General FAQ

  1. What is Angel Flight West?
  2. How much does it cost to fly with Angel Flight West?
  3. What types of medical conditions would qualify for an “angel flight”?
  4. Do you provide flights for people in non-medical situations?
  5. May I take an “angel flight” to visit my parent or child in the hospital?
  6. Do you arrange “angel flights” for funerals?
  7. Do you fly people anywhere in the United States?
  8. What are the requirements for flying with Angel Flight West?
  9. Do I have to meet any medical requirements to fly with Angel Flight West?
  10. How do I request an “angel flight”?
  11. How much notice do you need to arrange a flight?
  12. After I submit my request, will I be guaranteed a flight with Angel Flight West?
  13. May I bring a friend or a loved one with me on the flight?
  14. How many times may I fly with Angel Flight West?
1. What is Angel Flight West?
Angel Flight West (AFW) is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that arranges free, non-emergency air transportation within the 13 Western states for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs. AFW matches up volunteer pilots to people in need, enabling them to receive medical treatment and other vital care that might otherwise be inaccessible because of financial, medical, or geographic limitations.
2. How much does it cost to fly with Angel Flight West?
There are NO costs of any kind for an AFW mission – neither to the patient, the patient’s family, nor the healthcare provider. Angel Flight West calls upon a network of volunteer pilots who fly their own private or rented aircraft, paying for fuel and all other flight-related expenses.
3. What types of medical conditions would qualify for an Angel Flight West mission?
We provide flights to and from hospitals and other medical facilities for people requiring treatment, such as surgery or chemotherapy, for any serious medical condition. In some cases, we also arrange flights in organ transplant situations – for the organ recipient, organ donor, and the organs themselves. However, we are not an “air ambulance” and we do not fly people in emergency situations. Our pilots do not have medical training.
4. Do you provide flights for people in non-medical situations?
Yes. We can arrange “compassion flights” for individuals who need to visit critically ill or injured family members. We also provide flights to relocate survivors of domestic violence… to transport children and adults to camps for a variety of special needs, such as burn survivors and families impacted by HIV or AIDS… and to fly support staff and supplies during natural disasters or other crises. For more information, see read about the types of missions we fly.
5. May I take an AFW mission to visit my parent or child in the hospital?
Yes. Such a flight would qualify as a “compassion flight.” If you need to visit a loved one in a healthcare facility, or you need to transport someone to or from treatment, Angel Flight West will arrange the travel. We accept requests for compassion flights on a case-by-case basis.
6. Do you arrange AFW missions for funerals?
Unfortunately, no. Our limited resources do not allow us to arrange flights for funerals.
7. Do you fly people anywhere in the United States?
No. Angel Flight West arranges transportation only within the 13 Western states, including Alaska and Hawaii. We cannot arrange flights outside of the U.S. If your destination falls outside our service area, we may be able to arrange a flight that connects you to a flight provided by another Angel Flight organization. Also, because of the size of the airplanes flown by our pilots, flights are limited to 1,000 miles in each direction. Longer flights are usually broken up into segments of approximately 300 miles each.
8. What are the requirements for flying with Angel Flight West?
To be eligible for an AFW mission, a person must demonstrate a financial need or other compelling reason, such as an inability to use public transportation because of a weakened immune system or other medical condition, or living in a rural area that doesn’t have easy access to commercial transportation.
9. Do I have to meet any medical requirements to fly with Angel Flight West?
Everyone who flies with us must be medically stable, ambulatory, and be able to board and exit the plane with limited assistance. For more information, see our Flight Requirements page.
10. How do I request an AFW mission?
The request must come from a hospital, physician, nurse, social worker, or other healthcare provider. On occasion, we also take requests from organizations such as the American Cancer Society and The American Heart Association. Please have the appropriate person call us at 310-390-2958 to discuss the need for your flight. If it seems likely that you will meet our medical and/or financial criteria, we will fax or email to the healthcare provider an AFW Mission Request Form, which needs to be filled out on your behalf. After we have received the completed paperwork, we will begin looking for available pilots. The pilot who is assigned to your flight will call you directly to discuss the travel arrangements.
11. How much advance notice do you need to arrange a flight?
In order to have enough time to locate a pilot and to process the necessary paperwork, we require one week’s notice. In some urgent situations, we may be able to arrange a flight with less advance notice. If your needs are urgent, please call us at 310-390-2958.
12. After I submit my request, will I be guaranteed a flight with Angel Flight West?
Unfortunately, no. Although we call upon an extensive network of pilots, they are volunteers and are not always able to accept flights. Even after a pilot has volunteered for your mission, the flight still could be canceled because of bad weather, mechanical problems, or other difficulties. It is therefore essential that either you have a back-up plan, or you’re able to re-schedule your appointment if necessary.
13. May I bring a friend or a loved one with me on the flight?
Yes, you may travel with a companion. It can be comforting to have a friend or a loved one with you to offer encouragement and support.
14. How many times may I fly with Angel Flight West?
You may apply to take as many AFW missions as necessary, as per your doctor’s recommendation.