FREE Flights for Cancer Patients

FREE Flights for Cancer Patients

Getting ready to board our Corporate Angels flight (pictured: Alan, Me & Alan’s sister Debby)

 

Before our cancer “experience”, I had absolutely no idea there existed organizations that fly cancer patients to and from long distance treatments FREE of charge.  Fortunately, we learned about the Corporate Angel Network when we needed this service most…. they flew us from Houston, TX to Washington, DC (courtesy of Verizon Wireless’ corporate jet- THANK YOU Verizon!) after Alan had brain surgery at MD Anderson.

 

Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)… To get the best care possible, sometimes cancer patients need to travel to treatment facilities that are far away from their homes.  Traveling long distance for cancer treatments can be both exhausting and cost-prohibitive, potentially eliminating available treatments options for some patients. To help alleviate this burden, there are organizations who offer FREE air travel services for cancer patients, many on private jets.

 

Most groups who offer this free travel assistance require that the patient be ambulatory (able to walk and get into/out of the plane with little or no assistance) and be medically stable as the pilots are not able to provide any medical assistance. While some groups require proof of financial need, others do not.  Typically, patients are allowed to be accompanied by one family member or support person.

 

The National Patient Travel Center (NPTC) may be the best place to start when searching for free flights.  They will connect cancer patients to available flight resources. There is no charge for this referral service.  Of course, you can also choose to call each organization directly if you like.

Some of the organizations that fly cancer patients FREE of charge are listed below:

Angel Flight– There are several different Angel Flight groups based on geographical location. Click HERE to locate the Angel Flight organization that serves your state.  

Angel Flight at NIH Flies cancer patients involved in research studies and clinical trials to cancer centers throughout the US (not just to/from NIH).

Air Compassion for VeteransFlies wounded warriors & veterans seeking treatment.  

Children’s Flight of Hope– Serves pediatric cancer patients only.  

Corporate Angel Network Proof of financial need is not required.  Has access to both private jets and unused seats on corporate jets. They are AMAZING!!!

FOOTPRINTS in the Sky–  In most cases you are allowed to bring up to 3 family members. If no immediate family is available, you may bring one non-family member for assistance.

Hope Flight FoundationServes pediatric patients living in California, Nevada, and Oregon. 

Lifeline Pilots  Works with cancer patients of any age.  Also transports children with life-threatening illnesses to special camps, fulfilling patient’s last wishes to visit home or family and transporting immediate family members to provide support for someone in a distant hospital for recovery.

Mercy Medical Airlift Coordinates free commercial airline tickets (using donated frequent flyer mileage on US Air, Delta & United Airlines) AND negotiates discounted air ambulance service for individuals and families who are in need of this special service. (***there are no FREE air ambulance services anywhere)

Miracle Flights for Kids– Serves pediatric cancer patients only.

Patient Airlift Service (PALS)– Covers flights in the entire northeast United States as far west as Ohio and as far south as Virginia.

Raquel’s Wings for Life In addition to free flights, Raquel’s Wings for Life  also offers complimentary ground transportation to & from the airport if needed.

 

To find a more complete listing of organizations that provide free air transportation to cancer patients, check out Air Care Alliance or our financial aid for cancer patients page.  (Please note:  The Air Care Alliance lists pet transport, medical transport & humanitarian aid services as well).

 

If you or anyone you know has received help from any of these groups, please comment below.   Your feedback will help others. Knowledge is power.  Share the power!


31 thoughts on “FREE Flights for Cancer Patients

  1. Catherine Iarussi

    My daughter 56yr has 4th stage glioblastoma brain cancer. Flights are so expensive. study called polio virus treatments to for brain cancer. From Pittsburgh to North Carolina…. Any help? Be going every week at first.

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      Good morning Catherine. I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s diagnosis. The National Patient Travel Center (NPTC) may be the best place to start when searching for free flights. They will connect you to available flight resources. There is no charge for this referral service.

      Reply
  2. Catherine Iarussi

    Need Help from Pittsburgh to North Carolina… My daughter has 4th stage glioblastoma Female 56 yr.old.. Gina Runyan Trying to get on Polio study in NC As long as my tumor doesn’t get bigger than 5cm by Nov 13th 2017
    Had 2 surgeries to remove . Last one 9/29/17

    Reply
  3. Deborah calquhoun

    Hi Robyn
    My daughter has been diagnosed with neg 3 ductile carcinoma. She is scheduled to have a double mastectomy on aug 24. My girl lives in Utah
    and I in Hawaii. Do you know of how I can get flight assistance to get to my daughter before surgery?

    Reply
  4. Marilyn

    I am writing to help a 70 year old mother and childhood friend in LaBelle, FL who needs a more reasonable cost of a flight for herself from LaBelle, FL to Boston, and then she will need to find travel to Lebanon, NH hospital. There is an airport in Portsmouth, NH that will bring her closer to that hospital. Her daughter is in a Dartmouth hospital in Lebanon, NH who just had TTP cancer surgery (has to do with blood platelets that were critical) also just had kimo July 12, 2017. Going against high odds, the Hematology Surgeon will not know the results until July 17, 2017. However, after many daily talks with the Surgeon, if this surgery is not successful, she could die. My friend, Marie, is hoping to get to that hospital and if all goes well, see her daughter. She can afford, let’s say a $250-300 round trip flight, but cannot afford the $600+ amount that Jet Blue offered her.

    Reply
  5. David Harville

    I am looking for help traveling from alabama to Houston for my wife’s meeting with her doctors at MD Anderson. She is a surviving cancer patient there. And we are needing to travel for her first post treatment scan. Thank you, David

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      David, there are many organizations that might be able to help you and your wife travel to MD Anderson. The National Patient Travel Center (NPTC) may be the best place to start when searching for free flights. They will connect cancer patients to available flight resources. There is no charge for this referral service. Of course, you can also choose to call each organization directly if you like. CancerHAwk does not specifically provide these services… we simply let people know they exist. If I can be of further assistance, please email me at robyn@cancerhawk.com.

      Reply
  6. Helen Woodley

    Hello, I have a relative from USA who is in Ghana and suffering with liver cancer. They have no money, food, water, no means to get back home in the USA. Does American Airlines assist with transportation from country to country?

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      Please call American Airlines directly and see if they offer a compassionate care program. You could also call the National Patient Travel Center and see if they might know how to best help. Their # is 1-800-296-1217.

      Reply
  7. Tania MIller

    My sister has advance esophageal cancer. She is down to 70 LBS and is in the hospital. I need to fly home to see her for what could be the last time. She lives in Michigan and I am in Florida. Is there any organizations or programs that help with that sort of thing?

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      Tania, there are quite a few organizations that may be able to help. Connect with The National Patient Travel Center at 1-800-296-1217. They can act as a clearinghouse for all the different organizations providing flight assistance.

      Reply
  8. Mike York

    i have a family member in the hospital in Dallas TX with cancer and she lives in Texas a lone, her family are all in California. she alone and afraid and whats to get to California close to family before she my pass, her kids and her have very little income and the travel they have done to and from Texas is cause this to get behind on there bills

    Reply
  9. Jim Johnson

    Is this helps only for going for some kind of treatment or could it be used to visit relatives that due to cancer you may not see again?

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      Most of these organizations fly cancer patients and their caregiver to and from treatment. Please connect with the National Patient Travel Center as they may know of an organization that can assist relatives wanting to visit a loved one. http://www.patienttravel.org/

      Reply
  10. Richie

    I have a friend that needs to go by plane
    From bowling green ky to Texas
    He is to weak to sit up & needs to
    Lay down the whole flight
    He has cancer is there anyone out their that can help ?

    Reply
  11. Becky Hannagan

    I have stage four matastic lung cancer. I go to Pittsburg, Pa. once every three weeks. I fly from Madison to Pitts.
    It is very expensive for me. If you had a flite, May 11, 12, 13 it would be wonderful and I would be forever grateful.

    Thank you,

    Becky Hannagan

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      Hi Becky, CancerHawk does not actually provide the services. We simply help make people aware they exist. Please call The National Patient Travel Center as they are the best place to start when searching for free flights. They will connect you to available flight resources. xo Robyn

      Reply
  12. Gary Hanson

    My wife Monica (65) has multiple Myeloma. She had Tandem Autologus Stem Cell Transplants Dec 2010/jan2011 and is now in remission. She’s enrolled in a lifetime Cancer Clinical Trial and her Specialty Care Provider, Dr. Guido Tricot, MD, PhD is the Director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, Myeloma Program, Univ of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. Her continuing care/treatment includes a clinic visit/check up with Dr. Tricot every 6 months. We live on Oahu in Hawaii and our health insurance will no longer help with travel costs. Accordingly, we’re wondering if there are any of these programs that extend to Hawaii?

    Mahalo,

    Mr. Hanson

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      Good afternoon Mr Hanson, Thanks so much for connecting with us. Try Angel Flight West http://www.angelflightwest.org/ Their service area includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Hawaii. Please let me know if they can help you and your wife. Mahalo, Robyn

      Reply
  13. Lusik anania

    I have 4 stage mtastatic bone cancer, and I am traveling to Austriato get treatmant. since March 2014 this is 4 time that I need to go for humen cell balancing institut for my treatmants and I can not pay for expense, hotel,tickets,taxi, food ….I was hopping some body can help me with free air tickets

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      Hi! Unfortunately I only know of organizations in the United States that can help. I suggest you connect with the National Patient Travel Center (www.patienttravel.org). Although they work with organizations within the US, they may know of an organization that can help you in Austria. I hope this helps! Robyn

      Reply
  14. Natasha

    I stumbled across your blog while searching for flights. My daughter’s bone marrow is failing and she has pre-leukemic cells. We are looking to go to Seattle from Michigan. The problem we are encountering is that many programs do not transport siblings. We would like for our two other children to come, in order to tour the school (Hutches school for siblings of patients—amazing program) and transplant clinic. Does anyone know of any organizations that allow for siblings to be transported as well?

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      Hi Natasha, I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. I would connect with the National Patient Travel Center as they have information on every organization that offers these services. Sending you much love & light. Best, Robyn

      Reply
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  17. Suzanne Rhodes

    We are so pleased to be mentioned in Robyn’s excellent blog and appreciate the links to so many great programs. She is right to refer folks to the National Patient Travel Center, which is the gateway to all options. Incidentally, our volunteer pilot program covers the Mid-Atlantic region(www.AngelFlightMidAtlantic.org, so give us a call if you need a flight: 800-296-3797. For ground transportation, we also have a program called Angel Bus (www.Angel-Bus.org) that utilizes motor coach owners/drivers for trips and also can provide tickets on rail and commercial buslines. Thank you, Robyn, for getting the word out to those who need it most.

    Reply

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