Security checks and the general headaches of airline travel can be exhausting for anyone, let alone seniors. Older adults may depend on a wheelchair or have health conditions that can complicate travel.
But some simple planning will make for a smoother trip:
Travel with medications
Be sure to keep up with your loved one’s regular medication schedule. Additionally, pack medications for pain, motion sickness, and nausea. Be sure to pack enough medications for the duration of the trip, plus a few days’ extra in case of travel delays. Be sure to read the TSA’s tips for traveling with medications.
Ask for assistance in the airport
Seniors and people with disabilities are entitled to assistance in the airport. From the time they arrive to the time they board the plane, measures are in place to assist them. Examples include wheelchairs, riding on a cart, and using shorter security lines.
Use shorter security lines
Older adults can request assistance in the security line, where they may be able to go through a shorter line. The TSA also made several changes to its policies to make the process easier for seniors. A few things to note:
- Passengers 75 and older can leave on their shoes and light jackets.
- Passengers in wheelchairs who are unable to stand will be accommodated with a variation on the screening process.
- Senior travelers with medical devices like pacemakers should request a pat-down at security rather than going through the scanner.
Request boarding assistance
Seniors who require special assistance may use priority boarding. They can also ask for help stowing their bags.
Ask about airfare discounts
Discounted airfare is occasionally available to seniors. Ask the airline or check online to see if any discounts are being offered. If discounts aren’t offered through third parties or travel agents, try booking directly through the airline.
This summer, don’t let aging be an obstacle to enjoying new sites or visiting friends and family who live far away. These are the golden years – make the most of them!