What to expect when you fly with Angel Flight West

Before you request an Angel Flight West mission, please make sure that the person who will be flying is able to handle the following flight-related responsibilities, activities and conditions.

Your pilot arranges the flight schedule

After you have been approved for a flight and Angel Flight West has received the completed paperwork, we will start looking for a pilot to volunteer for your mission. Once a pilot has accepted the assignment, he or she will contact you directly, and all travel arrangements from that point on will be made between the pilot and you.

You need to have a back-up plan

Pilots make the final decisions about the execution of their missions. A pilot may delay or cancel a mission because of bad weather or other critical factorsWe ask our passengers either to have a back-up plan, or to be able to re-schedule their appointments.

Smaller plane, longer travel time

Your flight will be made in a small private aircraft that probably has from four to six seats. These aircraft are not as fast or as large as a commercial airplane, so the flying time to your destination may be a bit longer than you anticipated.

Weight limitations

A small plane is far more limited in the amount of weight it can carry than a large commercial jet. Because of this, you need to limit your luggage to a maximum of 25 lbs. per person. Luggage must be soft-sided and no larger than what would be allowed on a commercial airplane as a carry-on. These limitations will be strictly enforced. Oxygen, crutches, car seats, strollers, and other such items can be accommodated if you let us know before the day of departure. In addition, please be prepared to tell the pilot your weight, as well as the weights of anyone else who is flying with you.

Entering the airplane

In order to board the aircraft, you may have to step up onto a wing that is 16 to 20 inches above the ground, crouch slightly to fit through a small door, then lower yourself into the back seat. If you or one of your traveling companions cannot perform these movements, that person will not be able to fly with us.

Noise during the flight

If you’ve never flown on a small aircraft before, you’ll discover that it’s a much different experience than flying on a large commercial jet. The engine noise on small planes can be loud enough to prevent you from having a normal conversation. Some pilots will provide you with headphones to wear during the flight, which will enable you to communicate with the pilot and other passengers, as well as serving to block out most of the noise. If you wish, you can also bring your own ear plugs. On some planes, you might hear different sounds from the engine as it changes speed. Be aware that, for safety reasons, some pilots request that you do not talk during take-off and landing, or even throughout the entire flight. Your pilot will inform you of his or her specific requirements.

Turbulence during the flight

Small planes are more susceptible to air turbulence that large ones, so you might experience more “bumps” than you’re used to. These motions are perfectly normal and no cause for alarm.

Temperature during the flight

Some, but not all, AFW planes have heated cockpits, and most do not have air conditioning. Consequently, it can be chilly inside the plane because of the altitude, even if it isn’t cold on the ground. And on a hot, sunny summer day, the temperature onboard can be quite warm. To ensure that you’re comfortable during the flight, please ask your pilot about the best type of clothing to wear.

No restrooms or food

Restrooms and food service are not available on AFW flights.  Please check with your pilot if you want to bring food aboard.

If you’re traveling with a child…

If you are traveling with a baby or small child, we suggest that you give them a bottle, pacifier or, for a slightly older child, gum to chew during take-off and landing. These items will help the child to equalize the changing air pressure, and avoid ear pain.

No ground transportation

Angel Flight West usually is unable to provide ground transportation, so you will need to make those arrangements prior to your departure.