Travel diaries – 1

India’s peripatetic senior citizen has cracked the secret of easing international travel. Ask for assistance when you have a connecting flight (even when you are perfectly capable of walking, running even); the critical detail is that the responsibility to get you to your flight rests with the airlines. I have often wondered why so many of us seek assistance. On my last trip through a completely inefficient and unhelpful European city, I almost missed my flight looking for the gate. When I arrived at the aircraft so many of my companions were beaming at my flustered state, they had seamlessly reached the gate well in time. I guess it’s what works, right?

Selected comments imported from facebook where I posted this last week:

Sunil Chaudhary She’s a sweet old lady. Whatever works, different strokes for different folks. Renu Kishore Rightly observed! It makes the process much faster and some people are misusing the facility. Nandita ChaudharyRenu Kishore using or misusing, I wonder. If it’s a complex process asking for assistance is okay I guess. I’ve softened my stance. Vini Gupta It is not only about senior citizens. I and my kids almost missed my flight at Paris airport because they switched the terminals last moment without info. I asked for assistance and no one helped. I am still scared of that airport.

Time for some Aloo poorie at the airport?

Nandita Chaudhary And how about some Aloo poorie with nimboo ka achaar while we wait? Damn, I’m having hunger pangs.
Manvika Sharma So typical of Indians 😊 My mommy does the same.. Aloo dishes always being a staple as it cooks fast and serve the hunger pangs for longest😊
Surabhi Negi It’s always wise to know and choose the battles worth a fight or should I say flight 🙂 Sharada Nayak I always ask for special assistance and have been grateful for the airline service for senior citizens. Have only been let down once- at Heathrow – where I walked with great difficulty to get to my gate for a connecting flight.
Subhashini Subrahmanyam Senior citizens are entitled to ask for help during international travel. As just mentioned by you and others if younger folks find it so difficult to find the right gates how do you expect older woman to do a sprint.It is an assumption that they can run.Since you are not aware of their health status either a hip replacement or a knee problem they do ask for help as they are incapable of dealing with the complexities of changing flights.

Queuing up at immigration

Nandita Chaudhary Absolutely. I also want to extend this to claiming that EVEN if they are in good health, cultural unfamiliarity also needs to be addressed as a legitimate recognition, Dr. Subrahmanyam. Kiran Malhotra you are so right when I fly to Delhi on air India 60 percent of the passengers are on wheel chairs just for this reason. Negotiating immigration and customs at airports is a trek.


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