USTIA Video Spotlights People Who Transport Critically Ill Travelers

The US Travel Insurance Association has produced a short video, “Why We Do What We Do,” interviewing the people who help care for and transport critically ill travelers.  These dedicated people–from a nurse escort to a pilot and medical flight director–fly to all corners of the globe to transport seriously ill or injured travelers who require medical evacuation.

“A lot of the flying we do is not during normal business hours,” but “getting to help people makes getting out of bed at 2:30 a.m. worthwhile,” says Greg Calkins, a pilot on a medical evacuation plane.

Many travel insurance policies cover medical evacuation, which can run as high as a hundred  thousand dollars.  These policies also offer a 24-hour assistance hotline.

Depending on the situation and destination, once a medical emergency occurs and the hotline is contacted, the assistance service jumps into action.  Specially trained personnel may help locate the nearest appropriate medical facility, and help coordinate care with the treating physician, including arranging for the most optimal medical transportation when needed.  In some cases, a medically-equipped plane may be required to transport a critically ill or injured traveler.

The assistance service also helps notify family, and works with the traveler’s physician at home to provide the treating hospital with information, such as prescriptions, special medical conditions, etc.   And, when needed, the 24-hour hotline service can arrange for a medical escort in order to assure that the patient arrives home safely.

To meet the people who save travelers’ lives, and learn why they do what they do, visit UStiA’s YouTube Channel, USTravelInsurance.

For more information and a list of UStiA member companies, visit

UStiA also sponsors TRIP (Travel Responsibly, Informed, and Protected), a consumer advocacy web site with helpful information including timely tips on travel, health, safety, and security. Visit

UStiA is a non-profit association of insurance carriers and allied businesses involved in the development, administration and marketing of travel insurance and assistance. Travel insurance and assistance services are available from travel agencies, airlines, tour operators, hotels and resorts, and insurance brokers, as well as through the Internet

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