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Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

San Jose
posts: 44
reviews: 22
Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

A group of people are planning a river cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg in April 2014 and there's a possibility the trip will continue to Prague. However, if it does, my mother age 85 and in relatively good health, might wish to return to the US.

If I go onto Prague and she doesn't, we'll need the use of a reliable person who's job is to escort people through the maze of a foreign airport and ensure they get comfortably onto the plane. Any knowledge of such a person or service in Nuremberg?

The next stop for her after Nuremberg will be Munich. Any knowledge of such a person or service there?

The final stop will be Newark, New Jersey. That will involve going through customs. Any such person or service in Newark? Thanks!!

Nowy Sacz, Poland
Destination Expert
for Poland
posts: 4,023
reviews: 42
1. Re: Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

I'd look into booking assistance via the airline.

Each airport has staff dedicated to helping the disabled, elderly and otherwise infirm (and I count myself in the first category, being in a w/chair) and their job is to see you door to door. Crew will help your mother on the plane. You just need to see her off and make sure she is collected at the destination arrivals hall.

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 6,546
reviews: 335
2. Re: Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

There will also be at least one connection between Nuremberg and EWR (e.g., Munich, though there are other options, such as Amsterdam). About 12 hours of travel. And maybe more than one airline. You could be at the airport with her in Nuremberg, and at Newark she'd be on home territory and wouldn't have to worry about missing a flight, so the connecting city may be the most crucial. I agree about contacting the airline. I imagine you know a fee could likely be involved, depending on the type of assistance needed. At the connection airport, whoever assists her would need to go through security, so obviously the airline and airport are the best sources. Call the airline to start.

At EWR, it'd be Immigration more than Customs that would likely be the "obstacle." What type of assistance do you feel she'd need?

Edited: 2:00 pm, May 20, 2013
Nowy Sacz, Poland
Destination Expert
for Poland
posts: 4,023
reviews: 42
3. Re: Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

The general rule is 1) Free, 2) book through the airline, 3) Provided by the airport.

San Jose
posts: 44
reviews: 22
4. Re: Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

johnb121,

Thanks for the excellent suggestion. Sometimes the best advice is right in front of our eyes!

Rich

San Jose
posts: 44
reviews: 22
5. Re: Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

Sutter,

Great advice. Since I'll be with her in Nuremberg and my brother will meet her in Newark, I agree the key is handling things in the connecting city.

My mother will be 86, but she's ambulatory and of sight mind. In fact, she was a seasoned traveler until 10 years ago, but is now quite a bit less sure of herself.

Rich

Yorkshire
posts: 260
reviews: 6
6. Re: Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

Do not be concerned of the connection. My mother (just slightly younger than yours!) has travelled a lot recent years with connections in various European airports. Since she started using the "special assistance services", it has been very similar and straightforward every time. She is met near the plane door (she can walk herself, albeit slowly), sat in a wheelchair, then sometimes transferred to a buggy for six or eight people, and brought to the departure gate. Never had any problem.

As said before, book the "special assistance" with the airline. Just note, with some airlines you need to book it a bit in advance, like 72 hours.

San Jose
posts: 44
reviews: 22
7. Re: Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

igro01,

Thanks so much for your suggestion. There are few substitutes for first hand knowledge of a similar situation. It's much appreciated!

Rich

Yorkshire
posts: 260
reviews: 6
8. Re: Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

BTW, which airline will your mother fly? Websites of most airlines have detailed sections for passengers who need special assistance, and it can be requested online.

NomadicForever
posts: 3,307
reviews: 13
9. Re: Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

I recently flew from Munich. Due to a knee problem I was unable and still am to walk a long distance. Had no w/chair booked as my gate is usually very close. This time it had been changed which made it difficult for me. No last min. W/chair possible plus they wanted a med. cert. I am no youngster either. Most airlines in MUC use a service company to do their check in. They are an inflexible and unfriendly lot.

Nowy Sacz, Poland
Destination Expert
for Poland
posts: 4,023
reviews: 42
10. Re: Airport Escorts - Elderly Parent

I'm not even sure it would be the service coimpany being unhelpful - the airport is providing the service, and they'll have rules. They'll also know who has booked so they'll have their assistants' day planned and so perhaps had no-one spare to help you. Moral, even if you think you might be OK, book assistance.