|Follow these tips for safe travels.|
@Willie Maldonado, Getty Images
The New York Times travel section recently posted tips for older travelers. I'll share here but then share the tips my wife hand wrote for her parents, 81 and 84, when traveling from Charlotte to Arizona.
- Make as many requests as possible when booking a flight, including requests for expedited boarding and seats with extra legroom.
- Ask for wheelchairs when booking.
- If you have trouble walking can ask about electric carts.
- If you can’t drive the person, arrange it with a volunteer driving program or medical transportation company instead of a taxi. Check out the Independent Transportation Network of America.
- Delta employees can help an older person through check-in with 48 hours’ notice.
- Oay for a concierge.
- American Airlines has a Five Star Service program that shepherds fliers from curb to gate.
Security and Boarding
- Inform security officials about any medical conditions.
- Airlines allow elderly fliers to be escorted by one caretaker through security and to the gate as long as the escort provides his or her full name, birth date and government-issued ID.
- JetBlue has two programs that specifically target the security and boarding processes.
- Even More Speed, available in 24 cities, expedites security screening, and Even More Space, offered on all flights, offers early boarding and access to bin space. Availability of the service varies among airports and costs $10 to $65 for each leg of the trip.
- Wait for other passengers to debark so attendants can assist with carry-ons and escort you from the plane.
- A relative is allowed to meet an older passenger at the gate.
NOW THESE TIPS FROM MY WIFE TO HER PARENTS
- Pack most things and all liquids in checked bags.
- Make sure bag weighs under 50 pounds.
- Keep carry on bags to a minimum.
- Bring two decks of cards and books in the carry on.
- At security, before entering line, put all your pocket items - watch, phone, etc. - in a carry on bag.
- Show picture ID and boarding pass to security.
- Take two bins. Put shoes, belt, handbag into bin.
- Walk through.
- At end of security, ask guard for cart service to your gate.
- Buy a sandwich, bottle of water and snack for plane.
- As soon as you hear they are almost ready to board, go up to desk area.
- 1st announcement is for military, small children and those needing extra assistance. THIS IS YOU!
- You are in the aisle and middle seat so don't buckle up until person in window seat is seated.
- ENJOY THE FLIGHT!
- When getting off, ask for cart to baggage claim.