Friday, May 10, 2013

Where to Find Travel Resources When You Need Medical Help

When you're suffering a serious illness or medical crisis, money is tight enough.  When you or a loved one has to travel far away to get treatment, it's tougher.  Fortunately, there are lots of sources of help for long-distance travel.  However, there are some caveats: you generally have to be medically stable enough to travel, be somewhat able to move around (ambulatory), and be able to travel in an unpressurized airplane.  That's because many of the charity services use volunteer pilots with small planes.  This is not always true, but be prepared for the possibility, and ask if this will be the case when you contact one of the charities below. 

Air Charity Travel works to arrange free flights, when possible, within a 600 mile range, and low-cost flights for flights beyond that range.  You can request a flight from their website.

Patient Travel works to arrange free or low-cost travel in case of medical emergency and runs the national patient travel helpline (1-800-296-1217).  They will work with you to find appropriate travel options for those in need.

Wings of Mercy works to arrange free medical air travel for those in need.  Call 888-786-3729 for more information.

Air Care Alliance works to create free medical air travel for those whose trip is less than 500 miles by arranging with volunteer pilots.  Call 1-800-296-1217.

Especially for children with medical needs, there's American Airline's Miles for Kids, a program in which frequent fliers donate their miles to pay for medical transportation for needy children.  Call 1-800-882-8880.

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