Flying my mum out to Australia

(27 Posts)
MumsNuttter Tue 31-Jan-12 04:01:02

I live in Perth and I'd love my mum to come out for a while. She would come however the problem is flying on her own.

She would need to get a flight to London, change in Singapore and arrive here. She's 80 and she just wouldn't manage that on her own.

Does anyone know of any service available (she's happy to pay) that would look after her?

OP’s posts: |
sunnydelight Tue 31-Jan-12 04:09:35

Can she afford business class? If you choose an airline that will ticket through from her airport of origin to Perth they would look after her all of the way, make sure she got connecting flights, look after her in the lounges etc.

Shells Tue 31-Jan-12 05:00:52

Watching this. Have a similar situation. Could someone go with her? Maybe my MIL could go with her and they could cope together!

ben5 Tue 31-Jan-12 05:01:35

Hopefully when she books her flight they should have some info to help her. My parents normally come over in November ( they haven't booked a flight yet) but I'm sure they would help her. We are just south of Rockingham? Where are you?

esselle Tue 31-Jan-12 05:34:17

My DHs Nan came and visited us 2 yrs ago when she was 84yo. It was arranged that one of Dhs aunts flew out here with her and his Mum flew out and collected her. All 3 of them were able to have a holiday.

She also flew business class with Emirates who took wonderful care of her too. They provide a car service to drop her off when she arrived her and when she got home too.

The only thing which hinders her coming back for more visits is the huge travel insurance premiums which she has to pay - almost the same as her ticket!!

Is there anyone who could accompany your Mum? Have you spoken to any airlines to see if they provide a service for passengers similar to in accompanied children?

MumsNuttter Tue 31-Jan-12 05:38:43

Shells - ha ha ...good idea. When's your MIL coming out? I'm trying to get mum out about March time.

Ben5 - Aw what a nice thought but I can't book a flight for her without knowing that she will get the assistance she needs. You know what a scary place LHR and Singapore Airports are. We're in Fremantle.

Sunnydelight - I suppose I could TRY and talk her into flying business class but I wonder just how much help they would give? She has offered to pay for my ticket out and back to pick her up but it's such an awful journey to do...and that would be 4 times within 6 weeks or so. I suffer badly from jet lag.

You would think there might be a website for people to accompany lone, elderly passengers in circumstances like this. I'm sure my mum would pay a fair whack of someone's airfare if there was.

OP’s posts: |
MumsNuttter Tue 31-Jan-12 05:41:58

Esselle - I haven't spoken to any airlines yet but I know from previous experience with her flying down from Scotland to LHR (when I lived there and she came down) that even although I requested assistance - it has not always been given (BMI I'm looking at you!)

OP’s posts: |


ben5 Tue 31-Jan-12 05:49:38

have you tried the mumsnet for Grans ( nansnet, gransnet or whatever its called) they also might be able to help

MumsNuttter Tue 31-Jan-12 06:16:09

Good idea Ben5. I'll try that. Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
tribpot Tue 31-Jan-12 06:22:29

I'm still pondering the LHR connection but could you meet her in Singapore? If you did go all the way back to the UK for her you wouldn't really have time to get jet lag, although it would be a shattering trip.

If you did the journey with her the first time, do you think she might manage the return leg on her own? Essentially if she's booked all the way through, the airline don't have much choice but to make sure she gets to the next plane, or have to find her bags to offload them - so they should be fully incentivised to help too! (Not of course the case on the flight to LHR).

You're right though, there needs to be something like the unaccompanied minors scheme for all kinds of people who need a bit of extra assistance. Can someone make sure she gets on to the first plane safely? Then once she's in transit I think it will become easier.

Shells Tue 31-Jan-12 07:46:12

I think the Singapore idea is quite good. I think my MIL could get from Heathrow there and then if DP met her there (we're in NZ). We certainly couldn't afford to do business class or loads of extra flights.

Its such a hard one isn't it.

I'm only half joking about getting her to come out with someone like your mum- but would probably be unfeasible.

sunnydelight Tue 31-Jan-12 08:26:58

My friend's elderly father flies from Jersey to Sydney regularly and with business class flights is taken care of every step of the way. You say you've had problems with BMI at Heathrow - BMI is a budget carrier and no budget carrier will really guarantee any level of service, you need the "full service" model which is increasingly difficult to source.

Singapore Airlines are particularly good, as are Emirates but i don't know if they would ticket through from Scotland (that is what you need, for the same airline to take responsibility for your mum from beginning to end). I loathe BA personally but according to DH they can't do enough for you in business and obviously they could ticket through from Scotland. I would contact the airlines direct rather than going through a travel agent who will have their own agenda. With air travel you really do get what you pay for.

esselle Tue 31-Jan-12 08:48:35

I have just been thinking that there always seems to be mners flying back and forth between Oz and Uk, I wonder if you put out a call for assistance whether you could get her on the same flight as someone who would be willing to look out for her.

My DH is going back next month but I guess it is probably too soon to organise something. I am certain he wouldn't mind helping out at airports, might not be too keen to sit with her on the flight. He is a grumpy bugger and not too chatty!! grin

MABS Tue 31-Jan-12 08:55:47

BA Special assistance is second to none, as is their attention in Club, or even World Traveller Plus with special assistance option. Emirates economy did not impressed me, but their business class via dubai is great.

oldnewmummy Tue 31-Jan-12 10:28:42

I'd call Singapore Airlines and ask them. You can book Special Assistance even with economy (I used it a few years ago when I'd just had an op). Also Singapore airport is much less overwhelming for an old person than Dubai.

kiwidreamer Tue 31-Jan-12 10:35:21

This is a little bit of an off beat idea and would need a lot of thought but what about placing an ad in the TNT magazine or on Gumtree or even via one of those live in home help agencies for an Austrialian who wants a free / heavily subsidised trip back to OZ in exchange for the care and companionship of an elderly woman?

If money isnt so much of the issue then I would have thought one of those live in home help agencies might be able to put you in tiouch with someone, although they will probably want a fee or something but there might be a way to make it work. My mum and dad have been in the UK from NZ for the last three years working as live in careers, they meet lots of other careers from NZ/OZ/SA, and definately not all of them are young 'uns (my folks are in their mid 50's)

ninedragons Tue 31-Jan-12 10:38:48

I was just going to suggest the same as Kiwidreamer.

If I'd seen an advert for a subsidised or free airfare home when I was impecunious in London, I'd have jumped at it.

Sandgroper Tue 31-Jan-12 17:06:52

Hi Mumsnutter

I can definately vouch for Singapore Airlines.

My Mum only has 10% vision and flies from Perth to London (rtn) with Singapore Airlines business class on a regular basis on her own. They are absolutely brilliant with her, giving her all the assistance she needs, getting her to the lounge at Singapore etc.

So if your Mum can afford it then it might be worth a try. Will also give you peace of mind, I know it does for me.

Not sure about the getting to London bit but someone else might be able to suggest something.

potoroo Tue 31-Jan-12 17:10:29

You can book special assistance with most major airlines. I've done this flying between Uk and Aus when I had 2 DCs by myself. Staff escorted me through the airport for the changeover and helped going through security etc. this was normal economy class and didn't cost extra.

NatashaBee Tue 31-Jan-12 17:15:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blondness Wed 01-Feb-12 03:46:49

Hi my 86 yr old MIL flew out on her own to us in Melbourne for xmas and new year. She flew Royal Brunai from LHR who were brilliant with her - she phoned them to make sure she got the assistance package which was free. She is able to walk small distances. She was taken in a wheelchair all the way through from check in to gate at both ends. Only slight issue she had was in Melbourne airport where she had to get her own stuff from the carousel but another passenger helped her. This trip was business class but one of her friends on a previous trip had the same level of service in economy. She would recommend them completely. Hope this helps!

CadburyFan Wed 01-Feb-12 04:02:59

Whereabouts in Scotland is she ?
Emirates fly direct from Glasgow and Newcastle to Dubai with good connections to Perth
Avoid LHR and she'll be fine, but Business class even better

MumsNuttter Wed 01-Feb-12 10:25:45

Ooh thanks for all your advice. I've just been on the phone to my mum telling them that the mumsnetters were helping me. She said your mums won't be as stupid as her. I said they were grin. (NE of Scotland humour)

Cadbury - She's in the NE of Scotland so I have considered the Emirates flight from Glasgow, as long as I can get her there somehow.

Blondness - such a shame Royal Brunei let things slip that bit and didn't have help for your MIL at the carousel and I assume taking her through the final part of the airport.

OP’s posts: |
tribpot Wed 01-Feb-12 14:11:28

Worth seeing how much a taxi or limo would be to the airport - it'd have to be mucho expensivo to be pricier (and hasslier) than you having to fly all the way to the UK!

Oscaro Tue 14-Feb-12 16:05:10

My mum is 73 and has flown to and from Perth 3 times now as my brother lives there. She always flys with Emirates Economy and she can't fault it. We drop her off at the airport and my brother picks her up at the other end. We book her special assistance and as she can walk a bit this entails a wheelchair from departures to the gate and then again when she tranfers planes in Dubai. They also assist all the way at Perth and get her luggage for her too. Last time she went she got a free upgrade to Business!!!!! I would recommend an upgrade to business if your mum can afford it just to give her that extra bit of comfort. The special assistance is free and has been fantastic for my mum. I would recommond you time the flights so that there is the shortest wait in Dubai as possible - my mum normal gets off one plane and straight on the other (sometimes there is quiet a few hours to wait around).

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