FLL safe for elderly folks late at night?

Old Sep 14th, 2003, 06:03 PM
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FLL safe for elderly folks late at night?

My husband is escorting his parents to Florida in early January. Their flight gets in to FLL at 11 PM. "Plan A" is that my husband will go get the rental car (reserved ahead) and circle back to the terminal to pick up his parents. They're frail enough that we don't think they can accompany him on a rental car shuttle bus. (Yes, VERY frail.) Will they be safe and comfortable waiting in the terminal for him at that time of night?

(In case you're curious, "Plan B" is to have a limo waiting. Drawbacks are: (1) cost to drive to Palm Beach Gardens AND to drive my husband back to FLL five days later for his return trip, and (2) not having a car until his parents' car arrives by truck and he can unload their luggage, so that they need to rely on neighbors to get groceries and so on.)

Thanks for your advice!
CarolB is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2003, 06:47 PM
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Sitting in the terminal for the time it takes your husband to bring the rental car would be perfectly safe.

BUT - my question is if they are so very frail how hard will the flight be on them? Flying would be a lot harder on them if they're really disabled, than sitting is a terminal for 15 or 20 minutes.

If they are easily confused or have alzeimers, etc. he should keep an eye on them and not leave them alone.
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Old Sep 14th, 2003, 08:27 PM
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Security wise they should have no problem. In my own experience FL is a friendly nice airport with very nice policemen around.
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 03:46 AM
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As an RN who works with the elderly (and also have traveled thru FLL many times to visit my brother) - the airport is fine, BUT -

Please be absolutely sure their frail condition is one of physical fraility and not mental fraility, such as early Alzheimers, etc. Even elderly who are very able to function independently within their usual environment can become easily anxious or slightly disoriented in a new situation. What if one of them needs to do something as predictable as using the bathroom - could they accomplish that? Will they become worried if your husband takes "too long" to get the rental car - something that could quite easily happen at that late hour.

What about just all 3 taking a cab to car rental lot (I know, the cab driver will be annoyed at such a short trip - but give him a big tip and all should be well).

They are lucky to have your husband able to help them with this - I empathize with the logistical difficulties in helping parents age well - we are also going thru this sort of thing.

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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 05:40 AM
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I have had one or two horrendous experiences picking up rental cars late at night in Florida, although not in Fort Lauderdale. In Tampa (at Alamo) it took us almost three hours! While we hope and assume that will not happen to your husband, I wouldn't want to take the chance of leaving his parents at the terminal just in case there is a really long line for the car.

If you go with the limo to Palm Beach Gardens, is it possible for your husband to rent a car there, keep it for five days and then return it at Fort Lauderdale?
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 06:03 AM
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I just got back from the FLL airport and while I think it would be safe, I've not been there at that late an hour to know how much activity there'd be. What I do know is that the airport is very large & it could take your husband some time to go & come back. Is there no way to request (perhaps with an extra charge) that the rental place have the car driven to them at the terminal? If not, I'd suggest they all take the taxi as Gail suggests.
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 08:17 PM
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The airport security is handled by the Sheriff's Dept in Ft. Lauderdale. They have deputies EVERYWHERE outside. Since it will be late at night, you might want to try to tip a skycap to keep an eye on them while you get the car. You should also make sure each of them has used the restroom before you leave to get the rental car.

Everyone at FLL seems very friendly. Not knowing which terminal you are arriving at, I can't tell you much more. There are usually many places for your parents to sit inside, and you might even be able to get each of them wheelchairs so they will be more comfy.

Even though you may have reserved ahead for the car, it still can take a little while to get there, go through all the red tape of renting the car, and then finding his way back to the terminal.
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 06:28 PM
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Thanks to all who replied with sympathetic and thoughtful posts! What was I thinking -- it's likely to be more than an hour, and without any way for my in-laws to know whether my husband will be returning soon or not. We'll go with your cab idea!

No matter how carefully you try to plan there are little things that trip you up -- in this case those three steep steps up into and down out of the rental car shuttle van. Might as well be Mt Everest for people with heart conditions and arthritis. Thanks again for your help, folks!
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 07:23 PM
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Carol -- I take care of my mother who must use a wheelchair and just transferring from that to our mini-van is a chore for her, so I know exactly what it's like working with even minor barriers. I'm sure your in-laws would be more comfortable being with your husband, even if they have to sit in the rental car waiting area. Your husband should make sure there are chairs for them to use inside the car rental area, so have them wait in the cab while he runs in real quick. It would be horrible to have them stand up the whole time. Most of the places have seats, but the one time you need them, Murphy's Law will go into effect! If you have anymore questions about FLL or the area by the airport, feel free to email me at [email protected]

I live 10 miles west of the airport and know the area very well. The airport is STILL under construction, so the roads can be tricky. I never know which way I'm going each time I go there...LOL! Your hubby will be happy if he doesn't have to drive back to the airport after picking up the rental.

Just curious, if they are going to Palm Beach Gardens, wouldn't it be easier and quicker to fly into West Palm Beach Airport? After picking up the rental car and getting on their way, they will have at least an hour's drive to their destination (FYI: PGA Blvd is exactly 60 miles from I-595 via the Turnpike.)
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 09:56 PM
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The cab is a great idea!

And, if it is just physical, how about cell phones? Can't they keep in touch with cell phones? I sometimes wonder how our family can function without cell phones!

Just a thought!
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