Before You Fly
How your flight will be arranged
After you have been approved and Angel Flight East has received the completed paperwork, we will start looking for a pilot to volunteer for your flight. Once a pilot has accepted, he or she will contact you directly, and all travel arrangements from that point on will be made between the pilot and you. Generally, the pilot accepting the flight will contact you at least 24hrs in advance. If a pilot cannot be found for your flight, AFE will contact you one business day before the scheduled flight to inform you, unless more notice is specifically requested.
You need to have a back-up plan
Pilots make the final decisions about the execution of their flights. A pilot may delay or cancel because of bad weather or other critical factors. In rare cases, a volunteer for your flight may not be available. For these reasons, we ask our passengers either to have a back-up plan or be able to reschedule their appointments.
Smaller plane, longer travel time
Your flight will be made in a small aircraft that will have four to six seats. These aircraft are not as fast or as large as a commercial airplane, so the flying time to your destination may be a bit longer than you anticipated. Below is what your aircraft may look like:
Think small and pack light!
The total weight limit for all bags carried aboard is 40 lbs. This includes all luggage, purses, and any other items carried aboard. Luggage should be packed in a small, soft-sided duffle bag or gym bag. One small bag per person is appropriate. Medical equipment, car seats, strollers, and other such items can often be accommodated if you let us know before the day of departure.
Entering the airplane
In order to board the aircraft, you may have to step up onto a wing that is 16 to 20 inches above the ground, crouch slightly to fit through a small door, then lower yourself into the back seat. If you or one of your traveling companions cannot perform these movements, that person will not be able to fly with us.
Noise during flight
If you’ve never flown on a small aircraft before, you’ll discover that it’s a much different experience than flying on a large commercial jet. The engine noise on small planes can be loud enough to prevent you from having a normal conversation. Pilots will provide you with headphones to wear during the flight, which will enable you to communicate with the pilot and other passengers, as well as serving to block out most of the noise. If you wish, you can also bring your own ear plugs. On some planes, you might hear different sounds from the engine as it changes speed. Be aware that, for safety reasons, some pilots request that you do not talk during take-off and landing, or even throughout the entire flight. Your pilot will inform you of his or her specific requirements.
Turbulence during flight
Small planes are more susceptible to air turbulence that large ones, so you might experience more “bumps” than you’re used to. These motions are perfectly normal and no cause for alarm.
Temperature during flight
Some, but not all, AFE planes have heated cockpits, and most do not have air conditioning. Consequently, it can be chilly inside the plane because of the altitude, even if it isn’t cold on the ground. And on a hot, sunny summer day, the temperature onboard can be quite warm. To ensure that you’re comfortable during the flight, please ask your pilot about the best type of clothing to wear.
No restrooms or food
Restrooms and food service are not available on AFE flights. Please check with your pilot if you want to bring food aboard.
If you’re traveling with a child
If you are traveling with a baby or small child, we suggest that you give them a bottle, pacifier or, for a slightly older child, gum to chew during take-off and landing. These items will help the child to equalize the changing air pressure, and avoid ear pain. If the child is under the age of 2, it will need to travel in a child safety seat is FAA regulated.
Angel Flight East is unable to provide ground transportation, so you will need to make those arrangements prior to your departure.