Can I take my personal wheelchair all the way to the airport departure gate or aircraft door?
Wheelchairs are tools which guarantee independence, and wheelchair users do not like to be separated from them for longer than is necessary.
The Air Carrier Access Act establishes a right for passengers to take their personal wheelchairs, mobility scooters and walkers to the airport gate and the aircraft boarding door. This right to gate-check mobility equipment covers all devices, including electric wheelchairs. Gate-checked wheelchairs, scooters and walkers must be returned in the jetway upon arrival, even when the passenger has a connecting flight.
Passengers should be aware of the following regulatory provisions:
“Carriers shall provide for the checking and timely return of passengers’ wheelchairs and other assistive devices as close as possible to the door of the aircraft, so that passengers may use their own equipment to the extent possible…”— § 382.41 (f)
“In order to achieve the timely return of wheelchairs, passengers’ wheelchairs and other assistive devices shall be among the first items retrieved from the baggage compartment.” — § 382.41 (f) (2)
Within the United States, airports and airline staff are familiar with the gate-checking of power wheelchairs and passengers should face no difficulty.
On international flights, regardless [...]