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    Thread: Elderly solo travellers!

    1. #1

      Elderly solo travellers!

      Hi All

      My mother-in-law would love to come to visit us all in Adelaide, but is completely daunted by the journey itself. She's a fit 76 year old, recently widowed after 50 years of marriage, and has never done any travelling on her own. She is particularly nervous about having to transit somewhere like Dubai or Singapore, and we think she'd find it all so stressful.

      We don't want the trip to be an ordeal for her. And we also don't want her to be so freaked out by the journey that she never comes again.

      Her preferred option would be that one of us returns to the UK to collect her, but we simply can't afford to do that.

      Has anyone else had any similar experiences?

      Any advice or suggestions would be very welcome.


    2. #2

      Senior Member
      Join Date
      May 2009
      Woodcroft, Adelaide
      72 times
      Hi, I can say from our experience travelling with 4 young children a year ago, we flew with Singapore Airlines who were fantastic from the moment we checked in with them at Heathrow. When we booked our tickets we put in a request for assistance when we landed in Singapore for our several hours stop over, a lovely lady was waiting for us outside the aircraft doors and took bags of off us and took us to a special assistance lounge with magazines, and tv and drinks for the kids :-) when we went into this lounge she then took our boarding passes off of us, and at the relevant time she came back to us and took us straight to the passport control (xray machine) bit just in the boarding lounge and then "queue jumped us" straight to the front of the queue and took us onto the plane!!!!! all at no extra cost to us. I would highly recommend this service to anyone and think it would be idea for your MIL. If u make sure you request it at the time of booking the flight tickets and stress that she is a very nervous passenger, doing it on her own for the first time, Singapore Airlines will do all they can to help.

      We are booking with them again purely for this purpose and dont mind paying the little extra that the flights may be.

      Good luck

      Corinne (40), Mark (39), Millie (12), Harvey (10), Joseph (7) and Max (4) Live the dream........then get a new one

    3. #3

      Join Date
      Jul 2010
      Here, not there.
      4893 times
      I'd suggest Singapore Airlines (really lovely and staff very polite etc) also and perhaps one of you fly to Singapore to meet up? Only 7 hours or so flight wise and not as expensive. But chances are she'll manage it on her own.

      Also with Singapore your mother can change flights there if need be (and the airline will be more than happy to help her find her way round if she feels overwhelmed or give her a lift and save her legs if she is tired). Luckily the flights don't mean a change of terminal, just a 5 minute walk to the main waiting area and then a few hours keeping yourself amused before a 5-10 wander back down to the new gate of departure. No worry about luggage other than hand luggage. And then straight flight down to Adelaide.

      If the airline flies straight through then its usually a 45 minute -1 hour layover in Singapore then back on the same plane for the second leg. But usually it requires an actual flight change and a few hours on the ground in Singapore. Check the airlines website for info.

      Good luck.

    4. #4
      Thanks for those suggestions, Singapore Airlines sounds like it might be the answer.

      My mother-in-law is actually near Manchester Airport, but I might try and find someone to take her to SA's closest hub. And a trip for one of us to Singapore might not be impossible....

      Thanks guys!

    5. #5

      Retired Member
      Join Date
      Dec 2009
      1362 times
      If it was MIL i'd tell her its a horrendous journey, tiring, daunting, lonely and she'd hate it here!!


    6. #6

      My mum came over in Dec and got delayed by the snow at Manchester then Heathrow, she's travelled on her own loads of places so it didn't bother her but she met a lady a bit older than her also traveling to see her son in Adelaide, so they stuck together and my mum said it made it so much better, having someone to talk to and to make sure they weren't going to the wrong gate etc.
      So maybe you could find someone else's mum or MIL to pair her up with as travel buddies.

    7. #7
      My mum came last year, she is nearly 60, but has never flown on her own. She had a good time.
      We have a relative who has just toured Aus for the second time and she is 79, she gets care assistance when in the airports, they bring her a wheel chair and look after her, she loves it. Shangai airport is a huge place and takes a lot of walking so i reckon she has it sussed right and gets wheeled or golf carted to where ever she wants to be.

      Singapore airlines still fly from manchester, but stop in Amsterdam to pick up and then on to Sing. Rellies find it cheaper to travel to London, catch the plane from there to sing and then on to ADL.

    8. #8
      My dad came over last year and had assistance with Cathay Pacific. Couldn't fault them. looked after him all the way. Emirates are also fantastic too. With the exchange rate its a good time to book with them too. flights for around 750 pound mark, make it about $1400 return.....

    9. #9
      Just between ourselves, it had occured to me.....!

    10. #10
      Ooops, last reply was for Stevo

      Thanks for those ideas. I had wondered about posting to see if anyone else was travelling out here who would be up for 'budddying up' with her. But with the right airline I think she could manage. :)

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