Free Non-Emergency Medical Air Travel for Children: What Parents Need to Know

Parents are always determined to provide the best for their children, especially regarding health and wellness. Sometimes, the appropriate medical care is not within reach, requiring you to consider non-emergency medical air travel for your child. Continue reading to learn how to arrange free non-emergency medical air travel for children because your focus should be on your child’s health, not paying for transportation.

Understanding Non-Emergency Medical Air Travel

Before venturing into the specifics, it’s crucial to understand what non-emergency medical air travel entails. The service allows children to access medical facilities far from home without the immediate time pressure of emergency cases. Often, these services are provided by nonprofit organizations, like LifeLine Pilots, or through special programs operated by commercial airlines. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Arranging Free Non-Emergency Medical Air Travel

  1. Research Potential Organizations and Programs

Initiate the process by researching organizations and airline programs that offer these services. You can also contact commercial airlines directly to see what services they might provide.

Nonprofit Organizations

LifeLine Pilots – Serving the Midwest

Angel Flight East – Serving the East Coast
Angel Flight West – Serving the Western US

Miracle Flights – Provide Commercial Tickets

  1. Understand Eligibility Criteria

Each organization has a set of eligibility criteria, including a physician’s release confirming medical need.

  1. Gather Necessary Documents

Compile all necessary documents like medical reports, medical appointment information, and identification documents.

  1. Complete the Application

Ensure that all details are correctly filled out on the application form on the organization’s website to avoid any delays.

  1. Coordinate with the Medical Team

Maintain constant communication with the medical team at the destination to coordinate the child’s care seamlessly.

  1. Prepare for the Journey

Once approved, prepare for the journey by packing essential items and talking to your child about the travel to alleviate fears.Pay attention to weight limits for baggage. Flying on a small airplane means not a lot of space for large suitcases. 

Tips and Suggestions 

Preparing Your Child for the Journey

Making your child comfortable and prepared is vital. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Pre-Travel Medical Checkup: Schedule a checkup to ensure your child can travel.
  • Carry Essential Medications: Make sure you have all necessary medications and prescriptions with you.
  • Bring Comfort Items: Space permitting, bring comfort items, like a favorite toy or blanket, to help your child feel secure.
  • Explain the Process: Explain the journey to your child to help them understand and reduce anxiety. Talk to your child about why they’re flying and the medical procedure or appointment they’re attending.
  • Provide Educational Materials: Provide books or videos about flying to help your child understand what to expect.
  • Familiarize Them with the Aircraft: If possible, show pictures or videos of the aircraft that will take them to their appointment. Explain the different sounds and sensations they might experience during the flight.Watch the LifeLine Pilots Passenger Experience video with them to better understand flying in a small airplane.
  • Wear Comfortable Clothing: Dress your child in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Consider layering clothes to accommodate for temperature changes.
  • Practice with Masks: If masks are required, help your child get accustomed to wearing one, and bring spare masks.

During the Flight

  • Pack Beverages and Snacks: Ensure your child stays hydrated with beverages and pack familiar snacks to help comfort them.
  • Provide Entertainment: Bring books, coloring materials, or portable devices with movies or games.
  • Communicate Your Needs: Ensure your child knows how to communicate their needs to you and the crew.
  • Encourage Physical Activity: Have your child move to prevent stiffness and discomfort if space allows.

After the Flight

  • Debrief: Discuss the flight experience with your child and acknowledge their feelings and experiences. Reward them for their bravery and cooperation.
  • Provide Feedback: Note what worked well and what didn’t so you can adjust for future flights. Offer feedback to the organization to help improve the experience for others.

Following these guidelines can help ensure your child gets to and from their crucial medical care smoothly, safely, and free of charge if you meet the income criteria. With the right preparation, non-emergency medical travel for children can be smooth, ensuring that your child receives the best medical care available, regardless of geographical barriers.

Help Us Ensure Everyone Can Access Medical Care

Serving the Midwest, LifeLine’s volunteer pilots complete hundreds of missions annually, bringing patients to and from lifesaving medical care. They donate their time, expertise, and aircraft use and cover all the expenses necessary to ensure that people needing medical and humanitarian assistance are supported. 

LifeLine Pilots was founded on the principle that everyone, regardless of income or location, should be able to access quality healthcare. LifeLine Pilots receives no government funding. Instead, volunteer pilots support LifeLine Pilots by donating millions in flight time and planes ($1.6 million last year alone)! LifeLine Pilots can make these flights available due to the generosity of individuals, businesses, and foundations. There are so many ways you can help. Your cash or crypto contribution, or even your time as a volunteer, can ensure that a person gets the healthcare they need.