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Do airlines keep a list of potential organ donees in need of priority for a seat?

Do airlines keep a list of potential organ donees in need of priority for a seat?

Old Jul 5, 18, 10:13 am
  #31  
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I would be proactive, and have a plan in place. This may include contacting Southwest (management, PR team, or their existing medical flight team) and finding a real person to speak to about the situation, and what could be done if the call comes through. I'd make it clear up front that you are not asking for a free flight (if you are not), but rather the absolute quickest way to get there, and what that might look like (VIP security / line by pass etc included). Having a plan in place means if the call comes from there, you follow the plan (and have back up contacts in case the first person is on vacation / not on duty etc.)

Same idea for the private jet option, letting them know what the score is, and having the action plan in place if needed and the right people's direct phone numbers would make it a lot quicker and easier than having to start the conversations at go-time.

I'd also look at other airlines with connecting flights too - whilst may be slightly longer travel time, remember that those published flight options give 'legal' connection times, and there may be ways to get a shorter connection in extenuating circumstances.
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Old Jul 5, 18, 4:54 pm
  #32  
 
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There IS a way to do this - legitimately.Get a REFUNDABLE ticket for every flight/day you even think you may want. Keep getting refunds on the ones you don't fly. After the process is in place for a while, you'll be refunding a ticket for every flight you buy, and you will be at equilibrium cost-wise. At the end of the process, you will have paid for at most one ticket and you'll get the rest back.
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Old Jul 5, 18, 6:52 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Allan38103 View Post
There IS a way to do this - legitimately.Get a REFUNDABLE ticket for every flight/day you even think you may want. Keep getting refunds on the ones you don't fly. After the process is in place for a while, you'll be refunding a ticket for every flight you buy, and you will be at equilibrium cost-wise. At the end of the process, you will have paid for at most one ticket and you'll get the rest back.
.....and the airline will fire you as a customer long before you take that flight.
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Old Jul 9, 18, 4:38 am
  #34  
 
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Yeah that seems like a bad idea.

In any case if you *must* fly on certain date and know only shortly beforehand the best way to go about it imo is to call the relevant airline(s) and find out what their processes are for getting a guaranteed seat on a specific flight. This will likely entail buying a ticket at full fare. Some airlines offer this as a benefit to members of their frequent or business traveller programmes.
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Old Jul 9, 18, 4:48 am
  #35  
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Originally Posted by CyBeR View Post
Yeah that seems like a bad idea.

In any case if you *must* fly on certain date and know only shortly beforehand the best way to go about it imo is to call the relevant airline(s) and find out what their processes are for getting a guaranteed seat on a specific flight. This will likely entail buying a ticket at full fare. Some airlines offer this as a benefit to members of their frequent or business traveller programmes.
AFAIK as a top tier elite benefit, this still tends to require 48-72 hours advance purchase of the full fare ticket. You can't just call and demand to get on a flight leaving in several hours if no tickets for the flight are being sold, even at FULL Y or FULL F.
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Old Jul 9, 18, 4:54 am
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Yes. But as this is all quite airline-specific calling the specific airline(s) involved to find out what the deal is (and if there even is any), would be step 1.

Last edited by CyBeR; Jul 9, 18 at 5:04 am
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Old Jul 10, 18, 9:38 am
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The one piece of advice I have for this situation is don't rely on commercial airlines for this. With the length of time needed to get to St. Louis from his home and the diminishing returns on time available for transplant, if he's not going to move to St. Louis to wait for the transplant (understandable), then he needs to have access to an on call private jet, no matter the cost. Relying on commercial airline schedules is going to be hard with limited flights and this being time sensitive.

A coworker's husband is currently waiting on a transplant from St. Louis and he has not moved there (young child in school, with jobs here and family and support system here, etc). But the coworker has priority access to our company's planes whenever needed and we are only a 1 hour flight from St. Louis.

No matter what, best of luck to your friend.
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Old Jul 11, 18, 9:40 am
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Many airlines overbook by selling last minute seats at a high price and then paying someone to volunteer to be bumped. They profit off the difference between the last minute fare and the payout. You might be able to do that
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Old Jul 26, 18, 5:33 pm
  #39  
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Postscript: my friend received a liver transplant this past Monday. Thanks so much for the helpful ideas, folks. My friend had bile duct cancer, which is a pretty hopeless cancer, unless you can get a transplant before it metastasizes. He's still has risks, but his odds are good now.
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Old Jul 26, 18, 6:47 pm
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Glad to hear that things worked out. Hope he has a good recovery.
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Old Jul 27, 18, 9:03 am
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Wishing your friend a speedy and full recovery, @dhuey !
Would you be able to share with us what kind of travel arrangements your friend ended up with?
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Old Jul 27, 18, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
Postscript: my friend received a liver transplant this past Monday. Thanks so much for the helpful ideas, folks. My friend had bile duct cancer, which is a pretty hopeless cancer, unless you can get a transplant before it metastasizes. He's still has risks, but his odds are good now.
That's great - I wish him a speedy recovery and great tolerance for the transplant meds.
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Old Jul 27, 18, 10:07 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
Wishing your friend a speedy and full recovery, @dhuey !
Would you be able to share with us what kind of travel arrangements your friend ended up with?
My pleasure! My friend was in Tampa this past Sunday. Mayo has an affiliated hospital there, and my friend was working to be on their transplant list in a few weeks if things didn't work out with Washington U. in St. Louis. But on Sunday afternoon, he got the call: liver available in St. Louis. He called me to be his navigator.

Delta had the best options, and the only question was whether to connect in Atlanta or Minneapolis. I got him on a TPA-ATL-STL itinerary scheduled to arrive in STL at 10:40 pm. His surgery was scheduled for 4:30 am.

Tampa flight got delayed, mid-flight. It was circling near ATL for maybe 45 minutes. A bit nerve-wracking, but he had a 1hr40min layover, so arriving 40 min. late didn't hurt.

The scary one was the STL flight. The incoming plane was badly delayed. We looked at possibly driving from ATL to STL, or flying into Kansas City and driving to STL from there. The Delta staff at ATL told him that they didn't think this last flight of the day would be cancelled -- just delayed.

We rolled the dice on Delta and won. The flight was two hours late, but he still had three hours before his scheduled surgery. He now has a new, cancer-free liver.

Once again, thanks to everyone who helped here.
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Old Jul 27, 18, 2:33 pm
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Fantastic news, thanks for reporting back
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