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home | Caregiver Support | Air Travel With The Elderly

Air Travel With The Elderly

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If you're traveling with a senior who will need special assistance boarding a plane, be sure to let the airline know about your needs when you make your reservation. When you check in at the gate re-confirm that you and your elder are flagged for extra boarding help. If you will need a special wheelchair to use between the gate and your seat, don't wait until you reach the boarding area. Confirm that one will be available when you check in.

Everyone with special boarding privileges will board the plane first, and exit last. If you can, choose seats with only two to a row. When seats are configured three to a row and you are traveling with someone needing special assistance most airlines will assign you to an an aisle seat. If all seat choices are three-to-a-row, try to change this to a window seat. Because you will board first and leave last, if you are sitting in an aisle seat every other passenger will be crowding past your seat, putting heavy items in the bin over your head, and bumping you with their luggage and packages twice...once when boarding and once when debarking.

When you are sitting in a window seat your elder won't have to extricate herself twice so that someone boarding and exiting can crawl into and out of the window seat around her. Except for the obligatory trip to the bathroom, your elder will be able to sit comfortably undisturbed throughout the flight.