Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER Will WWII hero still be able to go into the wild blue yonder?
Will WWII hero still be able to go into the wild blue yonder? PDF Print E-mail

World War II bomber crew

World War II bomber pilot still believes he can fly solo

Q: Grandpa has always been a fiercely independent guy, and still insists he goes on commercial flights alone. After all, he says, “I flew a B25 during WWII, and I can still take care of myself in the air at age 90.” He uses a walker, and is slowing down physically and mentally. Now he wants to fly cross-country for an Air Force squadron reunion, and absolutely insists on going alone. What do you suggest?

A: You should strongly consider preventing Grandpa from flying alone. If you believe he’ll be OK if a companion goes with him, find one that won’t anger him. For example, send a teen grandkid who tells Grandpa he/she is interested in an Air Force career. Check on rules many airlines apply regarding aged and handicapped people who fly without companions.

Here are a few of the more specific regulations. Many airlines won’t allow you to travel alone unless you’re able to independently work your seatbelt and oxygen mask, get to an emergency exit fast and hear/understand flight attendant instructions.

Additionally, attendants can’t help if the passenger needs help to eat or use the onboard toilet independently. Attendants can’t help if boarding or deplaning requires help or the passenger is confused after landing in the airport facilities.

Even if you’re considering allowing Grandpa to attend the reunion alone, you must be certain someone actually escorts him to his airplane seat before take-off, and someone meets him immediately when the airplane arrives at his destination.

The bottom line is: If you have any doubts about his capabilities or potential for troubles, don’t allow Grandpa to fly alone.

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