Mercy Medical Angels® (MMA) administers charitable or deep-discount airline ticket programs for patients and patient escorts in cooperation with the major U.S. airlines. Ambulatory outpatient travel in excess of 750 miles necessitates the use of airline resources. Special circumstances can make the use of these programs for even shorter distances advisable. MMA flight coordinators are highly experienced in these diverse and often changing airline patient ticket programs.
Volunteer pilots are available to patients and an escort needing transportation for medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment. Patients must be ambulatory, which means they must be able to walk, enter and exit the plane with little or no assistance, and require no medical care (i.e., doctor or nurse) en route. There must be a financial or compelling need for the flight. Volunteer pilot organizations can only assist when the destination is within 750 miles.
MMA’s Angel Wheels program includes transport by the provision of commercial bus or Amtrak tickets, or the provision of gas cards if a friend can drive or an automobile is available or transport can be provided by a volunteer long-distance driver. Patients (with or without escort) must be ambulatory, and require no medical monitoring or care en route. The transportation must be for purposes of accessing specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment not available locally – or to return home after a distant appointment or hospitalization. There must be a lack of personal resources to cover the cost of commercial travel. Typical trip does not exceed 300 miles.