Apps are not always the best solution for Silver Travellers

The Tourist Industry has had a difficult time over the past few years but to go for a break now is a rather stressful time for Silver Travellers due to Apps, as Glynis Sullivan found out.


 Our Winter sun break to Madeira with TUI was “technically” very difficult. The passenger locator form for Portugal has to be completed 48 hours before you leave.  Well, that sounds easy enough! But when the web site and emails do not work together then this can cause a great deal of anxiety. However, after visiting the travel agent the day before we travelled we thought we had finally managed to get it sorted but a confirmation email was not sent to my computer with proof that we had filled this government form in.

For a senior traveller this can be very daunting as it seems simple to a regular computer user but not for someone who hasn’t been in an office for a very long time, it can prove difficult and very worrying as you cannot board the airplane without it.  However, we finally got the email saying we had completed the form in the early hours of the day we flew and duly showed this at the airport when checking in so we were able to board the airplane.

Don’t think it is all “plain sailing” when checking in your luggage either, as you have to have your technical skills tuned in as your suitcase luggage label has to be printed off and attached by yourself before you go to the desk for the suitcase drop off! Then you can relax and go for a cup of tea, if you have time after all the DIY jobs to get you through to the departure lounge.


I do understand that the travel industry has had lots of problems over the past few years and are cutting down on staffing but Tui did not have a representative that visited the hotel or even someone to talk to.  Messages are sent on a Tui App. downloaded on a smart phone!  It is definitely a Do it Yourself service!  What people do if they haven’t got a smart phone, I have no idea!  Our hotel staff were very good but sometimes things get “lost in translation” if you do not have a person speaking English with lots of local knowledge. But with lots of sign language and good will you do get to enjoy your holiday


Our journey home was no less stressful.  Our pick up for the return journey to the airport at Funchal  had FORGOTTEN us! Yes, after an hours wait we got a taxi.  The Tui App, said the pickup was 11.25am but the driver took a party to the airport – minus us and then rang the hotel to see if we were still there??  In this case the App didn’t work.

I do like new technology and I do like good service but the cutting down of staff and using Apps can be both frustrating and not always reliable.  If we hadn’t got any money or couldn’t get a taxi, then we would have had a rush when getting to the airport.  This is unsatisfactory service from big tour operators and could be made much simpler for the senior traveller.



Contributor: Glynis Sullivan