Gatwick Airport has named 101 year old Fauja Singh as the winner of its nationwide search for the UK’s Oldest Traveller which was set up to help highlight how accessible airport travel can be for passengers with reduced mobility (PRM).
Singh is an age-defying marathon runner who travels the world to compete in races and is known as the “Turbaned Tornado”. Singh has lived in Britain since 1992, received his letter from the Queen on reaching 100 last year and, just a few weeks ago, on 21st July, he carried the Olympic Flame through The London Borough of Newham.
Courtesy of British Airways and Vdara, Singh has won two return flights to Las Vegas with British Airways from London Gatwick as well as three nights’ accommodation at the 5* Vdara Hotel & Spa.
Singh, who only speaks Punjabi, said through his coach and translator Harmander Singh: “One of the most precious things in life to me is being able to see the world and have new experiences and I don’t plan to give up anytime soon so it’s great to see that Gatwick is encouraging others to do the same. My favourite travel experiences are those which have involved running a marathon. I have never been to Las Vegas but believe there is marathon there in December!”
In October last year, aged 100, Singh completed Toronto’s Scotiabank Waterfront marathon becoming the first centenarian to finish a run of that distance. In April 2012, he went on to complete the London Marathon in 7 hours, 49 minutes, at the age of 101. He has accomplished nine marathons since he began competing aged 89.
Standing five foot eight inches tall and weighing about 115 pounds, Singh attributes his health and fitness to his diet of tea, toast and curry and his routine of up to 10 miles of jogging or walking each day.
Gatwick Airport’s Head of Terminal Operations, Paul Fitch, comments: “We were thrilled to see from our search that so many people are continuing to travel later in life – and at 101, Fauja Singh is truly an inspiration for travellers around the world! We hope that through our ongoing improvements to Gatwick’s services and facilities for passengers with reduced mobility we can help more people to travel and realise their dreams, even if they are not quite as spritely as Mr Singh!
“At Gatwick we provide assistance to approximately 30,000 passengers a month, rising to around 47,000 at peak periods, and are committed to providing support and special assistance at every step of the airport journey – whether that is through customised transport, dedicated seating, or our specially trained staff. If you require assistance during your journey, we encourage you to inform your airline or travel agent ahead of time so that we’re all prepped and ready for you – and suggest visiting www.gatwickairport.com/prm for more details on the help that’s available.”
Silla Maizey, Managing Director, British Airways Gatwick, commented:“We are delighted to present Fauja Singh with a holiday for two to Las Vegas which includes non-stop flights on our new London Gatwick service launching in October. We wish him a wonderful time in this exciting city that is perfect for travellers of any age.”