While air travel has come to halt for many, aviation companies are still staying engaged and giving back. By nature, airline companies provide the world with the ability to ignite conversation and change. We’ve rounded up five noteworthy ways the aviation industry has given back — from helping frontline workers during the pandemic to establishing programs for frequent fliers to put their miles to good use.
Project Wingman USA
A recent initiative called Project Wingman USA, which was first launched in the UK, works to support hardworking healthcare workers through “First Class Loungers” for staff at hospitals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers for the organizations consist of grounded or furloughed airline employees from American Airlines, Delta, Endeavor Air, JetBlue, Norwegian Air, Spirit and United. The lounges serve as a safe place to relax, with complimentary food, drinks and gifts. These pop-up lounges in hospitals allow crew member volunteers to support the frontline health care heroes by creating a First Class environment where they can chat and empathize with staff on what it is like to work in highly disciplined, regulated and pressured environments.
Miles on a Mission
United Airlines has created another means of giving back through the establishment of Miles on a Mission, a platform that gives customers an easy way to donate miles to non-profit organizations and charities in need of air travel. Some of these charities include the Born This Way Foundation, Equality Illinois, Project Angel Heart and Miles4Migrants. This program is a way for United to support the communities they live, work and fly in, as well as providing a way for customers to do good with their miles.
Aviation for Humanity
An aviation company that is soaring to new heights is Aviation for Humanity, a not-for-profit organization that works with the traveling public to bring school supplies to children in under-funded schools, shelters, and orphanages around that world. This group has created a global community through aviation, reaching 1,805 children and donating 5,926 school items. The organization works with crewmembers and business travelers who are flying to a developing nation. After vetting a school in need in the traveler’s destination country, the logistics of coordinating the visit are made, and backpacks full of school supplies are assembled through donations. Once in the developing country, the traveler delivers the backpacks to the students.
Blue Horizons for Autism
JetBlue partners with Autism Speaks for the Blue Horizons for Autism program for airport rehearsal events throughout its network. This program began as a grassroots effort started by crewmembers. Crewmembers sought out and found an extraordinary way to utilize JetBlue’s core business of air travel to provide an invaluable experience to the autism community. JetBlue programs provide families and individuals affected by autism with the opportunity to practice navigating the air travel experience in a realistic, relaxed environment, surrounded by other families in the autism community.
U.S. airlines frequently go out of their way to help communities across the country and give back to those in need. One of the ways airlines do this is through a program called Miracle Flights, which provides children and their families free flights to distant, specialized care and valuable second opinions. Their team provides commercial plane tickets to all U.S.-based medical treatment facilities at no cost to families.
So, what is App in the Air doing? Earlier this year we partnered with One Tree Planted, a non-profit that allows people to plant trees all over the world. Through our partnership, we’ve made the commitment to plant one tree for every flight booked within the app, and thanks to our awesome users, we’ve already planted over 10,000 trees!
Know an airline or aviation goodwill initiative that you love? Let us know in the comments!