DALLAS, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines announced today that it is accepting applications from hospitals and medical transportation organizations to apply for grants in the airline's 2012 Medical Transportation Grant Program. Southwest Airlines understands that many patients with chronic or terminal illnesses have to travel for their appointments or treatments. In hope of easing some of this burden, Southwest Airlines created a formal program to assist patients during this difficult time. Through the Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program (MTGP), the airline provides complimentary, roundtrip tickets to hospitals and medical transportation nonprofit organizations. The tickets are distributed by the organizations to deserving patients and their caregivers who must travel for medical care.
Developed in 2007, the MTGP has provided more than 12,000 patients nationwide and their caregivers with complimentary travel. Only 501(c)3 qualified hospitals and organizations are eligible to apply for the program. With Southwest's recent acquisition of AirTran Airways, hospitals and medical transportation nonprofit organizations in the Atlanta area also will be eligible to apply for the program. The 2012 application is now available online and is due by Oct. 28, 2011. Apply today by visiting: www.southwest.com/medicalgrant.
"Last year we assisted more than 5,500 patients and their family members. We're pleased to provide this program during a difficult economic time for many families, especially those battling terminal and chronic illnesses," said Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Communication and Strategic Outreach. "The Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program is Southwest's way to assist patients who must travel for medical care in the best way we know how -- complimentary travel and our famous, caring Customer Service."
In 2011, Southwest doubled its ticket allocation to medical organizations to donate $2.2 million in transportation to 65 institutions that then provided tickets to patients and family members in need. To see a full list of 2011 participating hospitals and medical organizations, please visit: www.southwest.com/medicalgrant.
To read an excerpt from a few of the families who received complimentary transportation through a grant in 2011, visit Southwest Airlines Nuts About Southwest blog: www.blogsouthwest.com. To learn qualifications for travel assistance through the designated organizations, please contact the Social Work, Travel/Concierge Service, or Patient Assistance Department directly at each location, which each have unique guidelines for administration of tickets.
About Southwest Airlines Co.
In its 40th year of service, Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and has recently acquired AirTran Airways, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. Southwest serves 72 cities in 37 states and is one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit southwest.com/citizenship to read the Southwest Airlines One Report. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 35,000 Employees systemwide.
SOURCE Southwest Airlines