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Recommendations for elderly travel CMH-LAS

Recommendations for elderly travel CMH-LAS

Old Feb 26, 20, 11:27 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: LAS (was CMH)
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Recommendations for elderly travel CMH-LAS

Hi everyone! Looking for some guidance or suggestions on booking flights for my 83 year old father. Planning a RT for him around the week of 4/13 thru 4/24; dates are flexible within those weeks as long as he's here by 4/17 and has a 7-8 night stay. He's not an experienced traveler, so I want to make the connection as simple as possible, and he wants to fly F. Last fall when he made the trip he changed in SLC and said it wasn't too bad, stayed in the same concourse (C) I believe.

I see basically the same itinerary available this April, but I also see an option thru ATL, 1438/8812 or 2419/8812, that has lie-flats on the ATL-LAS leg. I think he'd find that experience pretty cool. But that far out I can't see the arrival and departure gates/concourses at ATL, and I really don't want him to have to find and ride the train. Oh, and those flights aren't on the current schedule, so I can't see where they're berthing now.

Can any of the sages here offer insight or helpful commentary on the SLC or the ATL options? Thanks much!
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Old Feb 26, 20, 11:37 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by Bluesman62 View Post
Hi everyone! Looking for some guidance or suggestions on booking flights for my 83 year old father. Planning a RT for him around the week of 4/13 thru 4/24; dates are flexible within those weeks as long as he's here by 4/17 and has a 7-8 night stay. He's not an experienced traveler, so I want to make the connection as simple as possible, and he wants to fly F. Last fall when he made the trip he changed in SLC and said it wasn't too bad, stayed in the same concourse (C) I believe.

I see basically the same itinerary available this April, but I also see an option thru ATL, 1438/8812 or 2419/8812, that has lie-flats on the ATL-LAS leg. I think he'd find that experience pretty cool. But that far out I can't see the arrival and departure gates/concourses at ATL, and I really don't want him to have to find and ride the train. Oh, and those flights aren't on the current schedule, so I can't see where they're berthing now.

Can any of the sages here offer insight or helpful commentary on the SLC or the ATL options? Thanks much!
If a widebody you are leaving out of T, A, E, or F. I would look at current schedules for CMH-ATL to see where they are arriving into. During that same time period I see a 767 operating DTW-LAS (DL8819 on at least April 14). Even if you have to change concourses it is not as bad as Atlanta and a better shot that everything will all be in the same concourse.

Editing to say that on the same hypothetical day a 767 is also on MSP-LAS flight (DL8798). All of the mainline concourses in MSP are connected (and CMH-MSP is mainline) so you won't have to worry about going up and down stairs or taking a train. That being said, some connections are a bit far.

Last edited by nystateofmind; Feb 26, 20 at 11:42 am
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Old Feb 26, 20, 11:38 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Not specific to these airports, or even Delta, I have done similar planning for my mother (85). I book her flights and request assistance at the connecting airport. This usually means they meet the flight with a wheelchair. She really doesn't need the chair but they will escort her to the connecting gate, which is what she really wants. This has worked well for us in changing terminals in ATL or even making a long connection in DFW.
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Old Feb 26, 20, 12:28 pm
  #4  
 
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Is there a good reason you don't want him to take the Southwest nonstop? If he's eligible to pre-board, that mitigates the main disadvantage of flying Southwest, and it sounds like it would be super valuable for him not to have to change planes.
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Old Feb 26, 20, 12:43 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by SamOF View Post
Is there a good reason you don't want him to take the Southwest nonstop? If he's eligible to pre-board, that mitigates the main disadvantage of flying Southwest, and it sounds like it would be super valuable for him not to have to change planes.
Yes, he wants to fly first. Doesn't want to be in a cramped standard seat config, wants the amenities, and has the money to do so. If it was me, sure, I'm all about the n/s on WN both ways, but Dad wants to fly up front for his remaining years.
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Old Feb 26, 20, 1:26 pm
  #6  
 
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There are 3 aspects to the ATL connection - Time, distance and route knowledge. I'm a few years younger than your father and I connect through ATL frequently and here are my thoughts. I, BTW, am not as spry as I was but I book MCT's all the time if I'm by myself and 2 hour connection if my wife is with me since she needs more time. It's not so much age as physical conditions and experience,

The crowds and speed of movement can be overwhelming to an inexperienced traveler as well as the concern never having done this connection. I would strongly suggest that you request assistance. Let them know that he can be met at the podium, he doesn't need a wheelchair to get off the plane and up the jetway. He could arrive at a gate at the end of the terminal. I'd let them take him, with an escort, in a wheelchair or electric cart to the connecting gate. If they have to take the train they'll use the elevator, not the escalator. I'd also allow a 2 hour connection. A D1 configured widebody would be fantastic. Not only a much better physical environment but he'll get better attention. Go for it.
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Old Feb 26, 20, 2:03 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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If he connects in MSP you or he can request a “gate assist” for him through the Travelers Assistance office. A volunteer will meet his incoming flight and escort him to the connecting flight. There is no charge for this service and the volunteers do not accept tips; donations to the MSP Airport Foundation are always welcome, but not necessary.

You or he can call the Travelers Assistance office at the airport at 612-726-5500 anytime before his travel (preferably not at the last minute) to arrange this. The office is open from 8AM to 8PM daily, including weekends.

I don’t know if other airports offer a similar service.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 8:24 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by Bluesman62 View Post
Hi everyone! Looking for some guidance or suggestions on booking flights for my 83 year old father. Planning a RT for him around the week of 4/13 thru 4/24; dates are flexible within those weeks as long as he's here by 4/17 and has a 7-8 night stay. He's not an experienced traveler, so I want to make the connection as simple as possible, and he wants to fly F. Last fall when he made the trip he changed in SLC and said it wasn't too bad, stayed in the same concourse (C) I believe.

I see basically the same itinerary available this April, but I also see an option thru ATL, 1438/8812 or 2419/8812, that has lie-flats on the ATL-LAS leg. I think he'd find that experience pretty cool. But that far out I can't see the arrival and departure gates/concourses at ATL, and I really don't want him to have to find and ride the train. Oh, and those flights aren't on the current schedule, so I can't see where they're berthing now.

Can any of the sages here offer insight or helpful commentary on the SLC or the ATL options? Thanks much!
Years ago, an older family friend took a trip with us, buying a ticket at the 11th hour. She flew from CMH TO Florida with us via ATL (so she had guides), but would be flying solo on the way back; with that in mind, I routed her through DTW because of the relative simplicity of the airport compared to ATL (either everything would be on A at DTW or require a simple trip through the trippy tunnel vs. the Train) or JFK/LGA (potential delays).

In your case, SLC would be the most linear option and wouldn't require a terminal change. ATL would require planes, trains, and automobiles, but could provide a better F experience. I'd give the edge to SLC, but YMMV.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 9:58 am
  #9  
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If you go through Atlanta you cannot avoid the train. Just because a flight from CMH arrives into Concourse B for the past week does not mean it will when your father travels. I would request a wheelchair escort to take him to his connecting gate for your peace of mind. I wouldn't choose a certain route because of fear of a terminal change.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 10:56 am
  #10  
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I’m sending an 87-yr-old solo to PVD in April with a ‘close’ connection. He can walk, but not very fast. Wheelchair is the way to go.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 12:48 pm
  #11  
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I really appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions, particularly the ones for gate assist or wheelchair. I hadn't even thought of that since Dad's still quite agile. But I don't think he'd object to a w/c or cart ride between gates no matter the airport. I'm leaning toward recommending the ATL/D1 experience but in the end it's all about his comfort level and preferences.

Thanks for being such a great community!
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Old Mar 12, 20, 1:10 pm
  #12  
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Just thought I'd report back on how this all worked out. DL appears to have dropped the wide-bodies on most of the convenient LAS itineraries out of ATL, so that option went away. We then became reluctant to book due to CV19, but then the price dropped $200 AND DL announced their no-change-fee policy, so we booked the SLC itinerary. A win for us!

Thanks again.
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