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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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August 09, 2011

How Much Luggage Can I Bring on an Air Ambulance?

AirAmbulance-transportIt’s a question we get asked by almost every single patient or family member we arrange medical transport for: How much luggage can I bring?

And the answer in almost every case (except for motor coach) is: Not much.

Luggage capacity on an air ambulance: To begin with, the kinds of airplanes that we typically use for our air ambulance service have essentially as much room as a typical elevator.  Shaped like a long tube.   Air ambulances are specially-configured to provide medical care (see a list of all the equipment they’re fitted with – which takes up a lot of space).  Add in a pilot and co-pilot; physician, respiratory therapist, critical care nurse, and/or paramedic; patient, and passenger(s) and there’s really not much room left for anything else.  Really.

There is no cargo hold and there are no overhead bins on the vast majority of air ambulance planes.  And while we always strapped a few bags (or a sibling – just kidding) to the roof of our station wagon on summer trips growing up, the FAA doesn’t let us do that to airplanes.

Luggage capacity on a commercial air medical escort: When we do a commercial air medical escort (where a critical care paramedic, nurse, or technician travels with the patient on a commercial airline), the airline’s typical luggage allowances (and fees) apply.  But the medical escort’s primary responsibility is ensuring the patient’s safety and wellbeing – he doesn’t have much extra attention to handle a bunch of luggage.  We can explore the cost of hiring a skycap to help with luggage; we can also explore the shipment alternatives I describe below.

Luggage capacity on a ground medical escort: The exception to the minimal luggage requirements for medical transports is our ground medical escort service.  Though we do sometimes arrange transport by train, most often our ground medical transport is by motor coach.  Here, there is typically plenty of room for a few standard pieces of luggage.  And, we can also attach a trailer to the motor coach – to carry furniture or even a car.

So, what to do? We recently arranged an air ambulance transport for a patient from Houston, Texas to Chicago, Illinois.  In addition to the patient, there were two passengers – which meant that the space normally reserved for carry-on luggage was gone (typically there is only one passenger on an air ambulance transport).  The crew tried their best, but the passengers’ four carry-on suitcases simply wouldn’t fit inside the aircraft.

So I quickly made a call to UPS.  They quoted me $650 to ship the four bags to Chicago.  That seemed pretty outrageous to me.  So I called Greyhound – yes, the bus line.  They took the four bags for $150.  Even adding in $50 for a cab on both sides to get the bags to and from the bus station, it was still a much less expensive solution.

There are two morals to this story: 1) we beg of you, let us help you – in advance of your medical transport – find an alternative means of getting your luggage to your final destination; and 2) Greyhound – surprisingly enough – can be a really economical way to do that.

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

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Testimonials

  • 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,
  • H. W. GA

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

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

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