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Wheelchair attendant? Other help for elderly passenger?

Wheelchair attendant? Other help for elderly passenger?

Old Aug 19, 19, 11:29 am
  #1  
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Wheelchair attendant? Other help for elderly passenger?

Twice a year I bring my father over for a visit, alone, on AC J on points, from Europe. He's now 90, and has up until now been in great physical and mental shape. But last couple of times, he's been forgetting various items along the way (coat, computer, etc.), nearly missing a connecting flight by reading the gate # on the wrong boarding pass, etc. He doesn't have dementia per se, but increasingly finds the travel experience disorienting and tiring. It's 1 or 2 connections each way so plenty of opportunities to miss something.

My naive solution is to request for him a wheelchair and attendant the next trip. In a way it's overkill, since he doesn't actually need to be wheeled around, but it's the only way I can think of where someone will reliably(?) make sure he gets from A to B when connecting, and will presumably notice if he's leaving something on his seat while leaving the lounge.

Any alternatives people can think of? Or pitfalls/caveats? Ways to phrase the request if there are multiple "levels" of service?

(The Canadian and long haul carrier is AC, there's probably a short connecting hop on LH)
montrealer is offline  
Old Aug 19, 19, 12:05 pm
  #2  
 
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I have arranged general help for my elderly father-in-law, who had both poor mobility issues and general unease about navigating airports/connection. I requested the assistance over the phone with AC reservations - no problems at all, and father-in-law reported courteous and effective assistance from staff at the airport. If I recall correctly, I just told them he required wheelchair transfer between gates and general assistance (e.g. boarding passes, communicating with gate agents boarding, etc).

These were short domestic segments though - I'm sure others can comment on the potential challenges of getting assistance with connections involving non-AC staff at international airports.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 12:44 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by montrealer View Post
Twice a year I bring my father over for a visit, alone, on AC J on points, from Europe. He's now 90, and has up until now been in great physical and mental shape. But last couple of times, he's been forgetting various items along the way (coat, computer, etc.), nearly missing a connecting flight by reading the gate # on the wrong boarding pass, etc. He doesn't have dementia per se, but increasingly finds the travel experience disorienting and tiring. It's 1 or 2 connections each way so plenty of opportunities to miss something.

My naive solution is to request for him a wheelchair and attendant the next trip. In a way it's overkill, since he doesn't actually need to be wheeled around, but it's the only way I can think of where someone will reliably(?) make sure he gets from A to B when connecting, and will presumably notice if he's leaving something on his seat while leaving the lounge.
Since you have concierge access you can ask for help from the concierge. I did this once for my mother although it was 12 years ago and one still had direct access to concierges. In my case, at FRA.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 7:54 pm
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Depending on the NCIS LA shooting schedule, Chris O'Donnell may be available for help.

More practically, if you aren't SE this year, someone may slip you the concierge line for trying to arrange before the day of for their escorting. They may sluff you off on reservations and general purpose wheelchair help, however. That might be the only option except for a personal companion.
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Old Aug 20, 19, 4:54 am
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The only thing I would caution is that mobility service is not a paid companion service. Air Canada is pretty good at this in my direct experience (~2 years ago I broke my foot, and then did YOW-YYZ-SFO return and then YOW-YVR-SYD return with it) but this forum is littered with CBC articles where someone's parent got left somewhere and not picked up, because mistakes can be made and IRROPS situations can throw things in to chaos. There are hand-offs going Dom - Intl / Transborder for example, and sometimes your dad might have to wait for someone at those points. Just make sure he's still paying attention to where is is going and what he is doing and if he needs something he speaks up and asks for it.
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Old Aug 20, 19, 6:09 am
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Originally Posted by RangerNS View Post
Depending on the NCIS LA shooting schedule, Chris O'Donnell may be available for help.

More practically, if you aren't SE this year, someone may slip you the concierge line for trying to arrange before the day of for their escorting. They may sluff you off on reservations and general purpose wheelchair help, however. That might be the only option except for a personal companion.
You are entitled to Concierge access when on a J ticket.
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Old Aug 20, 19, 7:24 am
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That is exactly what I would use a concierge for.
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