How to Fly With an Elderly Companion

Traveling with elderly parents or companions requires some extra planning, strategic packing and knowledge and documentation of special medical needs or conditions. It's important to meet the needs of elderly travelers so they reach their destinations safely and comfortably. Here are a few tips on how to fly with an elderly companion.


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    Check for senior citizen discounts.
    • Flying with an elderly person can be less expensive if you choose an airline that offers senior citizen discounts on tickets for older passengers. Be sure to check into this option when booking your flight, because these discounts often can't be granted after the ticket is purchased and confirmed.
    • This will make it easier to get to the airplane bathroom if needed. Elderly passengers should be encouraged to stand up or walk around during approved times in the flight to avoid blood clots in the legs or diverticulitis.
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    Book an aisle seat.
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    Arrive at the airport early.
    • Give yourself plenty of time the day of the flight to check in, check your luggage, pass through security and get to your terminal and departure gate. These things all could take longer with an elderly passenger.
    • Major airports offer wheelchairs to make it easier to get to airport terminals and fly with an elderly passenger. Call ahead so a customer service representative can meet you at the airport entrance with a wheelchair or cart for your elderly companion.
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    Reserve an airport wheelchair.
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    Carry medications with you.
    • Pack prescription or over-the-counter medications in your purse or carry-on luggage instead of your checked luggage to ensure it's with you when needed. Be sure to travel with prescription medications in original labeled prescription bottles instead of a pillbox.
    • Bring a bottle of water and crackers or fruit in your carry-on luggage when flying with the elderly. This will prevent dehydration or low blood sugar for your elderly passenger and ensure he or she has something to drink when taking medications.
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    Pack a light snack.
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    Alert safety officials about medical devices.
    • Security scan checkpoints require extra attention when flying with elderly people. Alert security personnel about pacemakers, hearing aids and metal surgical implants your elderly companion has. These devices can be damaged or altered by some scanning equipment, so you might have to go through an alternate security check.
    • Bring doctor contact information as well as any documentation for medical conditions, medications or personal medical devices you're bringing like oxygen tanks, compressor nebulizers or walkers. This will make your time at security checkpoints easier and allow you to reach the elderly person's physician quickly if needed.
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    Travel with medical records.

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Categories: Air Travel