Top 5 Air Ambulance Service FAQs
Most people have never flown on a traditionally-configured private jet, let alone a medically-configured air ambulance. So we completely understand that patients and their family members who are preparing for air medical transport with us have lots of questions about the air ambulance aircraft they’ll be flying on. We’ve listed five of the most common questions – and our answers – here. If you have additional questions, please give us a call at 888-359-1911.
1. Are family members allowed?
In most cases, yes. When we have our initial conversation we’ll ask about whether there might be other passengers accompanying the patient, and we’ll factor that into our aircraft recommendation. (Some of the smaller aircrafts cannot accommodate anyone besides the flight crew, medical crew, and patient; others can accommodate a number of passengers). Of course, our primary concern is getting the patient where he or she needs to go, safely and quickly; if the available aircraft cannot accommodate passengers, we will help those passengers make other arrangements.
2. Can I bring luggage?
Due to the limited space in the aircraft, luggage is limited to one carry-on per person (no larger than 22”x14”x9” – a typical carry-on size) unless otherwise noted by the MedFlight911 transport coordinator. If the patient and/or accompanying passenger(s) need to transport more luggage than that, we are happy to help make those arrangements. For more information, refer to How Much Luggage Can I Bring on an Air Ambulance?
3. Will food be served?
While in the air, basic drinks and snacks are available. A full meal may be provided on flights longer than 5 hours; this will be discussed as part of the pre-flight procedures. Remember that the only people on board the aircraft are the pilot and co-pilot, the medical crew – typically a flight nurse and paramedic – the patient, and maybe a passenger (patient’s family member). There are no flight attendants. While our mission is of course a comfortable flight for everyone on board, our focus is always on the health and safety of the patient, and all decisions about meals and otherwise will be made in the best interest of the patient.
4. Can I bring a pet with me on the air medical transport?
We understand that this is a scary, stressful time for the patient, and that the presence of a beloved pet can help to ease that stress and fear. While we will always make the decision that is best for the patient’s safety and health, we will work with you to find an air ambulance solution that can accommodate a small pet in an approved pet carrier (the pet will not be allowed out of the carrier during the flight). Of course, the decision depends on the patient’s medical condition, the size and type of pet, the aircraft, and the duration of the flight. To avoid disappointment or misunderstandings, please discuss any pet arrangements with your MedFlight911 transport coordinator.
5. Is there a bathroom on the air ambulance?
Most medically-configured aircraft are not equipped with lavatories. This is not typically an issue for patients, as they usually are not up and about using the restroom. For any passengers accompanying the patient, we highly recommend using the restroom prior to boarding the aircraft. In some cases – if the patient will be traveling on a heavy jet, for example – lavatories may be available on the air ambulance. Check with your MedFlight911 transport coordinator regarding specially equipped aircraft.
Overall, it’s really important to remember that even on a medium-sized air ambulance like a Lear Jet, when it’s configured to provide acute medical care, there is very little extra room. This is almost nothing like a commercial airliner, or even much like a Lear Jet that is not equipped with a stretcher base, medical monitors, medications, oxygen, and other medical equipment.