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The Trials of Airline Travel

October 25, 2011
airplane

Image by shyb via Flickr

Every year Dad flies around the country to spend time with each of his children.  Helping Dad to fly safely has required a succession of accommodations.

Our first step was helping dad get to his gate.  With a gate pass the person he is leaving is permitted to go through security with Dad and keep him company until he boards the plane.  The person at the other end also gets a gate pass and can stand at the runway as Dad gets off the plane.  Nonstop flights were critical to making this work.

When walking long distances became more difficult Dad got a wheelchair.  This added a new wrinkle.  His wheelchair had to be gate checked and Dad never remembered that he had a wheelchair as he left the plane.  This taught us all to communicate more carefully about exactly what Dad had with him when he is flying.

Then there was security!  If you think security is difficult, try not remembering 9-11 and you would really think Americans are insane.  Why in the world do they make you take off your shoes?  As we learned to not give Dad a belt, change  or keys on flying days, life got much easier.

As the airlines changed their restrictions, we changed our approach and as Dad needed more support, we changed again.  We have been lucky to have our whole family to think of creative solutions.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2011 6:22 am

    I really appreciate you sharing your experiences — your stories are so helpful for all of the challenges we have ahead. I haven’t been erasing the emails I get with your posts because I know I will want to reread them and absorb the information at a later date!

    • October 27, 2011 10:51 am

      I am so glad to know that you find them helpful! That is certainly a major reason for our doing this.

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