As technology advances, some may find traveling this holiday season more difficult
Millions of people across the country will be flying this holiday season. AAA says that 7.5 million people will be traveling by air this year. But as technology continues to advance, senior citizens could find it more of a daunting process to travel at the airport.
Travelers at Newark Liberty International Airport can check in for their flights using their phone, skip the checkout counter, download their boarding pass or order a meal using a phone or a tablet. But this task may not be easy for everyone.
“I think there needs to be a reduction in some of the technology. I’m a senior citizen. I’m in my late 70s but I travel a lot so I’m familiar with it. But a lot of people aren’t,” says traveler Barry Jackson.
Travel Agent Norman Tahan says sometimes it’s enough to make seniors stay at home.
“You’re almost cutting them out and some of them may fear it so much they don’t go on the trip,” Tahan says.
It’s not just at the airport. Technology is changing everything, including holiday shopping at every turn. Another roadblock and reduction in interaction for seniors.
“Interacting with people is good and healthy even if it’s as simple as getting a burger at the airport,” says Quentin Jones, of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Experts say the solution is accommodation or adaptation.
“I think that the airports can do a little bit more in making things easier for people who don't have the technology that is required nowadays,” Tahan says.
Airports and businesses can provide alternatives for senior citizens. In the meantime, a travel agent can help make the process easier.
Arriving at the airport earlier than you need to will allow extra time to deal with the new tech, print a map of the airport, ask a family member to walk through the steps with you and try to do as much as you can before arriving to the airport can also make the process easier.