Tips for airline travel with an elderly loved one

By July 18, 2012LivHOME News

If you find yourself wondering how to safely travel by plane with your elderly loved one, it is vital for you to prepare for the trip in advance. Using the following tips, you can make sure that your trip goes smooth for everyone.

  • Be sure to book your flight early due to the high number of choices in flight times or seat choices.
  • Do some research into any senior discount plans offered by the airlines.
  • Compare your research. Sometimes general tickets are still cheaper than a senior priced ticket.
  • If possible, travel first-class or reserve in the bulkhead. This allows plenty of room for medical devices or oxygen tanks.
  • If your loved one uses a wheelchair, be sure to call ahead to the airport so they can make arrangements for boarding safely. You should also tell the check-in desk that your loved one uses a wheelchair.

  • Let the travel agent know about any specialized diets your elderly loved one may need during their travels. If you request a special diet 48 hours ahead of scheduled departure, most will accommodate regular meals for seniors at no charge.
  • Always pack a jacket for your loved one. It is very easy for older people to be cold.
  • Pack at least two days of medication on the plane, but keep them with you instead of putting them in checked luggage. If your luggage is lost, you will still have access to your loved ones medications.
  • Always carry a list of prescriptions for your loved one and be aware of refill dates in case you need to quickly refill medications once your plane reaches its destination.
  • Make an effort to move around while on the plane. Older people experience problems when sitting for a long period. For example, fluid retention begins to build up in the feet and lower legs of many seniors due to sitting.
  • Pack a healthy snack for the flight. Most airlines now serve minimal snacks to passengers, so bringing your elderly loved one a nutritious snack can work wonders.
  • Be sure to carefully read the stipulations listed on any discount coupons that airlines sell to seniors. These coupons usually equal the price of one coach priced ticket and it may benefit your loved one in certain circumstances.
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