We love our Onewheels. We love them so much that we want to take them on vacation and ride on our time-off. The challenging part is that flying with a Onewheel on any commercial airplane can be a nightmare. You don’t want to be turned away at the pre-check area and possibly miss your flight.
Generally speaking, you cannot fly with a Onewheel on a commercial airline. The Onewheel V1, Pint and Plus models do meet the watt hours (Wh) range limits of air travel (130Wh, 148Wh & 130Wh respectively) however it is up to the discretion of the airline. Contact the airline and confirm prior.
Issues with Onewheel Pint Air Travel
While the Onewheel Pint is within the ranges of what the Transportation Security Administration outlines, many of the earlier Pint models have an incorrect value stamped on the underside of their rail. The battery is incorrectly displayed as having 170Wh. Future Motion has rectified the defect to indicate 148Wh however it does still remain up to the airline’s discretion.
TSA states “With airline approval, passengers may also carry up to two spare larger lithium ion batteries (101–160 Wh) or lithium metal batteries (2-8 grams). This size covers the larger after-market extended-life laptop computer batteries and some larger batteries used in professional audio/visual equipment. There is a limit of two spare batteries per person for the larger lithium ion batteries described above (101–160 watt hours per battery. For more information, see the FAA regulations on batteries.”
It is to be noted that this is for a spare battery. Their regulations do state “Size limits: Lithium metal (non-rechargeable) batteries are limited to 2 grams of lithium per battery. Lithium ion (rechargeable) batteries are limited to a rating of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery. These limits allow for nearly all types of lithium batteries used by the average person in their electronic devices. With airline approval, passengers may also carry up to two spare larger lithium ion batteries (101–160 Wh) or Lithium metal batteries (2-8 grams). This size covers the larger after-market extended-life laptop computer batteries and some larger batteries used in professional audio/visual equipment.”
Several riders have been granted the ability to fly with their Pints whereas some have been turned away. It is how the airline considers the device. Technically it is not a spare battery so likely it will be turned away unless they consider it an auxiliary device to another electronic you have.
How to Fly With a Onewheel
There is no information from the TSA specifying Onewheels however they do allow for skateboards to be carried on. This is a loose connection and you still run the risk of the airline denying the carry on of a Onewheel (V1, Plus or Pint). So air traveling with a Onewheel comes down to four options:
- Take a gamble bringing a Pint, Onewheel Plus or V1 on the airplane as a carry-on or checked.
- Ship the complete Onewheel to your destination
- Ship the Onewheel battery to your destination
- Rent a Onewheel at your destination
Take a Gamble By Bringing a Pint, Plus or V1 Onewheel on a Plane
I say that this is a gamble because, while these Onewheels are within the acceptable watt hour ranges for air travel as a spare battery, it remains up to the discretion of the airline. In light of battery explosions from laptops, hoverboard, etc. you may find that the airline is not receptive to allowing you to board with a Onewheel.
If you take the risk of doing this, it is a good idea that you give yourself an extra hour for boarding on top of what you already allocated. The reason is, if you get turned away at the gate, you will either have to run back to your car (if its parked) or call someone to pick it up for you as the airport will not ship it for you. Its best if you have a ride to the airport to have that person wait until you are boarded.
In any case, this option leaves you very unsettled. Not to mention, you can only travel with a V1, Plus or Pint. These models are either discontinued or outdated. The Pint X is the upgraded model of the Pint and the Pint X is not able to be brought on an airline. You also cannot travel with a Onewheel XR, CBXR, JWXR, GT or GT S-Series (Onewheel GTS). This option in my opinion is not the correct way to travel with a Onewheel. Depending on how your situation, the next 3 options are best.
Ship the Complete Onewheel to Your Destination
To enjoy your Onewheel on vacation or remote destination, a good option is to have the complete Onewheel shipped to your destination. Assuming you are not staying with a relative or a colleague you would want to confirm ahead of time if your hotel (or motel or hostel) accepts packages for their guests. Generally speaking, most hotels do allow for packages however it is always sage advice to check ahead of time. Here are also some things to consider when shipping your Onewheel to your destination:
- Make sure you ship your Onewheel within its original packaging and that its secured. Use an Air-tag or tile in the box to track the Onewheel on your end.
- Confirm that the labeling is correctly addressed. Check with the hotel how they would want to have the package addressed. Usually this is done with “C/O” which means care of.
123 Address Street
City, State ZIP
- Insure the package
- Check if the hotel will also ship the Onewheel back home for you (assuming you paid for the label). Else, plan to allocate time for a FedEx or UPS pick-up.
Due to the size of the Onewheel battery, they are best to be shipped via ground shipping. With this in mind, shipping via ground can take some time and vacation time is usually limited. Therefore, if you are already going to ship your Onewheel to your destination, you should plan on shipping it days ahead so that it will arrive at your anticipated arrival date. Because ground shipping costs are based largely on size, weight and destination, another alternative to cut some of the weight would be to ship only the deck.
Ship the Onewheel Battery Box to Your Destination
It would be ideal to strip out just the battery box however, shipping only the battery box means you would essentially void the warranty of the Onewheel. On the rails of the Onewheel, there are tamper resistant stickers that are required to be removed in order to remove the battery box. If your Onewheel is still within warranty, you may not want to do this.
If you want to keep your warranty intact then the only way to reduce some of the Onewheel’s weight would be to remove the hub assembly (tire, hub, motor). This will reduce the board’s weight and allow for an easier shipment (sleeker packaging). Follow the directions above to ship to your hotel. Here you can learn how to take off your tire assembly.
Whether you are a Onewheel out of warranty or a VESC board, this is likely going to be the preferred way to travel with your Onewheel. Just remember to bring your tools with you.
By removing the battery box, carrying on the remaining parts of the board is feasible. I’ve even heard of riders attempting to bring the battery on board (for Pint and Plus) with it separated. They have a FEDEX box on standby just in case. If you don’t want to risk that, then strip the battery out and ship it. It doesn’t hurt to leave a polite note explaining that the battery has been removed so you have a hiccup free travel. You arrive to your destination to get your battery in the mail the next day and you can shred in no time.
Renting a Onewheel
Renting a Onewheel at your destination spot can be a good option for those riders who are either new to the sport or do not mind riding a board that isn’t your daily rider. In our post, we cover the best place to rent a Onewheel. I have utilized SupRents in the past and I can personally say they are a great option. I would allocate sometime for the rental as their shipping can be similar to you having to ship your own Onewheel (shipping is about 1 to 5 days).
The downside to this option is that renting a Onewheel is more costly especially since you already own a Onewheel. The only way this option is recommended is if you want to take your Onewheel out on the beach. With a rental, you can take your Onewheel anywhere. Onewheels can ride on a beach but I don’t use my board on beaches due to the salt. Salt overtime can wear the bearing prematurely. If you are good at cleaning and don’t mind using your Onewheel, take it, but if not then renting could be the better option.
There is no easy way to fly with your Onewheel. As you’re well aware, air travel has become quite the headache over the past 20+ years. Minimize the headache by either removing the battery case or deck and having it shipped to your destination. If disassembling the Onewheel seems daunting, just ship the entire board to your destination. It is recommended in any case, to place an AirTag on your board so you can keep an eye on it as its being delivered. If those don’t seem like viable options, rent a Onewheel. If none of those options are for you then enjoy your trip without your Onewheel. Hopefully a friend will let you borrow theirs.