Pensioner takes first flight aged 95

A 95-year-old woman has taken her first ever flight, describing it as a “wonderful” experience.

Gladys Blackburn flew from Luton Airport to Switzerland because she had always wanted to visit Lake Geneva.

The pensioner, whose previous holidays have always been by road or rail, was treated to a glass of champagne on board the easyJet flight on Tuesday.

Gladys with (L to R) friend Dolcie Moses, Gemma Brooks, from Milton Court Care Home, and carer Nicolle Blackman (London Luton Airport/PA)

The two-day trip was arranged by Milton Court Care Home – where Ms Blackburn lives – in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

She had previously enjoyed trips to her local airport to watch planes take off and land, without the chance of flying in one herself.

Staff first learned of her desire to fly when they installed a “wishing tree” for residents.

Ms Blackburn said: “I was over the moon when they told me about this. Being up in the clouds with a glass of champagne and a view of everything below – it was wonderful, better than I had imagined.

“I was nervous at first but I want to do it again now!”

Gladys Blackburn with carer Nicolle Blakeman (London Luton Airport/PA)

Gemma Brooks, of Milton Court Care Home, described Ms Blackburn as an “amazing bubbly character”.

She added: “Gladys had only ever travelled abroad by coach in her life. It’s always been a dream of hers to fly, and why should dreams have to change just because of your age?”

Head of passenger services at London Luton Airport, Clare Armstrong, said the pensioner’s “positive spirit is infectious”.

She went on: “It has been an absolute pleasure to be involved in making Gladys fulfil a lifetime ambition.

“We look forward to welcoming her on next flight through London Luton Airport.”

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