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Free Air Travel for Breast Cancer Patients

Pilots and Ground Transportation Networks to Support You

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Updated September 04, 2010

You can't always get cancer treatment close to home, so sometimes you may have to travel across the country to get help. But plane tickets are always expensive, especially when your checkbook is already depleted from paying for breast cancer treatment. Fortunately, there are some wonderful services that offer free air travel for cancer patients. Listed below are just a few of the organizations that provide or coordinate free air travel to meet medical needs.

Air Charity Network - ACN: 877-621-7177

ACN is a network of non-profit and commercial airlines that provide free airline travel for patients of any age who have medical and financial needs. Passengers should meet these requirements:

  • You must have financial need or have an urgent medical need for the flight.
  • You should be able to get into and out of the plane on your own, or with some assistance.
  • You must be medically stable and able to fly in an unpressurized plane.

Angel Flight Northeast: 800-549-9980

Pilots and special volunteers called Earth Angels offer free air and ground transportation in 9 New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Angel Flight serves patients nationwide through a network of other air charities. AFNE pilots are volunteers that fly private planes to take patients to hospitals and treatment centers. On the ground, a volunteer Earth Angel will meet you and drive you to your treatment destination. Angel Flight NE requirements are:

  • You must have financial need or have an urgent medical need for the flight.
  • You should be able to get into and out of the plane on your own.
  • Provide AFNE with complete information about your and your trip.

Note: Angel Flight also has partners covering Eastern States, the Heartland region, the Central region, South Central, South East, and Western states - including Alaska. They also serve veterans of military service.

Corporate Angel Network: 866-328-1313

Imagine flying for free on a corporate jet. You wouldn't have to fight the crowds at the airport, be exposed to germs, and your seat would be very comfortable, but best of all - free! Corporate Angel Network, a non-profit organization, sets up travel on corporate jets for cancer patients, bone marrow donors and bone marrow recipients. It is not necessary to show that you have financial need, in order to qualify for this service. They have some requirements for this service:

  • You must be traveling to or from a cancer center that is listed with the American College of Surgeons and/or the National Institutes of Health.
  • You must be able to walk up and down the steps to a private plane without assistance.
  • You don't require oxygen, IV or any other form of life support during the flight.
  • You must call at least three weeks in advance of your flight, to register for a seat.

National Patient Travel Center: 800-296-1217

The people at National Patient Travel Center want to make sure that you will not be denied access to care if money is a problem when you need to fly somewhere for specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment. This is a free referral service that you can call to become connected with their list of flight resources. NPTC does not book your flights, but they will match you with a medical air transportation service, and help you figure out how to get free or greatly discounted tickets for your companion, if you need one. NPTC requirements are:

  • You must have financial need or have an urgent need for the flight.
  • You must fill out an application and pass an initial screening.
  • Unless you need an air ambulance, you should be able to get into and out of the plane on your own.
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