The Mission Ops Team at Angel Flight West strives to make sure that each and every passenger and family we work with is well served and reaches their desired destination. The first and foremost way that happens is you – the volunteer! Whether you fly your plane or drive your car, you make it happen for them, with your heart and your generosity. But sometimes circumstances are such that a mission can’t be completed by our volunteers. We want you to feel comfortable accepting a flight and knowing that the Ops Team will be able to back that flight up with a commercial option in case weather or other situations are an issue. And whether it is weather, a mechanical issue, or lack of a volunteers, the Ops Team still wants to make sure we can serve those passengers. A major way we address this is our Passenger Assistance Fund (PAF).
We are blessed to have the PAF to support various types of challenges. With the help of our generous supporters, our coordinators can purchase commercial tickets, train tickets, or bus tickets to help facilitate a mission. We also provide Lyft rides for those who don’t have the resources for their own ground transportation and we can’t find an Earth Angel.
How does this impact you, the volunteer pilot? It is our belief that Command Pilots will be more comfortable accepting a mission if they know the trip has either already been backed up with a refundable commercial ticket or we can purchase one at the last minute if needed. This also helps reinforce our Culture of Safety, knowing the passenger won’t be disappointed if the volunteer needs to cancel.
Here is an example of the Available Missions List where a back-up flight is booked:
When a volunteer sees that commercial jet icon, they can have peace of mind knowing that the flight is backed up and the passenger will be able to get to or from their appointment if the volunteer needs to cancel.
We hope that you will help us get our missions filled earlier in the process which helps relieve our passenger’s anxiety. It also frees up the mission coordinators to work on other missions and operations projects that continue to improve our processes both for our passengers and our volunteers. If you see a mission you are interested in and a back-up is not already scheduled – please let us know and we will let you know what the options are.
One other important benefit of PAF is that a passenger who doesn’t have to face a cancelled flight and scramble to get to their treatment is much more likely to use Angel Flight West again, and to recommend our service to others. Please feel free to reach out to the Mission Ops Team or myself if you have any suggestions, comments or questions about our PAF. We thank you many times over for all you do for us with your heart and generosity.
Blue Skies – Ciao