If you are arranging a flight for someone who needs to travel in a stretcher, who is en route to a hospital out of state for a specialized procedure available only there, who is being medically evacuated from another location, or in some other similar situation, you have a choice between flying with a commercial airline that offers a medical-grant program or a charter service that handles both transportation and financial assistance. There are benefits to using either service, but charter services may be better for those cases where the flight is relatively urgent or can't be postponed. The personalized and customizable service is just one way in which these charter companies are very helpful.
If you take a commercial flight, even one where the pilots and crew are expecting you and have made arrangements for any special transportation needs, you will travel with other passengers who are not on board for medical reasons.
Therefore, you could find your flight delayed or rerouted due to poor passenger behavior. Drunken behavior, inappropriate comments, uncontrolled pets being passed off as companion animals, and more can cause the plane to have to return to the gate or to make an unscheduled landing, delaying the travel for the medical-flight passenger. A charter flight doesn't have those problems because everyone on the flight is there to ensure the medical patient gets to his or her destination on time.
Another issue is that the commercial flights that are part of a medical-flight grant program are limited. The grants can run out by the time you need to arrange the flight. Charter services often take medical insurance and may be able to qualify for additional state medical programs, making the financial aspect of these flights a lot easier to deal with.
Want to take a commercial flight that's part of a grant program? You'll have to reserve the flight according to the airline's schedule. Want to take a charter flight? The company will work with you to find the best scheduling for you. This is still subject to the availability of flights, of course, but because the planes are reserved for medical flights, you're not going to be fighting with everyone in the nation for a seat.
Speaking of seating, charter services often use smaller planes that have been configured to accept stretchers, wheelchairs, and other medical equipment. While commercial flights can make arrangements for these, they're often still cramped. A charter flight might be much more comfortable.
Each charter service has its own requirements for qualifying for financial assistance and arranging flights, so call as soon as you know you'll need a seat. The earlier you can contact them, the better your chance of getting a flight time that's exactly what you need.
Talk to a company such as Angel-Flights to learn more.