Oldest British traveller is “Turbaned Tornado” aged 101

by Emily DUNBAR on August 24, 2012

Oldest Traveller competition winner announced by Gatwick Airport

London 23rd August 2012: Gatwick Airport will today announce that Fauja Singh, aged 101 years old, has won its Oldest Traveller award – which had been set up with the intention of highlighting the accessibility of travel hubs for PRM (passengers with reduced mobility) fliers.

Amazingly for his age, Singh is an avid marathon runner who regularly travels the world as he competes in races. For his endeavours, he has been dubbed the “Turbaned Tornado”.

The competition winner has lived in the UK since 1992 and received a letter of congratulations from Queen Elizabeth II when he celebrated his 100th Birthday last year. Last month, he was the official bearer of the Olympic Flame as it made its way through Newham, London.

In association with Vdara and UK flagship carrier British Airways, Mr Singh has been awarded two return flights from London Gatwick to Las Vegas and three nights’ free accommodation at the luxurious 5* Vdara Hotel & Spa.

Singh, who is only able to speak Punjabi, said through his running coach and translator Mr 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 2011 Mr Singh became the first-ever centenarian to complete a marathon when he competed in the Scotiabank Waterfront competition. In April of this year, he managed a time of 7 hours and 49 minutes in the London Marathon. In total, Mr Singh has ran in nine marathons since hitting 89.

At five feet eight inches tall and carrying a weight of around 115 pounds, Singh puts his impressive health and fitness down to a diet of curry, tea and toast in addition to a routine of either 10 miles jogging or walking every day.

Paul Fitch, Head of Terminal Operations at Gatwick Airport, commented: 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 of British Airways Gatwick, added:”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.”

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