Air Travel Assistance for Cancer Patients

This month we showcase 7 different non-profit organizations that offer air travel assistance for necessary treatment for cancer patients and their families who cannot afford plane fare. All of these organizations welcome financial donations and are in need of volunteer pilots.

aca_logo_0-1Air Care Alliance
offers a central listing of free transportation services provided by volunteer pilots and charitable aviation groups

Using their own time and general aviation aircraft, pilot volunteers from the many public benefit flying organizations help hundreds of people each month. They and many other non-flying volunteers work to transport needy patients to facilities where they are able to receive medical attention they might otherwise have to do without. However, do note that these groups do NOT fly patients or supplies when insurance or other funds can provide commercial transport via air ambulance, charter, or airline. The public benefit flying volunteers fly only when financial need or other special circumstances mean a compelling human need would go unfulfilled.

angel airline samaritansAngel Airline Samaritans
 is a non-profit organization that facilitates no-cost or reduced rate commercial airline tickets for needy cancer patients and their families.

Their mission is to ensure that no cancer patient is denied access to distant specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment for lack of a means for long-term commercial airline transportation.

Many patients and their families make multiple trips. Patients are asked to verify financial need and the patient’s primary physician will be asked to sign a form indicating that the travel is for essential and necessary medical care.

Patients may access help supported by AAS by calling 1-800-296-1217. An Information specialist will talk with the patient and determine the exact travel needs and then refer them to the best type of assistance.  Patients no longer need turn down the option for specialized care at some distant medical facility due to the lack of financial funds to travel for the treatments.

Angel Airline Samaritans provided 319 commercial airline tickets during the previous year 2013.

There are various ways to give to Angel Airline Samaritans. The most cost effective of these is online giving. No charge is paid by Angel Airline Samaritans and there is no cost to the donor for this service… a dollar given is a dollar received.

defaultAir Charity Network
 coordinates free air transportation for people in need through various organizations around the United States.

Air Charity Network serves all 50 states and its volunteer pilots utilize their own aircraft, fuel and time to provide free air transportation to medical facilities for citizens who are financially distressed or otherwise unable to travel on public transportation. Air Charity Network members also coordinate flights to fly organ transplant candidates, people involved in clinical trials, chemotherapy or other repetitive treatment, victims of abuse seeking relocation, families receiving help from Ronald McDonald Houses, Shriner’s Hospitals and many other charities, disabled or sick children to special summer camp programs, and for many other humanitarian reasons.

Combined, the Air Charity Network is the Nation’s largest unified Volunteer Pilot organization comprised of thousands of pilots who annually fly tens of thousands of passengers across the US. Passengers on these flights are never charged for the transportation arranged through the network. It is provided by volunteer pilots who receive no monetary compensation whatsoever for their time, talent, airplane, fuel and operating expenses.

CanThe Corporate Angel Network
 arranges free air transportation for people with cancer traveling to treatment using empty seats on corporate jets.

Corporate Angel Network is the only charitable organization in the United States whose sole mission is to help cancer patients access the best possible treatment for their specific type of cancer by arranging free travel to treatment across the country using empty seats on corporate jets. Based in White Plains, NY, Corporate Angel Network occupies an office donated by the Westchester County Airport. Their 50 part-time volunteers and a paid staff of six work with patients, physicians, corporate flight departments and leading treatment centers to arrange more than 3,000 flights a year. Thanks to the generous cooperation of 500 of America’s top corporations, including half of the top 100 in the Fortune 500, Corporate Angel network has coordinated more than 35,000 flights since its founding in 1981.

They welcome donations in any amount. Different types of donations include: bequests, securities, frequent flyer miles, airline tickets, products and services (such as donated lodging and ground transport).

LifeLine PilotsLifeLine Pilots
 are volunteer pilots who donate their time and all flight expenses to people in need of free transportation for on-going treatment, diagnosis, and follow-up care.

Founded in 1981 by Wanda Whitsitt of Champaign, IL, LifeLine Pilots’ mission is to facilitate free air transportation through volunteer pilots for financially distressed passengers with medical and humanitarian needs. LifeLine Pilots facilitates FREE transportation for such medical needs as on-going medical treatments, diagnosis and follow-up care.

Volunteer Pilots donate all flight expenses and their time. Volunteer Pilots can also choose to assist passengers with humanitarian situations. Caregiver exchanges, a final wish visiting an ill relative, taking children to special
needs camps and disaster relief are examples of the many humanitarian missions for which LifeLine Pilots has facilitated FREE air transportation.

National Patient Travel CenterNational Patient Travel Center
  provides information about long-distance travel for people with cancer and their families in need of travel.

The National Patient Travel Center has served 103,499 patients since July 1, 1972. The National Patient Travel Center provides information about all forms of charitable, long-distance medical transportation and provides referrals to all appropriate sources of help available in the national charitable medical transportation network.

The purpose of the National Patient Travel Center is to ensure that no financially-needy patient is denied access to distant specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment for lack of a means of long-distance medical transportation including ground transportation.

There are various ways to give to the National Patient Travel Center. The most cost effective of these is online giving.

PALSPALS (Patient AirLift Services
) has a network of volunteer pilots who provides people with chronic illnesses air transport services at no cost.

Patient AirLift Services arranges free air transportation for individuals requiring medical diagnosis, treatment or follow-up who cannot afford or are unable to fly commercially.

PALS also arranges volunteer flights for family members of patients as compassionate missions, to ensure patients have support when they are away home for long periods. PALS is proud to assist military personnel and their families with free flights to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation processes for our wounded veterans. Finally, PALS has a history of supporting humanitarian efforts in the event of natural or man-made disasters. PALS arranges flights in/out of both major international airports and smaller regional airports.

There are many ways to support PALS: tax-deductable donations, become a pilot, volunteer, attend a fundraising event, shop PALS.




Leave a Reply