ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Noelle L Fields

Second Advisor

Ling Xu


As baby boomers are increasing in numbers and living longer, many older adults are continuing activities that bring pleasure and promote independence in their lives. Extant literature suggests an increase in air travel among older adults as well as benefits related to traveling in later life. However, their literature also reports a lack of “age-friendliness” at airports across the U.S. and the world. As older adults begin to travel more frequently, the age-friendliness of airports is important to understand because older adults want to continue to travel. For older adults to continue to do so, the age-friendliness of airports needs to be examined to determine if airports promote autonomy, dignity, and health benefits for older adults. This study explored the age-friendliness of air travel for older adults and examines the current problems and potential solutions that airports may provide. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 16 older adults who were over the age of 55 and who had recently traveled or planned on traveling in a one-year time span. A semi-structured interview guide was used to gain knowledge of the experiences of age-friendliness of airports, experiences with technology in airports, and recommendations for improving age-friendliness from the perspective of older adults. The results of the study suggested that most participants felt that the airport did not promote an age-friendly environment. Results also showed that participants felt that technological advances could increase age-friendliness in airports. Three themes related to the age-friendliness of airports included mobility, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the built environment. Three themes related to experiences with technology at airports included apps, kiosks, and face scanners. Finally, three themes related to recommendations for improvement related to the age-friendliness of airports included TSA policy changes, training for TSA agents, and access to electric carts.


Social work, Airports, Transportation, Older adults, Baby boomers, Age-friendly


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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