Zurich Airport / Escorting a passenger to the gate?

Old Sep 5, 14, 2:48 am
  #1  
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Zurich Airport / Escorting a passenger to the gate?

Hello Forum,

I have a question that someone might know the answer or have a good suggestion, please:

I have a scenario coming up that I wanted some help. I will be in Zurich with someone who will return to their home country, but they speak no language other than portuguese.

So, I would like to know if it is possible to obtain a sort of "gate pass" to take this person thru security and up to the gate for departure of his flight?

Will someone in Zurich do such a thing?

If he flies with TAP, will a TAP agent at checkin offer such service?

Or should I try to buy a fully refundable ticket for much later, and take the person along with me, and come back and return/cancel flight?

What are the suggestions please? thanks...
RedRobin is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 7:08 am
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I have never heard of something like a "gate pass" in Zurich - not saying it does not exist though, but in my years working there, I have not come across them.

Unless the person is handicapped, very young or very old, I don't think the airline handling agent will have somebody available to take of him, either.

Perhaps you should look into the airport's VIP Service and ask if they have Portuguese-speaking staff?

Otherwise, the refundable ticket may work but you'll need a boarding pass (i.e. be checked in) to get airside. Make sure you can still cancel after checking.
airoli is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 7:43 am
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Airoli,
thanks for the response, and interesting perspectives you bring:

The VIP Service and the need for the boarding pass....

I am going to investigate both, and share my findings later on,

Thanks,
RedRobin is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 9:41 am
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formerly vienna-resident
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Zurich Airport is so easy to navigate, so I don't really see the need for additional assistance even if the person only speaks Portuguese.

I might see a point here if was a flight from the midfield terminal involving the underground train, but if he flies TAP, he's leaving from the A Gates, which is an easy 5 minute walk from the security checkpoint. I've seen plenty of people at the security checkpoint who spoke neither German nor English, and somehow the always managed using gestures and signs. Zurich security staff is very helpful, it's not the TSA...
livefromtuscany is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 12:06 pm
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Originally Posted by RedRobin View Post
Or should I try to buy a fully refundable ticket for much later, and take the person along with me, and come back and return/cancel flight?
This is the way to go.

Originally Posted by airoli View Post
Make sure you can still cancel after checking.
It never hurts to double-check the fare rules but if it is long before boarding (OLCI implied) the ticket can almost always be cancelled.

Originally Posted by vienna-resident View Post
Zurich Airport is so easy to navigate, so I don't really see the need for additional assistance even if the person only speaks Portuguese.
I'd assume from the OP that the need for an escort is not up to discussion. Perhaps the language is not the only barrier?
mmff is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 12:43 pm
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This is NOT the way to go

Originally Posted by mmff View Post
This is the way to go.
I did that back in 2007 and ended being if not really arrested, firmly questioned.

The lady at the counter where I applied for the refund called airport police and I was taken for a drug or passport trafficker. It was a lengthy conversation with the police inspector, it ended well, but I was warned not to do it again because it is against the "Hausordnung" to enter the departure area without the intention to fly.
behuman is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 1:07 pm
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http://www.flughafen-zuerich.ch/~/me...R_STT_2014.pdf

Check this out. There is a 'careport' service which you could use.
Unterwegs is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by behuman View Post
I did that back in 2007 and ended being if not really arrested, firmly questioned.

The lady at the counter where I applied for the refund called airport police and I was taken for a drug or passport trafficker. It was a lengthy conversation with the police inspector, it ended well, but I was warned not to do it again because it is against the "Hausordnung" to enter the departure area without the intention to fly.
I did it recently and cancelled over the phone without any problems. My set is far from statistic, so I'll wait for FTers with more experience to chime in.
mmff is offline  
Old Sep 5, 14, 1:46 pm
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...all interesting input, thank you!

well, as vienna-resident pointed out, ZRH is indeed a easy place to navigate and should not be an issue.

on the inbound flight its not a problem since we are traveling together, but on the return flight I wanted to minimize the stress given the "no language other than English"...

the VIP service is too expensive, not worth the price (let him get stressed, and I will keep my chfs! ;-) )

Thanks everyone,
RedRobin is offline  

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