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Our Service Begins With You

At MedFlight911, we offer this promise to each and every one of our valued clients: "Our Service Begins with You."

That means from the moment you call our office we will:

  • Go above and beyond to help and serve you.
  • Make the process simple, easy and worry-free.
  • Take care of every detail so you don't have to.
  • Act as your partner and advocate throughout the process.
  • Treat your patient / loved one like family.
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January 31, 2012

How an Air Medical Ambulance Differs from Commercial Airliners

Most people will never have occasion to travel on an air ambulance.  For those who find themselves needing one, most don’t know the first thing about what to expect, which is completely understandable. Some people simply assume that riding on a medflight air ambulance is no different than flying on a commercial airliner – with in-flight entertainment, reclining seats, and flight attendants providing food and beverage service. But that's not the case. In fact, there are some very important differences between flying commercially and flying on an air ambulance.

First, it’s important to remember that air ambulances fall into one of two categories: fixed-wing or rotor-wing. Basically, a fixed-wing air ambulance is an airplane and a rotor-wing air ambulance is a helicopter. Today, we'll be talking about fixed-wing air ambulances.

A fixed-wing medflight air ambulance is a plane (either a jet or turbo prop aircraft) that has been specially equipped to transport patients. Inside, instead of rows of seats, you'll find medical equipment – including a specialized stretcher, advanced life support (ALS) system, defibrillator, ventilator and IV pump, as well as tools for electronic documentation and charting, and a complete array of critical care medicines.

When the patient’s particular condition requires it, you'll find additional specialized equipment in the plane, such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a handheld blood analyzer, intra-aortic balloon pump, fetal heart and tocodynamometer (toco) monitor, isolette with environmental controls, and low-flow air/oxygen blender.

Aside from being equipped with an array of medical equipment, there are some other key differences between a commercial airliner and an air ambulance:

  • Medical crew. Instead of flight attendants, an air ambulance is staffed with a highly trained medical crew, completely focused on the safety and comfort of the patient. (Read about the qualifications of our medflight air ambulance crew.)
  • Number of passengers. After accommodating the pilots, medical crew, and patient, there is generally only room for one or maybe two additional passengers on an air ambulance flight. The exception is heavy jets like the Gulf Stream, which often can accommodate multiple passengers.
  • Limited space for carry-on luggage. On a medflight air ambulance, passengers are typically limited to one standard-sized piece of carry-on luggage. Don’t expect overhead bin space – there isn’t any. If you have a lot of luggage, you may have to ship it separately. (We're happy to help you make arrangements to get your luggage to your destination; please let us know in advance.)
  • Bathroom facilities. Most medically equipped airplanes don't have lavatories.  So if you're accompanying a loved on an air ambulance flight, you'll need to use the restroom before boarding the plane.
  • Cost. An air ambulance is typically more expensive than air medical transport on a commercial airliner.  But there’s a good reason why: while on a commercial airliner you are sharing the cost of the flight itself with numerous other passengers, on an air ambulance you are chartering the plane on your own.  In addition, there is far more specialized (and expensive) medical equipment on an air ambulance than a medical escort would bring on a commercial flight.

When a patient needs an air ambulance, it’s often a stressful time for both the patient and her family. Knowing what to expect before you board the aircraft can help ease some of the anxiety. At MedFlight911, we’ll do everything we can to explain the air medical transport process before the trip begins to make sure you feel at ease.

MedFlight911: Get your Air Medical transport started right now - Request a Transfer.



  • A. R. Brussels

    At this level, one firm among those mentioned above, was offering noticeably a best quote: Medflight911.
  • J. S. CA

    Dear WONDERFUL folks, First of all our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for the professional and compassionate way in which you have embraced our inquiries into your services. Thank you for all
  • L. C. TX

    Just a note to say thanks for all that you did for our family this past week. MedFlight911 went way over board in helping with JT's transport.
  • Katlin E. OR | Patient

    MedFlight911, I wanted to thank all of you for helping me and my twin boys with our medical transports. Although the trip felt like it was just minutes in length,
  • R. N. Venezula

    One more time I would really like to thank you and your crew for all the help getting my father to Houston.
  • S. L. CA

    Thank you for your hard work and tireless effort in getting my father back to CA. I truly appreciated MedFlight911's capabilities in getting him safely back to his home.
  • J. T. KY

    MedFlight911 is fantastic! There is a genuine interest in the customer and the family. Communication was informative.
  • F. Z. CA

    We appreciated MedFlight911's professional service from beginning to end. You delivered a high-quality, smooth and friendly service not only to my father but also to our whole family.
  • H. W. GA

    MedFlight911's service was Excellent! I would highly recommend MedFlight911 to anyone. The planning was seamless.
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