Flight attendant warns of item elderly travellers ‘always forget’ – ‘happens all the time’

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According to Miguel Muñoz, a flight attendant and cabin chief who has been flying the skies for over 10 years, there are a few items senior passengers always forget and in some cases, they may be essential for their trip.

Miguel explained when passengers come on board and there’s no more space for cabin luggage, the bags need to be offloaded and put in the cargo hold.

Some people are not happy with this as many wish to keep their cabin bags, and all their personal belongings, with them. But most of the time, they forget about them.

He said this happened to him “many times”.

“We always tell them if they have important documents, passport, medication, or lithium batteries, to take them out and keep these with them in the cabin.

“People always say ‘No, no I don’t have any of these in my luggage’ but it happened many times when we land, those people come back to you saying, ‘Oh yeah my passport was actually in my other bag’.

“It happens all the time they think they have it in the cabin bag and it is in their checked-in luggage.

“People always forget something,” he said.

Miguel continued: “When we take the suitcase away from them to place it in the cargo, I always offer passengers a plastic bag for their personal belongings as men don’t usually carry a handbag!

“I also say, especially when they are older people, if they want to take a jacket as it gets very cold on the plane.

“I normally remember who they are, so when they are disembarking I often remind them and asked if they got all their personal belonging.”

Besides forgetting their passport, Miguel said many travellers don’t normally remember to take their medication from the checked-in luggage and this can cause many problems.

Not only many senior passengers may need their medication while flying, but there is a possibility that the bag gets lost in transit and doesn’t arrive at the final destination, where travellers will most likely need their prescribed drugs.

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Miguel said: “It’s very important as many elderly travellers carry medication that they can’t buy in their destination without a prescription.”

He also advised: “I’d say for senior passengers it’s important to get private health insurance in case they have to go to the hospital, and to figure out how to get to their accommodation as elderly people are often an easy target for taxi drivers,” he warned.

The flight attendant also shared the “only thing” the elderly can get for free onboard a plane.

He said: “You can ask for a glass of water if you need to take medication, don’t be afraid!”

Most airlines don’t offer any complimentary water and passengers need to buy small bottles during the flight.

According to the cabin crew, however, travellers who need a glass of water to take their medication, just need to ask for one.

“That’s the only thing they can get for free,” he said.

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