Apr 042014
 

As more baby boomers take flight, major cities begin to take notice

Baby boomers were lucky enough to experience the expansion and evolution into traveling as we know it today. Travel has become one of the most prevalent resolutions made on New Year’s Eve, and by the time they reach the age of retirement, baby boomers will have become accustomed to the idea of traveling around the world, staying in cities for everywhere from a few days to several months at a time.

Even London, who in itself is suffering from one of the biggest baby booms in 40 years, is also starting to take notice of the influx of travelers born between the years of 1946 and 1964. And while these travelers are more accustomed to traveling via planes and have more to spend on their vacations, they will still experience the same slight mobility problems experienced by previous generations.

"Image credit: Jack French via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/jackfrench/7137995303"

(Image credit: Jack French via Flickr)

With the number of traveling baby boomers is expected to double within the next 20 years, airports have begun discussing the possible changes to be implemented in favor of baby boomers who, like many of today’s elderly, will refuse to be treated as persons with disabilities. Reduced Mobility Rights has led the way, proposing the abolishment of the concept of assistance to passengers with disabilities and instead establishing a system that offers help and assistance to a wider scope of passengers.

Reduced Mobility Rights also called on the different airports of the world to discuss the proposals, and while many of the world’s airports have agreed that rapid improvements must be made to their facilities, one airport stood out among the rest.

London’s Heathrow airport, which currently ranks as the busiest airport in all of England, is known for its exemplary facilities and services. As the Heathrow airport page on parking4less states, the airport has numerous shops, including two duty-free stores, as well as a large selection of restaurants, cafes and bars in each terminal. With wide halls and almost a hundred shopping destinations, it’s quite easy for baby boomers to feel overwhelmed by the airport. The airport managers, however, have taken great care to be able to provide all of their customers with the care and attention they deserve.

“We take accessibility at Heathrow very seriously,” Mark Hicks, Head of Passenger Support Services at London Heathrow airport, said. “Last year we helped over 900,000 passengers with reduced mobility through our airport, and independent surveys frequently rate our service 4.1 out of 5, which shows a high level of satisfaction.”

Hicks is among the few airport service officers who have understood the need for individualized treatment, orienting his employees to take care of each and every customer in whatever way they see fit. What does this mean for baby boomers?

This is great news for baby boomers, who consider travel a necessity, traveling more than their predecessors ever had the luxury to experience. They’ve often been called “adult teenagers” by people working in the industries affected by baby boomers, as they’re oriented more towards having fun and asserting themselves. The developments that the world’s greatest airports are pledging to undertake should spark a worldwide trend, and soon, baby boomers should start experiencing better, more convenient, individualized services, from the moment they step into an airport to board a plane, the minute they hail a cab to reach their intended destination.

Do you have any horror stories from your time traveling through the world’s numerous airports? What services would you like to see airports begin to implement in the near future?

  One Response to “Airports Gearing Up for More Baby Boomer Travelers”

  1. I am so glad to learn that airports are becoming more consumer friendly to those with reduced mobility. I think that all benefit from improved design. When curb cuts were placed in the USA to assist wheelchair access the rest of us found it much easier to maneuver baby strollers, rolling carts, etc. Since we all have various degrees fo impaired mobility toting around our luggage this will be a welcome change. Is this type of program going to be expanded to other airports?

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