Flights for cancer patients at no cost

Getting ready to board our Corporate Angels flight (pictured: Alan, Me & Alan’s sister, Debby)

Before our cancer “experience”, I had absolutely no idea there existed organizations that fly cancer patients to and from long distance treatments FREE of charge.  Fortunately, we learned about the Corporate Angel Network when we needed this service most…. they flew us from Houston, TX to Washington, DC (courtesy of Verizon Wireless’ corporate jet- THANK YOU Verizon!) after Alan had brain surgery at MD Anderson.

Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)… To get the best care possible, sometimes cancer patients need to travel to treatment facilities that are far away from their homes.  Traveling long distance for cancer treatments can be both exhausting and cost-prohibitive, potentially eliminating available treatments options for some patients. To help alleviate this burden, there are organizations who offer FREE air travel services for cancer patients, many on private jets.

Most groups who offer this free travel assistance require that the patient be ambulatory (able to walk and get into/out of the plane with little or no assistance) and be medically stable as the pilots are not able to provide any medical assistance. While some groups require proof of financial need, others do not.  Typically, patients are allowed to be accompanied by one family member or support person.

The National Patient Travel Center (NPTC) may be the best place to start when searching for free flights.  They will connect cancer patients to available flight resources. There is no charge for this referral service.  Of course, you can also choose to call each organization directly if you like.

Some of the organizations that fly cancer patients FREE of charge are listed below:

Angel FlightThere are several different Angel Flight groups based on geographical location. Click HERE to locate the Angel Flight organization that serves your state.  

Angel Flight at NIH- Flies cancer patients involved in research studies and clinical trials to cancer centers throughout the US (not just to/from NIH).

Air Compassion for Veterans- Flies wounded warriors & veterans seeking treatment.

Children’s Flight of HopeServes pediatric cancer patients only.  

Corporate Angel Network- Proof of financial need is not required.  Has access to both private jets and unused seats on corporate jets. They are AMAZING!!!

FOOTPRINTS in the Sky-  In most cases you are allowed to bring up to 3 family members. If no immediate family is available, you may bring one non-family member for assistance.

Hope Flight Foundation- Serves pediatric patients living in California, Nevada, and Oregon. 

Houston Ground Angels-   Provides both air and ground transportation to patients who fly into or out of Houston, Texas.

Lifeline Pilots-  Works with cancer patients of any age.  Also transports children with life-threatening illnesses to special camps, fulfilling patient’s last wishes to visit home or family and transporting immediate family members to provide support for someone in a distant hospital for recovery.

Mercy Medical Airlift- Coordinates free commercial airline tickets (using donated frequent flyer mileage on US Air, Delta & United Airlines) AND negotiates discounted air ambulance service for individuals and families who are in need of this special service. (***there are no FREE air ambulance services anywhere)

Miracle Flights for KidsServes pediatric cancer patients only.

Patient Airlift Service (PALS)Covers flights in the entire northeast United States as far west as Ohio and as far south as Virginia.

Raquel’s Wings for Life- In addition to free flights, Raquel’s Wings for Life  also offers complimentary ground transportation to & from the airport if needed.

To find a more complete listing of organizations that provide free air transportation to cancer patients, check out Air Care Alliance.  (Please note:  The Air Care Alliance lists pet transport, medical transport & humanitarian aid services as well).

About Robyn Stoller

Founder of, Robyn Stoller is a patient advocate and champion. Just last year she lost her 47-year-old husband Alan to cancer, but has put their journey to work for others. At each crossroad—from finding the best doctors with the right mentality to accessing obscure (and amazing!) resources—Robyn's gift for research, networking and tireless advocacy and a lot of luck led to just the right places. Now, Robyn’s mission is to help patients and caregivers touched by cancer find the information they need to make informed choices. To get straightforward answers to the questions you haven't yet asked with a dose of humility and humor, visit…the REAL deal for cancer patients & their caregivers.

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  • Anonymous

    The Corporate Angel Network is such a brilliant idea! Sometimes, in order to receive treatment, it is necessary to travel to an area or hospital that has that specific technology available to them. This program is great because it allows people to travel who might have otherwise been out of luck for treatment.

  • micheal mcallum

    where are the services are good and can assure us for curing how far is it the best way is to travel at any cost