This is a follow-on post from an earlier entry we wrote about flying with an electric unicycle. Given the number of questions we've had about flying with electric wheels we thought it was worth following up with specific details on our own personal experience and what happens when taking an electric wheel on a flight.
My goal is to try and ride my wheel through as many and as varied situations as possible, at least until uniformed security personnel tell me not to. They are real world experiments designed to find out where the limits of electric unicycling are while still being respectful to pedestrians and everyone else that is moving around. We want to find out where the limits are so you don't get caught out.
I've flown a lot with work in the past and I'm not one to typically arrive particularly early for flights. I'm also registered for TSA Pre Check. Here are my travel details:
|Date of travel||August 2015|
|Route||JFK > LAS > HNL > SEA > JFK (ie domestic)|
|Carriers||JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, Delta|
|Time of day||Overnight flights|
Just carry on luggage: 1 Backpack, 1 Ninebot E (240Wh)
I would normally travel with rolling carry on luggage but when I bring my Ninebot One I like to take my backpack and be completely handsfree.
Jamaica station LIRR to Jamaica JFK AirTrain station
On this occasion I traveled to JFK by public transport and arrived at the airport about 3hrs before my departure time via Jamaica Station on Long Island Rail Road and the JFK AirTrain. There's quite a bit of walking to be done between trains and terminal etc on the way so I knew the Ninebot was going to come in handy...
After getting off the LIRR train at Jamaica Station there's quite a walk to the AirTrain so I hopped on the wheel and buzzed across to the AirTrain station swiping my Metrocard on the way. The AirTrain runs every ~10mins and the journey from Jamaica to JFK Terminal 5 where I was leaving from is ~15mins.
Once at the T5 AirTrain station I hoped on the Ninebot again and sped past pedestrians on the moving walkways to the terminal and checked in with the very friendly staff at JetBlue. Then it was off to security, getting on my Ninebot One again and rolling up to the security attendant at the back of the security line. It's slow moving through these as you probably know so I wasn't about to try and roll through here...
Everyone has to put their carry on luggage through the X-Ray machine so the wheel and the backpack went on the conveyor and into the machine for inspection.
I've actually travelled with my wheel before to London so when the TSA folk pulled the wheel out of the X-Rayfor further inspection it wasn't a surprise. They swabbed it for explosives and I was good to go! The attendant hadn't seen an Electric Unicycle before and was curious to know what it was so I duly obliged with a demo and whizzed off to the departure gate catching a few glances on the way.
It turned out that the TSA checkpoint process would be a pretty routine whenever going through airport security. No one had any questions or stopped me from riding my wheel through JFK, Las Vegas McCarran, Honolulu or Seattle airports. The wheel typically went under the seat in front of me or in the overhead storage. All in all traveling with an electric wheel is pretty straightforward.