The airline companies are always in the news. But lately, they have gotten headlines for the entirely wrong reasons. With the expansion of technology, every person owns a smartphone these days. Passengers can record videos during or before the flight. In recent times, we have more and more videos that show us that passengers aren’t always treated as they should be. Passenger service is not what it was or what it should be. Now, don’t be discouraged about flying—these incidents are separate and are few and far between, but they did put passenger rights under the spotlight.
As in every aspect of your lives, it is essential to know your rights. This can be crucial if you decide to travel by airplane with your senior loved one. Before boarding your next flight, make sure to understand what exactly you are entitled to.
Senior Safety and Passenger Rights
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) devoted some of their effort to make flying more accessible for elderly adults. They improved and made it more comfortable for seniors by loosening up some of the rules that are strict for younger people. So if you are flying with older adults, here are some things that you should know before boarding an airplane.
Easier, Faster Screening
If you didn’t know, it is now possible to finish with screening faster if you are a senior. Adults older than 75 can keep both their shoes and jacket on while undergoing this process. Another perk that only the elderly are entitled to during screening is that they can be screened while seated.
TSA rules are something that all elderly people should look into before they decide to fly. This especially goes if they have an illness or disability, require specialized equipment or medicines, or have any type of health condition. By visiting the TSA website, you can be informed in advance if they need to label medication bottles in any particular way. Another factor you should take into account is if your loved one has Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia. If they do, you should inform the TSA agent at the checkpoint about the matter.
FAA Approved Oxygen Concentrator
If you or your loved one is someone who might need oxygen during the flight, you’ll have to inform the airline in advance. Oxygen can become unstable due to cabin pressure. Some airlines, but not all, allow you to have an FAA-approved portable oxygen bottle by your side. But, as we said, not all airlines allow this, so you will need to talk to them prior to the flight. Most of the time they need at least 48 hours notice before you board. If your loved one needs to have an oxygen bottle by their side all the time, you will need to have a note from your physician to present to the TSA agent during the screening.
Wheelchairs and Electric Carts
Now, if your loved one needs to use a wheelchair or electric cart for navigation in the airport, they shouldn’t be worried by the regulations. The only thing you need to do is to book what you need before the flight and then confirm it one day before boarding. Unfortunately, there isn’t a guarantee that you won’t have to wait for one when you get to the airport, but by reserving them, you at least improve your chances. If you travel on a busy day, the wait is something that you need to expect.
Finally, one thing that we would love to recommend is TSA Pre-Check. By applying for it, you can schedule a ten minute in-person background check. You can apply online without visiting the airport or airline headquarters.
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