Check Your Gratitude at the Gate

When I hear the term “grandparent” my mind’s eye is predisposed to draw a picture of a 60-something individual, replete with deep hand wrinkles and an exceedingly slow gait, who knows little to nothing about the interwebs and “has no use for it”. Likely this is because that was the stage of life my own grandparents were at when I was an impressionable young lad. But the truth of the matter is, at 46 years of age I am technically old enough to be a grandparent myself.

There but for the grace of God…

This picture I conceive of grandparents causes me to be ever impressed when someone who self-identifies as a grandparent posts on an internet travel forum asking for advice.

“Good for them,” I think to myself. “They haven’t given up on learning or on life.” I know. I have a problem. I’m working on it.

Anyway, that was my initial internal reaction to fmpden, who asked Fodorites for advice about how to coordinate the picking up and dropping off of his 4-yr-old granddaughter at the DEN airport to match up with a connecting flight.

Several fellow travelers jumped in with helpful advice and words of caution:

Don’t assume that you will be allowed to go to the gate just because you have a good reason to do so. You should set this up IN advance with the airline, and arrive early just in case you encounter an agent who is an idiot…seriously. ~lcuy

You may be able to arrange for a pass to get to a gate but in case that doesn’t work one parent could just bring the child out to meet you outside the secure area. Just be sure that parent brings their boarding pass for the next segment and their ID so that they can then go back through security. ~laurie_ann

And then it became evident that fmpden still might not completely grasp how online forums work.

Just thought I would report back. It went very smooth given all of the dire predictions dreamed up by posters who had no actual experience with the question but are experts never the less. I had asked for responses for someone who had done it.

Oh well. Poor thing. At least he’s trying (at his age – God Bless Him).

It all works out in the end. Grandparents get to spend time with granddaughter. Travelers generously and graciously share travel advice. And no one  is too badly hurt. All in all, another fine day on the interwebs.

Image: “Gratitude Box” by Jigme Datse Rasku. CC BY-SA 2.0.

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