Air Medical Transport

airmedHow much notice is needed to schedule an air ambulance?

When you give a few days’ notice, a transporter can often arrange less expensive connecting flights. However, if a spontaneous need arises, arrangements can be made within 2-4 hours. Ideally, you should give one week’s advance notice. To schedule medical transport services, call the transporter’s dispatch center. A flight coordinator will take you through the process, answer questions, and make the least costly arrangements. You’ll then be given a written proposal.

Can a companion or loved one accompany a patient on a flight?

Yes. The number of passengers is determined by the patient’s medical condition and needs. It also varies according to the number of medical personnel on the flight. Typically, 1-2 passengers can travel with a patient. They can either sit with the patient and nurse in first class or travel in the economy section. There is no additional charge.

How many pieces of luggage can you bring on board?

Baggage is usually limited to two medium-sized carry-on pieces.

What is non-emergency air medical transport?

This is for people who are medically stable but need to travel more than 200 miles on a commercial flight. An example is a person living in a rural area who needs to see a specialist in a distant city. It’s also suited to seniors who can’t travel commercially due to stress or security concerns. Medical conditions amenable to non-emergency air transport include:

  • neurological injuries
  • orthopedic conditions
  • Alzheimer’s disease

What types of staff are involved with non-emergency air transport?

A qualified flight nurse or paramedic serve as medical escorts. They help people maneuver through busy airports, accompany them on the plane, and handle concerns associated with air travel.

What are the specific issues managed by a medical escort?

A medical escort will:

  • Arrange ground transportation.
  • Obtain airline-mandated medical clearance.
  • Book tickets for the patient and accompanying travelers.
  • Handle priority boarding and seating arrangements.
  • Administer oxygen.
  • Monitor vital signs.
  • Dispense medication.
  • Assist with hygiene.
  • Support mobility.
  • Facilitate eating.

airmedUpon arrival at your destination, the escort will conduct a medical assessment. They’ll update the family and give a verbal report to a healthcare facility. If admission is involved, the escort completes and submits all required forms.


What is private medical transportation?

This is an ambulance service rendered by private businesses. The providers are not affiliated with government agencies, municipalities, fire departments, or volunteer organizations. They offer services on a non-emergent basis. They often work with nursing homes and hospitals to transfer people off-premises for tests and medical care. Any needed medical assistance en route is also provided.