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Pure Friendship for Individuals with Special Needs
Tzvi Schectman

11 Amazing Organizations Offering Private Flights for those with Medical Needs

When a child needs treatment at a medical facility far from home, transportation is one of the many costly dilemmas families face. Fortunately, there are volunteer pilots that make it their mission to offer free medical transportation to get patients wherever they need to go to get better. Check the following list to find pilot organizations in your area, and follow the links to find more information.

Air Care Alliance

Logo for the Air Care AllianceWebsite: Location: Lindrith, New Mexico Contact: [email protected] Requirements: The alliance helps coordinate “free air transportation to medical treatment for people with a financial need” by referring them to volunteer pilots in their area. Requirements vary depending on the local organization. Get started: Fill out a request for assistance.

Air Charity Network

Logo for Air Charity NetworkWebsite: Location: Network of regional organizations throughout the US. Contact: (877) 621-7177 Requirements: According to the website, “passengers must be medically stable, ambulatory, and be able to sit up in an airplane seat for the duration of the flight" and there should “be some reason why private aircraft is the only option over commercial transportation,” but requirements may vary among regional organizations. Get started: Go to the site of the organization in your region to request a flight.

Children's Flight of Hope

Logo for Children's Flight of HopeWebsite: Location: Morrisville, NC Contact: (919) 466-8593 | [email protected] Requirements: According to the website, the organization helps kids under 18 seeking treatment that will “save, prolong, or enable a better quality of life” and for whom “the cost of air transportation will prohibit travel or place a significant financial hardship on the family.” Social media: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube Get started: Fill out an online application.

 Hope Flight Foundation

Logo for Hope Flight FoundationWebsite: Location: Hayward, California Contact: (510) 427-3956 | [email protected] Requirements: According to the website, requirements include “Medical Release from Patient's Doctor; Be in Stable Condition; Financial Hardship or other Compelling Need.” The organization flies children from California, Nevada, and Oregon to hospitals in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas. Social media: Facebook Get started: Read the Services page for more information.

Kids Wings

Logo for Kids' WingsWebsite: Location: Brighton, Michigan Contact: (810) 599-8765 | [email protected] Requirements: According to the website, Kids Wings provides flights for “those who cannot travel on commercial aircraft due to time or medical conditions. Examples include immune system deficiency dictating avoidance of crowds, or frequent trips for treatment which would be financially difficult for the client to afford” and ”transplant flights to provide time critical air transportation for organ recipients.” Get started: Kids Wings takes referrals from Angel Flight and Air Care Alliance, or contact the organization directly.

Lifeline Pilots

Logo for Lifeline PilotsWebsite: Location: Peoria, Illinois Contact: (800) 822-7972 Requirements: According to the website, patients must “have a medical or humanitarian need distant from home; have a financial need for assistance; be able to fly in a non-pressurized aircraft; be able to board the aircraft with minimal assistance; be able to sit upright in a standard aircraft seat; be willing to sign a liability release form; and provide own transportation to and from the airport; submit a completed Mission Request Packet for consideration.” The organization's service area is Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio. Social media: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn Get started: Fill out an online Mission Request Form.

Miracle Flights

Logo for Miracle FlightsWebsite: Location: Las Vegas, Nevada Contact: (800) 359-1711 | [email protected] Requirements: According to the website, “Qualifying families can receive travel assistance for the child patient and up to 2 parents or legal guardians. Flights for adult patients (age 18 and up) are provided for the patient and caregiver, if medically necessary. Applications should be submitted a recommended 14 days prior to departure. … Flights are subject to household income eligibility with supporting documentation.” Social media: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | PinterestLinkedIn | YouTube Get started: Download an application.

PALS Patient Airlift Service

Logo for PALS (Patient Airlift Services)Website: Location: Farmingdale, New York Contact: 631-694-PALS (7257) | [email protected] Requirements: According to the website, patients must “have financial or compelling need; reside in the Northeastern U.S. and more than a two-hour car drive from treatment; be medically stable to travel; be mobile; be able to fly in a small aircraft,” among other requirements. Social media: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube Get started: Fill out an online application.

Wings Flights of Hope

Logo for Wings Flights of HopeWebsite: Location: Orchard Park, New York Contact: 1-866-61-WINGS(94647) | [email protected] Requirements: According to the website, “Wings Flights are available to all that may need medical attention … Many of our patients are children, however, adults of all ages are also flown FREE of charge. … Commercial flights often restrict patients from travel, due to germs and schedule. This is where Wings Flight can fly the patient as the aircraft are continually taking in fresh air through the flights. Patients are allowed to keep their oxygen with them and in use on all Wings Flights. Wings Flights requires 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.” The organization flies to locations in the northeast US. Social media: Facebook Get started: Fill out an online application.

Wings of Hope

Logo for Wings of HopeWebsite: Location: St. Louis, Missouri Contact: (800) 448-9487 | [email protected] Requirements: According to the website, “We provide health care ACCESS to the disadvantaged, primarily children with life-threatening disabilities, birth defects or chronic, complex illnesses.” Social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube Get started: Fill out a contact form.

Wings of Mercy

Logo for Wings of MercyWebsite: Location: Zeeland, Michigan Contact: (616) 396-1077 Requirements: According to the Wings of Mercy website, patients must "meet our limited disposable income requirements; have a medical need for long distance transportation east of the Rocky Mountains; be cleared by a doctor for travel in a small aircraft without in-flight medical personnel or critical care equipment; currently reside in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana or Illinois.” Social media: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube Get started: Fill out an online application. Have you been helped by a pilot organization offering free medical transportation that's not on this list? Tell us about it in the comments. And if this service isn't something your family requires, consider donating to one of these organizations in your area to help other families in need.

WRITTEN ON December 11, 2016 BY:

Tzvi Schectman

Tzvi Schectman is the Family Coordinator for the Friendship Circle of Michigan and the Editor of the the Friendship Circle Blog. You can connect with Tzvi on LinkedIn and Google+