Australia's First Air Travel Companion

Australians can now be rest assured that their elderly or unwell relatives and young children can travel interstate or overseas safely without needing to be accompanied by a family member, with the launch of Australia’s first travel assistance service.

Air Travel Companion is a new service making qualified carers available to escort young, elderly or infirm travellers on long journeys, ensuring they travel comfortably and arrive safely.

Under the service, registered nurses will accompany a traveller door-to-door, from departure to arrival and hand-over to loved ones, organising wheelchair assistance and special seating, administering and providing any other necessary assistance throughout the flight.

The founder of Air Travel Companion is a registered nurse with more than 15 years experience, including special training in aviation health as part of the Qantas medical team.

The decision to launch the companion service is based on her experience working with insurance companies assisting repatriate sick or injured patients. She found that people wanting to relocate a sick or infirm family member frequently had no option other than purchase a return ticket, take time off work and collect the relative themselves.

Air Travel Companion has devised a list of tips to make travelling easy:

Tips for elderly or infirm travellers:-

  • carry your medication in your hand luggage
  • have sufficient medication for at least one week, in case your baggage gets lost
  • drink plenty of water
  • dress in non restrictive clothing to be comfortable on the flight
  • check with your local doctor to see if you require a support stocking or medication to avoid DVT

Tips for unaccompanied minors:-

  • arrange for the child to meet with the travel companion prior to departure
  • if the child is particularly young, ensure they have their favourite book, toy or game with them
  • label all medication if required
  • for long flights, take spare change of clothes
  • if the child is a regular traveller, try to use the same companion each time

- 27 June 2007, Travel Mole