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First Time Flying Alone


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37-year-old American here. My girlfriend and I are visiting America for three weeks, then she is returning to Thailand by herself while I remain in America to work for awhile. She has never flown by herself before, and her first solo trip a doozie! Cleveland -> Chicao -> Narita -> Bangkok -> Krabi!!!

She is 34-years-old, but speaks very little English and is from a small village in the south of Thailand (Krabi). She's never really been out of Thailand, has little to no experience in big city airports, and absolutely no experience traveling by herself.

Has anyone had any experience using airline or airport assistance porgrams to help passengers that need help navigating from their arrival gate to the next checkin or the next departure gate? She can read the ticket, but sometimes gates can change or they re-route people for whatever reason. I have this stinking feeling she will somehow get lost and miss a flight!

We are flying a combination of Japan Airlines, American Airlines and AirAsia.

Any thoughts welcome!



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When my late grandma (she's illiterate and doesn't speak English) flew from Melbourne to Singapore (transit) then back to Penang, I arranged with the airline to have someone to accompany her when she reaches each transit point. The airline only 'released' her at the arrival hall in Penang to the person whose name is in the form that is being arranged by us before her flight. I guess it works the same way as underage passenger traveling alone.

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Ah yes, the JAL/AA codeshare. I can sympathize. My gf gets completely overwhelmed flying. Forgetting and having to be asked by an immigration officer to fill out a departure card is enough to send her into a face losing spiral of give-upedness. AA/JAL codeshare is a particularly bad one as she may have to get re-ticketed at Narita. And each of her AA/JAL flights will have two or three flight numbers. I travel a lot and that one still gives me pause at times.

I always see attendants that appear to be specifically assigned to help clueless passengers with the transit. They are holding the signs with passengers names at the end of the jetway. I am sure JAL/AA can provide this service. Air Asia? doubtful but at least there everything will be in her native Krabese. Good luck.

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Thanks for the replies. When I booked the ticket, American Airlines shockingly told me they cannot guarantee they will have someone available to assist her! I think I need to push them a little harder. Haven't called Japan Airlines yet but I will. Reticketing in Narita could be fun for her....oh boy.

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