There are many resources available to help people get to medical treatment, even if they can’t afford the cost of transportation. The following list categorizes the services based on the kind of service provided.
If the patient is a child who lives outside the US and is traveling to the US for medical treatment, service may be available through American Airlines’ Miles for Kids in Need program.
If the patient requires trained medical attention during the flight, or cannot sit up in a seat with a seat belt fastened during flight, an air ambulance is required.
You can request a free air ambulance flight from Charity Air Ambulance (http://charityairambulance.com/request-flight/). Charity Air Ambulance is a privately funded organization that was created to assist patients in their critical times of need and provide a new source of funding for patients who meet certain criteria.
Grace on Wings (https://www.graceonwings.org/). While not free, Grace on Wings provides air ambulance service at about 1/3 the cost of a standard service. According to their web site: “We freely donate all our professional services (pilots, medical staff, and medical supplies) allowing us to serve families at about 1/3 of the average cost of other air medical transport services. However, the cost for fuel, maintenance, and insurance for the aircraft is a necessary expense for Grace on Wings to operate.”
Services that provide transportation for non-emergency treatment typically require:
- The patient is able to walk on their own and sit up during the flight
- A medical release from his or her physician indicating that he or she is safe to travel
- 5-7 business days notice in advance of the travel date
These are regional organizations. Contact the organization in your area based on where you live.
- Angel Flight East (www.angelflighteast.org)
- Angel Flight Northeast (www.angelflightne.org)
- Patient Airlift Services (www.palservices.org)
- Wings Flights of Hope (www.wingsflight.org)
- Angel Flight Central (www.angelflightcentral.org)
- Angel Flight Oklahoma (www.angelflight.com)
- Angel Flight South Central (Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas) (www.angelflightsc.org)
- LifeLine Pilots (www.lifelinepilots.org)
The Southeast & Mid-Atlantic
- Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic (www.angelflightmidatlantic.org)
- Angel Flight Soars (www.angelflightsoars.org)
- Mercy Flight Southeast (www.mercyflightse.org)
- Vital Flight (www.vitalflight.org)
The western United States (including Alaska and Hawaii)
- Angel Flight West (www.angelflightwest.org)
If you need to travel more than 1,000 miles within the United States, contact:
- Miracle Flights (www.miracleflights.org)
- Corporate Angel Network (Cancer Patients only) (www.corpangelnetwork.org)
- Angel Wings for Veterans provides flights on commercial aircraft for active military and veterans and their families for medical treatment.
If you need assistance with travel in your town or by car to treatment less than 100 miles from your home:
Angel Wheels provides gas cards to help with the cost of driving your own vehicle to treatment.
Search Aunt Bertha for local resources in your area. Many communities have social service agencies that can help with local ground transportation, especially for seniors. Aunt Bertha provides an easy to use directory of these services with a convenient way to contact them online.