The Advantages of Flying with a Commercial Air Medical Escort
In previous blog posts, we’ve talked about some of the reasons why you might want to hire a commercial medical escort to accompany a sick patient on a commercial airline flight. For people who are ill, having an escort accompany them can make for a safer and easier trip. But there's another reason that you might want to consider a medical escort: not having one could mean that you won't be able to fly at all.
Take a recent situation that we dealt with here at MedFlight911. A woman who had a number of a health issues (include a recent bout of meningitis, several strokes, and a head injury as a result of a fall) needed to travel from India to San Francisco so she could be closer to her family. The patient would be traveling from India with several other family members, who had booked seats on a commercial airline for all of them to return to the U.S. So far, so good – until the family arrived at the departing airport with the patient.
When the family got to the airport for their flight, the airline staff at the ticket counter took one look at the patient (who had a nasogastric feeding tube and other tubes), and declared that she was too sick to fly. The family, naturally, was devastated. They had to return home, regroup, and figure out how they were going to get to the U.S. That's when they called MedFlight911 air ambulance.
Our team stepped up to the plate and got the patient and her family the help they needed to get back home. One issue was that the family wanted to fly on the original airline, since they had a flight credit they hoped to use. While in other circumstances we might have recommended booking a flight with a more accommodating carrier, in this case we negotiated with the original airline to make sure that the patient would be allowed to fly with her air medical escort. Our team took the lead in communicating with the airline, making sure that all the necessary paperwork was complete and that the patient would be approved to fly with the commercial medical escort.
We were able to explain to the airline that the air medical escort would be the one responsible for the patient in flight, not the airline or its crew. That alleviated the airline's concerns, since they didn't want to get involved in a situation where their flight crew was forced to take over the medical care of an extremely ill individual – which was understandable, of course.
When the medical escort and the patient arrived at the airport for the rescheduled flight, they were able to board with no problems. The flight went smoothly, and the patient is now recuperating in San Francisco. All in all, it was a successful journey. It's also the kind of story that illustrates the advantages of traveling with an air medical escort. Not only can it risk the patient’s health to travel without a medical professional, but in some cases – like this one – the patient might not be allowed to fly at all.
To find out more about MedFlight911's commercial medical escort services give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.