Travel Tip of the Day: Get an Airport Wheelchair for Older Passengers

WheelchairGet an Airport Wheelchair for Older Passengers
If you’re traveling with someone who’s older or who has mobility issues, it’s a good idea to order them a wheelchair in advance. My dad used to get embarrassed when I would arrange for one, but as time’s passed he’s come to appreciate it. Now, he doesn’t have to do any really long walks. Some airports require a ridiculous amount of walking to get from curb to gate or vice versa. Also, he no longer has to wait in long lines to go through security. And finally, he’s the first to board the plane.

Sometimes though, the process can be time-consuming. Some airlines make the wheelchair passengers the last to deplane and some airports (ahem, Toronto) don’t have enough handlers (which is why we recently ended up waiting an extra 20 minutes). But if you or the person you’re traveling with could really use the help, it’s definitely an option worth considering.

 

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Johnny Jet

I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

11 Comments on "Travel Tip of the Day: Get an Airport Wheelchair for Older Passengers"

  1. Thanks to a broken foot my wife required a wheelchair at LAX. I didn’t realize the number of private elevators and crew only lines you could go through to circumvent all the lines. The other bonus was the people traveling with her could tag along.In the process we were on a shuttle to the nearest drop-off at Bradley. In Narita we were the last people off the plane but JAL personnel saw/pushed us through immigration, customs, luggage pickup, luggage shipping, money exchange, until we reached the curb, a total of 2+ hours. They would not take any gratuity even candy. Leaving Narity we had a special area at JAL to wait and get taken though their security to the gate.

  2. Frieda Hopkins | January 6, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Reply

    Last year I had to transfer planes at London Heathrow. I was only given an hour layover. I was 67 at the time and told the clerk when I checked in at Munich that there was no way I could run to catch my next plane and I was afraid of missing it. She told me a wheelchair would meet me at the gate when I deplaned. A young husky man was there with the chair. I got in and he ran through the crowds. He said “Excuse me” so many times that he must have been hoarse afterwards. He took me to the front of a very long security line. I was quickly checked over and he ran with me to catch my next plane. It took about 45 minutes. I made the plane. There was no way I could have done this without his help. Needless to say, he received a very big tip.

  3. Being of a certain age and having some health issues, I always request Handicap assistance in advance.
    I also have traveled solo to Warsaw Poland via Charlotte, N.C. thru Munich twice. Trust me it has been a blessing. especially when one is unsure of were they are going..what terminal etc..Travel is definitely expedited..

  4. Order wheel chairs for both parents as they fly between Vegas & BUR. This is the only way they can make the trip and they have come to love being treated like royalty!

  5. I’m only 72 so I really don’t like the idea of wheel chairs. That being said, it’s been might hard getting from one plane to another within a short time frame. I always try to flag down a motorized cart when I can. But they’re not always available or they’re sitting empty with no driver. How can you arrange for those carts?

  6. If you or your traveling companions qualify, sign up for wheelchair service. Whether you think you need it or not. My mother is in her early 70 and pretty mobile. However, she doesn’t travel much on planes. I was meeting her at JFK to fly to Stockholm. The handlers took care of her when I wasn’t around on the first flights. The wheelchair attendant came in pretty handy on the way home. He met us at the return gate in JFK and blew us threw immigration & customs. I had to practically run to keep up. We past the extremely long lines and went through several barriers. I think we went from gate to luggage pick up in less than 45 min. Maybe even 30. This was important for me as I was forced into transferring airports by the airlines who canceled my original flight. Mom and I separated at luggage with me going on the shuttle and her being pushed on back through security and on to her gate. That’s why I tell people to do the wheelchair service if you can. It’s worth the tip to blast past those long lines.

  7. Dear Johnny: I’ve been requesting wheelchair/cart services since I started having health issues with my neck and lower back in my fifties. I’ll be 65 later this year. If this weren’t available, it would seriously curtail my travel plans. My husband (67) gets embarrassed to have to sit in the golf cart with me, or follow my wheelchair—but he’s realizing it speeds up our getting to the gate on time, boarding early, and with breezing thru customs….so he’s better about it. I’ve added my request to all my airline membership profiles.

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