Seniors: Ways To Enhance Air Travel

By: Jody Smith

Air travel can be more challenging in some ways for people who are getting older. But fortunately there are some perks if you know what to look for.

For instance, did you know you can be first to board the plane if you use priority boarding rights? Priority boarding rights are specifically for those who might need help in boarding, or who can't get boarded and settled as quickly as younger or more nimbler passengers.

It may be possible to have an escort when getting on and off the plane, as well as help in storing your baggage. You have the option of pre-boarding, which will make getting on easier. If you need help getting off the plane, keep your seat while others are off boarding, it will make the process easier.

Assistance may be procured for other things as well. At the ticket counter, assistance in getting through security and at the gate is available to seniors.

Porters who can carry your luggage are available at larger airports for a reasonable price. If porters aren't available find a baggage agent to help you.

Seniors, as well as people traveling with them, may be given transportation through the airport with airport personnel, whether through security or to their gate. If you need a wheelchair, contact the airline ahead of time.

Don't book the day's last flight to increase your chances of receiving assistance when you need it, without having to wait or run the risk of running late. Try to keep your carry-on light and streamlined.

You may not be able to take oxygen tanks with you, but most medication can be brought onboard by seniors. Just be sure to bring a prescription as proof for the validity of any prescribed medications.

Carrying on your medication will protect you from the possibility of being stuck without it if your luggage is lost. Having an extra prescription with you in the event of such loss would be good additional insurance for you.

When you book a flight, ask about possible travel discounts for seniors. Discounts used to be the standard practice, but not all airlines offer them.

According to About.com, the usual discount is around 10 percent. Information about discounts will often be found on websites for airlines and on websites for online booking.

When making travel plans, think about seating. For seniors who need extra assistance and who aren't moving at a quick pace, sitting in an seat in an emergency exit row won't be an option.

Also keep in mind that if moving about is slow or laborious for you, an aisle seat makes more sense than a window seat. You might want to be seated near the bathroom as well.

A little bit of planning can go a long way toward a pleasant trip

Jody Smith is a freelance writer for EmpowHER.com.

Sources:

Rights for Senior Citizens in Airline Travel

http://www.ehow.com/info_8127225_rights-senior-citizens-airline-travel.html

Seniors - Air travel Tips and Advice

http://airtravel.about.com/od/travelindustrynews/tp/seniorstips.htm

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