Tip for older travelers
by Collette Siemaszko, SeniorNet Coordinator, Copernicus Senior Center, Chicago.
Tip: Get your ticket & reservations online
Book three to four weeks ahead for domestic travel
Print the itinerary even though the airline will email a confirmation later with the confirmation number on it. Print that also.
Airline web sites offer the option to request a wheelchair. If you have difficulty walking the long distances often required at an airport, take advantage of it.
Tip: Take a snack or meal
Most carriers don’t offer meals on short flights so you’d be well advised to pack your own. And take a bottle of water, airplane air is very dehydrating.
Tip: Confirm your flight
Visit the airline’s site 24-30 hours before you leave and check in using your confirmation number; follow the directions on the site to print your boarding pass.
Tip: At the airport
At the curbside check in present your boarding pass, ID and luggage and tell the attendant that you are expecting a wheelchair.
Don’t lock your luggage but do mark your bags with an easily identifiable tag.
Keep your ID and boarding pass handy for going through Security.
Wear shoes that are easy to remove when you go through security and put your jewelry in a pouch in your purse to present for inspection. Put it on when you get through security.
Tip: Pack light for air travel
Pack your medicines in your carry-on bag and keep it with you.
Keep copies of your prescriptions and doctors’ instructions with you, too.
Take extra eyeglasses and their prescriptions.
Take a folding cane that will fit in a purse or carry-on.
Pack sharp items such as knitting, nail files, scissors, in the luggage you check, not in your carry-on.
Tip: Keep medication with you
If you are a diabetic, for instance, keep your test kit and other supplies in your purse.
Tip: Don’t forget to take a book
You can get a book or two to take with you on your next trip for just the price of the postage. Go to the Book Exchange in the Books & Literature discussion and just click on the person’s name listed next to the book to see an email form that’s already addressed to the current book owner. You can work out the shipping details via email. It’s easy and you may find a new book-loving friend.
Note about locking luggage tip:
SeniorNet member, John Herbert, Ph.D., submitted this tip about an authorized way to lock your luggage.
There are now baggage locks that are approved by the DOT (Department of Transportation). They have special keys that can open them. I suggest the small size which you can get at locksmiths that have an indicator that shows if the lock has been opened.
At your destination, if the lock has been opened by the DOT, you will find an inspection slip inside. If there is no slip and, if anything is missing, you should report it to the airline.
Before standing in line at security, make sure you already have your boarding pass. A receipt or online registration is no longer enough, you will need to get a boarding pass from the airline or an electronic kiosk. If you have already checked bags, the airline has already given you one. If you are only carrying on luggage, all you need is a credit card or confirmation number to print out your boarding pass. After you get your boarding pass, also get out your identification. Someone will check these items before allowing you any further in the security process.
Although these new regulations may seem terribly foreign to older travelers, wait times and problems are decreasing as everyone becomes aware of the new regulations. Allow yourself plenty of time to get through security and try to ignore any inconvenience. Although airlines always wish you a safe trip to your destination, the government is now trying to ensure that happens.
This article is re-published from the SeniorNet website, and we are indebted to this body for permission to include the article here.
Tip for Old Traveler