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Need for one-time, one-way jet charter from SFO/OAK to STL for organ transplant

Need for one-time, one-way jet charter from SFO/OAK to STL for organ transplant

Old Jun 28, 18, 12:05 pm
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Need for one-time, one-way jet charter from SFO/OAK to STL for organ transplant

Hey folks. On behalf of a friend, I'm looking into getting pricing and logistical details of chartering a private jet from Oakland (alternatively SFO or one of the SF Bay Area general aviation airports) to St. Louis. This is for an organ transplant, which may or may not ever happen. It's life-or-death for my friend. As a practical matter, he cannot live in St. Louis while he waits and hopes.

Specifically, what might be the best company/broker to work with here? Timing is the most important consideration, though money is a pretty serious concern. At some point he simply won't be able to afford it.

So, he might get a call from the medical center in St. Louis. Get there now. He would be able to get to Oakland airport very quickly. SFO would take a little longer. The key is that a jet would be either waiting for him, or almost there. What sort of price range for this? And what might he be able to do ahead of time so that it's all set up for him to pull the trigger on a moment's notice.

Thanks for any ideas. I've seen some of these questions come up in different threads, but I started this new thread because my friend has exceptional circumstances.
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Old Jun 28, 18, 2:00 pm
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Hey Pal,

Sorry about your friend, I don't have any insight and you might not like hearing this cause I think they told you on another forum, but while you were typing this, if I were that friend, I would be trying to catch the next flight out.
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Old Jun 28, 18, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Redwood839 View Post
Hey Pal,

Sorry about your friend, I don't have any insight and you might not like hearing this cause I think they told you on another forum, but while you were typing this, if I were that friend, I would be trying to catch the next flight out.
Thank you, again. All things being equal, my friend would be in St. Louis right now. Alas, all things are unequal and chaotic at the moment.

It's a really difficult situation, and my friend is on the verge of being overwhelmed with the choices he faces. I'm doing my best to be his amateur travel agent, laying out his options. I'm very grateful for your insights, and for those of everyone here.
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Old Jun 28, 18, 7:19 pm
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You're not going to like the price, but for a one-way, ASAP, nonstop charter you're probably looking at ~$30k.

The reason it's so expensive is the combination of one-way and ASAP. Due to the ASAP nature, you wouldn't be likely to find an empty leg sitting in the Bay Area that happened to need to head to STL right then. So you're paying for the plane to fly to STL and then back home.
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Old Jun 28, 18, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by rearview View Post
You're not going to like the price, but for a one-way, ASAP, nonstop charter you're probably looking at ~$30k.

The reason it's so expensive is the combination of one-way and ASAP. Due to the ASAP nature, you wouldn't be likely to find an empty leg sitting in the Bay Area that happened to need to head to STL right then. So you're paying for the plane to fly to STL and then back home.
I was guessing around $25K, so I'm not that far off.
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Old Jun 28, 18, 8:18 pm
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25 potentially possible depending on what planes happen to be in the area, I'd budget 30 realistically. As you can imagine, no one is going to park a plane there for days/weeks/months waiting for a phone call.
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Old Jul 3, 18, 9:48 am
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Realistically, I think the price for such a trip would be 20-30k. There are many, many brokers out there that can sort the market quickly and hopefully have some compassion to your circumstances so you don't get gouged with a big commission to them. Do you know the amount of time they will have to get there when they receive the call? 12 hours? 24 hours?
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Old Jul 3, 18, 12:55 pm
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Thereís no way a private jet will stand by unless you are paying a lot of money for that.

You should look for an air ambulance aircraft with certified paramedics on board if itís that serious.

I am sorry if I am missing something, but why not fly now to the location of the possible transplant, and then get admitted to hospital there to await the operation?
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Old Jul 4, 18, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
Thereís no way a private jet will stand by unless you are paying a lot of money for that.

You should look for an air ambulance aircraft with certified paramedics on board if itís that serious.

I am sorry if I am missing something, but why not fly now to the location of the possible transplant, and then get admitted to hospital there to await the operation?

This. My employer frequently does trips like this. If the attending physician thinks there is a chance for a transplant, they can be normally be transferred to the receiving hospital for the workup. If that is the case, the choice of air ambulance provider is usually up to the insurance company. If for some reason the air ambulance is going to be private pay, DO NOT use a broker. Get the quote from the actual operator. There are dozens of air ambulance providers and I'm happy to provide a few suggestions of quality companies via pm if you need it. If transfer and admission isn't an option, perhaps the physician might determine that a commercial flight escorted by a medical professional is appropriate.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 12:57 pm
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I am delighted to report that yesterday my friend received a liver transplant at Washington University Hospital in St. Louis. He had bile duct cancer in his own liver, and the prognosis for that is very grim, absent a transplant.

It was a bit harrowing Sunday afternoon and evening as I helped him navigate from Tampa to St. Louis on Delta. His first flight was delayed by an hour, but his ATL-STL leg was getting increasingly delayed. That was the last flight on Sunday night that could get him to St. Louis on time. If that had gotten cancelled, he would have missed his chance for that liver. Time was running out, as he would have lost his eligibility for transplant had the cancer spread beyond his liver. Thankfully, he got into STL about two hours late, but a full three hours ahead of his scheduled transplant surgery.

So, he's post-surgery now, and still has a serious recovery ahead. Things can still go very wrong. But he traded a nearly hopeless situation for one where he has better than even odds of living a normal, cancer-free life from here on.

Thank you so very much for your help and advice, folks.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 12:02 pm
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Glad to hear it all worked out! Best wishes!
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Old Jul 25, 18, 12:08 pm
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Excellent!
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Old Jul 25, 18, 12:51 pm
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It's surreal to keep refreshing the flight status page and know that if "Delayed" becomes "Cancelled", that might amount to a death sentence for a friend.
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