Oops!

jimntx

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Jun 28, 2003
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I'll see your Alzheimer's patient and raise you the 50 Mexican nationals that were "lost" at DFW a couple of months after 9/11. The 50 were TWOVs (Transit Without Visa) traveling from Canada to Mexico with a change of planes at DFW. In a cost-cutting move (and also a bright idea from US Immigration) it was decided that TWOVs would no longer be escorted from the inbound a/c to the In-Transit lounge to await departing flight. Instead they would go through Customs and Immigration for a review of their papers (looking for Mexican Al-Qaeda members, maybe?) before proceeding to the In-transit lounge. Problem is that once you clear C&I at DFW, the only way out is up the escalator to the unsecured side of the terminal. Welcome to the USA. Have a nice life. :D
 

Fly

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Mar 7, 2003
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How dare these families put their loved ones on an airplane without an escort. Even UM's are capable of telling us their names, ages, and where they live. These UM's know where they go to school and who is picking them up at their destination. The UM's are capable of using the restrooms by themselves, order a coke, and find the channel for the inflight movie. All these things seem quite simple but are not "simple" for someone with Alzheimer's disease. There is an age requirement for UM's and seeing that many people with this horrible disease are unable to accomplish any of the above things, there should be a restriction, or an outright refusal, by the airlines to allow them onboard without a proper escort. Would they allow a 2 year old to fly by himself? Of course not! Same thing.
 

jimntx

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Jun 28, 2003
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Amen, Fly. In fact there is an FAR regarding passengers unable to do certain things for themselves required to have an able-bodied escort. The question is what stage the disease has progressed to.

My mother is in mid-stage dementia. As far as the Federal requirements, she can walk; she can go to the bathroom unassisted; she can do simple manual tasks--such as, fasten a seatbelt when instructed. She lives in an assisted living center, not a nursing home. A case could be made that she doesn't require an escort.

The problem lies in the fact that she might be fine one day and totally out of touch the next. Under no circumstances would I permit her to travel alone because I don't know today that she will be ok tomorrow.

All it takes is a little common sense to see that you are right. The man should have never been allowed to travel alone.
 
OP
ITRADE

ITRADE

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Aug 19, 2002
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jimntx said:
The problem lies in the fact that she might be fine one day and totally out of touch the next. Under no circumstances would I permit her to travel alone because I don't know today that she will be ok tomorrow.
Heck, by that measure, half of the people who post here (the purported airline employees) should themselves be receiving airline assistance.... :D
 
Feb 24, 2004
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Fly said:
How dare these families put their loved ones on an airplane without an escort. Even UM's are capable of telling us their names, ages, and where they live. These UM's know where they go to school and who is picking them up at their destination. The UM's are capable of using the restrooms by themselves, order a coke, and find the channel for the inflight movie. All these things seem quite simple but are not "simple" for someone with Alzheimer's disease. There is an age requirement for UM's and seeing that many people with this horrible disease are unable to accomplish any of the above things, there should be a restriction, or an outright refusal, by the airlines to allow them onboard without a proper escort. Would they allow a 2 year old to fly by himself? Of course not! Same thing.
I don't think that you should compare a 2year old to an Alzheimer patient.

I agree with you that the family should have advised the airline of thestatus of this passenger and the airline should have taken care of him like they would take care of an eight year old. Don't leave them out of your sight. Give them a type of UM Pin so that every one knows what is going on.

So put equal blame on both, the airline and the family.
 

Rob

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Aug 19, 2002
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There are these little things called Personal Locator Beacons (PLB's) that are small, light weight, effective within a couple miles. Sounds like a few of these things per hub might be a useful investment. Maybe a rental charge could be mantatory for unaccompanied minors, mentally impaired people, etc.
 

tadjr

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Aug 19, 2002
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I'm sorry, but most agents dont really have time to babysit someone while they're waiting to change flights, UMNRS being the exception. There are too many other things going on for the agents to have to do that watching an alzheimers patient until they board isnt one of them. I understand in the hubs that the CARS (or whatever DL calls them) watch over the kids and ASSIST customers with connections, but if a passenger has alzheimers so bad or any other problems that they cant at least partially take care of themselves, follow orders to sit and stay where they are put, then the FAMILY needs to get someone to travel with them.
This is one thing that irks me to no end. Checking in "grandma" and being told you need to watch her, she has alzheimers. I have no problem putting the assist button on and making a note of it in the record, and advising the family that its just an ASSIST, not a babysitting service (politely of course), and if they need someone to be with her 24/7, then they need someone to travel with her. Most of the time they say they're ok to travel, just a little forgetful and thats it.
Had a nursing home try to send a poor guy home on the last flight of the night with a connection during semibad weather and he couldnt do anything more than speak a couple of words. Denied boarding and refunded ticket. I'm sorry, and I feel bad for anyone in this situation, but if you dont care enough for your loved one to make arrangements to BE SURE someone is watching out for them, how do you expect the airlines (employees hundreds of miles away from anyone they know or know what they are like) to be able to watch and take care of them? To me it shows total lack of concern on the part of the family (of course until they get lost and then its all the airlines fault for not taking care of them.) BS.
JMO