detach armrests and other removable items. Any input?
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  2. #12
    You cant fly with the lithium packs only the stock ones. I ship my unit in the usa via ground...........alot has changed since 2013 when you started this thread.
    Last edited by fuentejps; 04-01-2018 at 05:36 PM.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps View Post
    You cant fly with the lithium packs only the stock ones. I ship my unit in the usa via ground...........alot has changed since 2013 when you started this thread.
    Yes, agreed. We are about to fly internationally again, and there seems to be no way to get e-bike lithium batteries on the plane. (I?m not sure what capacity the ZX-1 batteries have, but imagine that e-bike batteries are comparable).

    In theory, the airline we are using will accept a SmartDrive onboard, but only the MX2 and MX2+, as the MX1 versions have a greater battery capacity which is above their accepted limits. I say ?in theory? as I won?t believe it until it actually happens - every trip we?ve ever taken has involved several discussions with airline people well in advance, who say one thing, then when we get to the airport, something very different happens.... In this instance, we?ll have someone drop us off at the airport who will wait and see if the SmartDrive is coming with us or not. If it?s not, then they will take it away with them.

    Given the number of e-bikes around these days, you would think that there is a market for lithium battery hire ie you transport your e-bike or mobility device on the plane without a battery, and get met at the airport with someone who can fit a battery and rent it out to you for your stay. (We did find an e-bike hire shop in Scotland that rented us a suitable battery for my son?s Firefly a few years ago - all worked well, but it wasn?t cheap!).
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  4. #14
    Gordy, you could ship the firefly battery. only carrier we have found that will fly lithium is dhl. may want to try them. noone else will. as far as the sd mx2, from what i understand you can fly with that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy1 View Post
    Yes, agreed. We are about to fly internationally again, and there seems to be no way to get e-bike lithium batteries on the plane. (I?m not sure what capacity the ZX-1 batteries have, but imagine that e-bike batteries are comparable).

    In theory, the airline we are using will accept a SmartDrive onboard, but only the MX2 and MX2+, as the MX1 versions have a greater battery capacity which is above their accepted limits. I say ?in theory? as I won?t believe it until it actually happens - every trip we?ve ever taken has involved several discussions with airline people well in advance, who say one thing, then when we get to the airport, something very different happens.... In this instance, we?ll have someone drop us off at the airport who will wait and see if the SmartDrive is coming with us or not. If it?s not, then they will take it away with them.

    Given the number of e-bikes around these days, you would think that there is a market for lithium battery hire ie you transport your e-bike or mobility device on the plane without a battery, and get met at the airport with someone who can fit a battery and rent it out to you for your stay. (We did find an e-bike hire shop in Scotland that rented us a suitable battery for my son?s Firefly a few years ago - all worked well, but it wasn?t cheap!).
    Last edited by fuentejps; 04-02-2018 at 12:29 PM.
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  5. #15
    We flew to Europe with the MX2 last July. We had used the original box and showed the letter regarding the batteries tthat max mobility has on their web site.
    They asked some questions but in the ebd it went pretty sooth.This letter definitely helped.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps View Post
    Gordy, you could ship the firefly battery. only carrier we have found that will fly lithium is dhl. may want to try them. noone else will. as far as the sd mx2, from what i understand you can fly with that.
    We’ve (hopefully) purchased a new battery that will be there when we arrive (36V, as the “Firefly” has been significantly upgraded). Given the number of times we travel to the UK I think it’s worth it.

    (As an aside, it’s taken a Perth-based courier company 2 weeks to deliver a package to me...I know the package arrived in Perth 2 weeks ago (from the East Coast of Australia, so no international issues). But my trust in courier companies is at an all-time low at the moment!)
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasia View Post
    We flew to Europe with the MX2 last July. We had used the original box and showed the letter regarding the batteries tthat max mobility has on their web site.
    They asked some questions but in the ebd it went pretty sooth.This letter definitely helped.
    Did they make you hand-carry it (and the box) onto the plane? From memory, the box wasn’t small....

    I also understand that the rules regarding lithium batteries have changed yet again from last year, which is why I’m not 100% confident that it will make it with us!
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by elarson View Post
    I'm reviving this post to see if anyone has tips on flying with a ZX-1. We will be flying with a ZRA also, which we plan to gate check. I know that I will need to remove the lithium batteries and put them in hand baggage. I am wondering if I could gate check the ZX-1 with the ZRA attached in freewheel mode. I would detach armrests and other removable items. Any input?
    Just to update you on our latest international flight:
    - SmartDrive MX2+ was allowed on the flight (as hand baggage). Due to the higher wattage of the MX-1 version, it would NOT have been allowed on our airline (Emirates).
    - we arranged for a new lithium e-bike battery to be sent to our UK holiday address. It arrived in time (from Europe), and interestingly was couriered by DHL, so John/Fuente’s suggestion to contact DHL and get your ZX-1 batteries sent separately seems to be a good idea. I can’t think of any other way to get your batteries transported unfortunately....
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  9. #19
    I just flew Alaska airlines with both my Smart Drive and my Firefly. I called them in advance and they looked them up and approved it. When I arrived I gave the ticket agent a paper with all the specs of WH, weight, etc. for each and they checked in their computer for the approval. I kept them both attached to my wheelchair until right before I transferred into the aisle chair. Then they put the Smart Drive into plastic car seat bag they provide and carried it on board into the overhead compartment. I disconnected the terminal on the Firefly that controls the power so it couldn't switch on and I'm pretty sure they took it along with my manual wheelchair to the baggage compartment. When I got out of aisle chair right outside the airplane door, my wheelchair and Firefly were there and they carried my Smart Drive with my carry on bags to me.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by darlagee22 View Post
    I just flew Alaska airlines with both my Smart Drive and my Firefly. I called them in advance and they looked them up and approved it. When I arrived I gave the ticket agent a paper with all the specs of WH, weight, etc. for each and they checked in their computer for the approval. I kept them both attached to my wheelchair until right before I transferred into the aisle chair. Then they put the Smart Drive into plastic car seat bag they provide and carried it on board into the overhead compartment. I disconnected the terminal on the Firefly that controls the power so it couldn't switch on and I'm pretty sure they took it along with my manual wheelchair to the baggage compartment. When I got out of aisle chair right outside the airplane door, my wheelchair and Firefly were there and they carried my Smart Drive with my carry on bags to me.
    Sounds like there’s not much consistency between airlines! Glad to hear that all worked well for you, and the staff were so helpful - it makes a huge difference, doesn’t it?
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

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