This is a frequently asked question. Fortunately you have several non emergency medical transport options or choices to consider.
First. How stable is your mom and what assistance does she need?
Ans: If she/he can get around in a wheel chair and able to control basic bodily functions (no diapers, no tubes, etc and can sit up for several hours at a time she probably can fly on a commercial airline.
1) get a medical clearance from the airline you are flying on.
2) consider an experienced medical attendant such as a flight nurse or paramedic with a background in medical aviation to watch for changes in medical condition, e.g. short of breath, changing vital signs etc
Other Options: if Mom or Dad is
1. not able to sit up for long periods of time or
2. is bed bound or bedridden or
3. need medical attention during the transport such as insulin shots, nebulizer treatments, have catheters or feeding tubes.
Consider your options;
Pros and Cons of different types of medical transportation.
Air ambulance: good for critical patients; medical air transport is expensive but quick if you are in a hurry or patient is not stable (patient’s condition may easily deteriorate during the transport). Expensive. Two medical team members, often a flight nurse and paramedic or just one paramedic for stable non-critical patient requiring little care. Average cost of an air ambulance across the USA, Florida to California is ~ $ 24,000 to $29,000.00 Ground ambulance: OK for short distances of 2-3 hours; can be a rough, bumpy ride, usually riding backwards, some people cannot tolerate this, overall not a comfortable ride. $ 6 to $ 10 per mile.
Medical Coach: good for long distances 500 to 2000 miles; (non-emergency medical transport) higher level of care than a Van with more monitoring equipment, and more comfort, smoother air-cushion ride. Team of three; two drivers and a nurse. On board oxygen concentrator, back-up oxygen tanks, nebulizer treatments, suction pumps and feeding tubes etc. plus private bathroom, More room for one or two relatives plus extra luggage space underneath. Can tow vehicle or trailer if moving personal belongings.
Stretcher Van: OK for distances of 6-9 hours; no private bathroom; must use public facility and moving patient in and out of vehicle multiple times is difficult and fatiguing; limited space for equipment, no room for extra luggage, usually has only one driver and one medical attendant or two drivers and no medical attendant. Distance limited with one driver and one attendant. Make sure attendant/driver has long distance medical transport experience. Care-giver cannot drive and take care of patient at the same time. Not an air cushion ride, little room for a relative to ride along. Usually the least expensive option of all for patients requiring little or no care. Hope this helps.