Transportation Resources: Air Travel

Author: OncoLink Team
Last Reviewed: November 20, 2019

Sometimes, cancer patients and their families need to travel to specialized cancer treatment sites that are far from home. This presents logistical and financial challenges for many patients. These organizations provide some assistance with medical transportation. Please note: these are NOT air ambulance services. Patients must meet requirements for air travel outlined by each organization and there are no medical services available on these flights.

Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program

Works with specific healthcare facilities across the US to facilitate air transportation for patients who are seeking specialized treatment. Coordinated through staff at the treatment facility, not Southwest Airlines.

https://www.southwest.com/html/southwest-difference/community-involvement/charities/medical_transportation.html

The National Patient Travel Center

Provides assistance in the air with commercial airline tickets and volunteer pilots and on the ground with gas cards, bus and train tickets.

http://patienttravel.org

Air Care Alliance

Central website providing referrals to volunteer-based charitable aviation groups.

http://www.aircarealliance.org

Angel Flight

Provides free air transportation for medical needs. The patient must be medically cleared for air travel.

There are several branches throughout the country including:

Patient Airlift Services (PALS)

Provides free air transportation to individuals and families who need to travel to receive treatment but cannot afford to fly commercially.  Patients must be ambulatory and able to sit upright. Primarily services the Greater Northeast region of the US: Virginia to Maine and Ohio to Massachusetts

http://www.palservices.org

Angel Wings for Veterans 

Our mission is to ensure that no veteran in need is denied clinical care because of a lack of transportation.

Angel Wings for Veterans provides wounded, ill and injured veterans and active duty service members along with their families with free travel to clinical care on the ground and in the air with gas cards, bus and train tickets, general aviation flights, and commercial airline tickets. 

https://angelwingsforveterans.org

Corporate Angel Network

Our goal is to transport cancer patients to the hospital at which they need to be in order to receive a specialized form of treatment. Pairs empty seats - on both private and corporate planes - with qualified patients who need the rides, at no cost.

http://www.corpangelnetwork.org/#/home 

Footprints in the Sky

Provides volunteer charity flights for ambulatory (independent) patients requiring air transportation for medical care. They are also able to help coordinate air ambulance flights and flights where medical supervision is required but financial assistance for these services is not provided.

http://www.footprintsflights.org/

LifeLine Pilots

LifeLine Pilots facilitates FREE transportation for such medical needs as on-going medical treatments, diagnosis, and follow-up care. Patients must be ambulatory and able to sit up. Limited service area, generally in the mid-west.

https://lifelinepilots.org

Mercy Medical Angels

Provides transportation on the ground and in the air to clinical care for those in need. Coordinates through commercial airlines and donated private flights. Patients must be ambulatory, able to sit up and transfer from a wheelchair.

https://mercymedical.org

Wings Flight of Hope

Provides flights to adults and children for medical care. Wings Flights require that all passengers, including the patients, to be in stable condition, and able to get in and out of small aircraft with little or no assistance, along with other restrictions, that will be reviewed upon your flight request. Patients are allowed to keep their oxygen with them and in use on all Wings Flights.

https://www.wingsflight.org

Wings of Mercy

Provides transportation to distant medical facilities for patients who cannot afford to fly. Services the US, east of the Rocky Mountains.

http://wingsofmercy.org

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