General Question

trailsillustrated's avatar

Do you think a 90 year old person could take a very long flight first class?

Asked by trailsillustrated (14700 points ) February 18th, 2013

I am leaving and my dad is 90. Keeps bouncing back from injuries and illnesses. When I move back to Australia, no one will be able to care for him like I do. I am considering flying him over first class and just taking care of him there. My sister here will say I am crazy but no one here has time for him. Think it’s possible?

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22 Answers

Judi's avatar

It’s possible depending on his health. The flight attendants will take good care of him but will he be able to get up and use that tiny bathroom on his own? Will you be flying with him? Does he get flustered and agitated with change? What does HE want?

trailsillustrated's avatar

@Judi he wants to be with me. He’s pretty sturdy. I explained about the bathroom thing- I think he would need lots of help that’s why I’m suggesting first class. No I will not be with I am going now to get a house.

gorillapaws's avatar

You may need to hire a personal nurse, get him/her a ticket as well (round trip) if you can’t accompany him for the flight. What about the visa situation with him being abroad for an extended (indefinite) period of time? In first class the flight attendants will be happy to pour him some champagne, but they’re not nurses and you can’t expect them to function as nurses.

Bellatrix's avatar

The best person to ask would be his doctor. You could then check with different airlines whether they would let him fly and what information they would need from his physician to allow him to fly.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@gorillapaws As I am a citizen I dont’ know how that works. You don’t think first class would be enough? I am not asking for nappie changes just assistance to the loo. Maybe crazy.

rooeytoo's avatar

My dad had his first flight when he was in his mid 80’s. It was not the 14 hour from LAX to oz but it was about 5 hours cross the USA. He did fine, enjoyed the experience, but he was in good health. I would say do it, what do you have to lose, I remember you saying before you were taking care of him and he was not well then. But yeah, check out the visa business. If he is not a citizen he will have to apply for permanent residency or dual citizenship in order to be eligible for medicare and the like.

gorillapaws's avatar

@rooeytoo “I would say do it, what do you have to lose…”

For one thing, he could develop a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) that could cause a fatal Pulmonary Embolism if he doesn’t walk enough on the flight.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@gorillapaws yeh it happened to me at age 36. From flying that route alot. But so what?

marinelife's avatar

Yes, it would be wearing but possible.

Judi's avatar

It makes me think of the cruise my sister and I took my mom on a few years before she died. She was willing to go parasailing (she was in her 80’s and walked with a walker and was legally blind )
Her attitude was, “What have I got to lose? I’ve lived a full life!”
My sister and I ended up chickening out. We couldn’t figure out how to tell our siblings we had killed our mother if she didn’t survive.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you’re considering sending him First Class (you lovely thing, you), then consider sending him by cruise ship instead of by air. Presumably the time factor isn’t an issue, right? I would expect that the pricing should be more or less competitive, and the accommodations and meals much nicer on a good cruise ship. As a rule, anyway. I’m writing this the week after the Carnival Triumph PR disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. At least no one there was injured or killed, merely inconvenienced.

JLeslie's avatar

I think if he feels it will be ok then it should be fine. Get an evening flight if possible during his sleeping hours. A shot of heperin before the flight if you are concerned about DVT, many people do this. Or, at minimum an adult aspirin.

Is there a nonstop flight? Where is he flying from? CA to Australia? Let the airline know he will need assistance so they wheel chair him to the gates and when he lands.

I thought about a cruise also as @CWOTUS But, it would be quite a long ride. If he had someone accompany him on the cruise it might be very nice for him though. Maybe your sister would take the cruise with him? Or, fly with him for that matter, to have some time in Australia.

I don’t see why theree would be any problem with him enterng the country. An elderly parent? Either an extended toursit visa or residence papers should be simple. Contact immigration in Australia and see what they recommend.

Coloma's avatar

At 90 what does he have to lose? He has already exceeded his expected lifespan by several decades in general. I think it is worth the risk and yes, if his doctor gives the okay why not?
I am only 53 and already feel like WTF do I have to lose when it comes to risk taking. haha

What about putting him on a cruise boat with a nurse? Another option, but I think flying would be the easiest and least stressful.

Coloma's avatar

Oops…mea culpa, missed the cruise suggestion above.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My 80-something grandpa made it to Japan, check with doctor first though.

gorillapaws's avatar

If you are concerned about DVT’s (which you probably should be), I would get him fitted for medical compression stockings. Look up the local Vein Specialist in his area. I also think the cruise might be a nice alternative. Crossing the Pacific by ship is on my bucket list.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, if you make some advance preparations. Most airlines have passenger assistance available with advance notice.

Jeruba's avatar

Any possibility of breaking the flight into two shorter ones?—stop off for a couple of days en route and settle down before completing the journey?

I like the idea of hiring a companion if that’s within your means.

rojo's avatar

My mother and aunt, while not 90, were up in years and not in the greatest of health when they made this trip a few years back to see their sister for the first time in over a decade.
They broke the trip up into three stages. Sure, it cost them more to stay overstay in hotels in the countries they stopped in but it allowed them to make the trip.
You migh want to consider it, as @Jeruba mentioned.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws Excellent. For whatever reason the compression stockings slipped my mind. That and heperin if she is very concerned.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I talked to his nurse about it today and she mentioned the heparin thing. I’m thinking first class on a really nice airline like singapore would be the ticket. Thanks, all.

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