Frequently Asked
Questions

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Give A Mile’s mission is to provide flights for loved ones to be together during times of palliative or critical illness. This is done through crowd-funding donations of airline and credit card loyalty miles and points as well as cash donations. Give A Mile was founded as a Canadian society in 2013 and registered as a Canadian charity in 2018. Give A Mile was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States in 2020. Give A Mile was a 100% volunteer-run organization from its founding to 2021, when the first part-time staff member was hired. Give A Mile continues to be 100% volunteer led 

The donate page explains in detail how the miles or points donation or pledge process works and which loyalty programs are accepted. Cash donations are also appreciated and are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. About 10-12% of our flights each year are done in cash when there are no seats available via miles or points.

Kevin Crowe, our founder, lost a very close friend Ryan Westerman to brain cancer in 2010. Ryan inspired hundreds of people on his blog as they followed his battle against brain cancer with grace, humour, and optimism. Before Ryan’s death, Kevin spent a lot of time visiting Ryan in hospice and saw how much the presence of family and friends meant to both Ryan and those he loved. This life-changing experience motivated Kevin to start Give A Mile. He wanted to give as many families as possible the gift of a final goodbye. Kevin believed that unused loyalty miles and points could fund these visits, and Kevin’s dream has since made hundreds of these visits possible.

Kevin shares his story through this video.

Donations of money are tax deductible. We provide a tax receipt for all cash donations. Loyalty points and miles donated are not tax-deductible due to the structure of this currency. The ability to make points and miles tax deductible is not governed by Give A Mile and is outside of the organization’s control.

Yes, we are committed to 100% transparency. Please see our annual financial statements.  

 2020 financial statements

We offer many ways to get involved and rely almost exclusively on volunteers to run the organization. Learn how to become a Flight Hero or to volunteer in another capacity.

Yes, Give A Mile is recognized as a Canadian charity and is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States.

FAQs FOR APPLICANTS WHO NEED TO TRAVEL AND HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS

If you are suffering or have a friend or family member who is under palliative care or critical care due to a life threatening illness our thoughts are with you and invite you to apply for a flight. You will need to fill in an application and have medical confirmation sent to us.  The application will ask you to explain your specific situation in respect to the importance of connecting with your loved one and your financial hardship. You will  need to confirm the medical status of the family member suffering from a life-threatening illness by having a social worker, spiritual care provider or nurse email us. 

Yes they do. Give A Mile pays for the flight taxes and fees. We do not cover fees for baggage, upgrades or seat selection.

We do! We collect the miles in the organization’s name and once we have enough, we will book the flight and send you the ticket/itinerary by email.

We are not able to offer a choice of airlines. Give A Mile collects loyalty miles and points and monetary donations to make flights happen. We need to book your flight based on the currency donated and seat availability. 

Yes, you will need to pay for baggage, seat selection, or for other add-ons like extra legroom. Give A Mile funds the cost of the flight and applicable taxes and ticket fees.

The donation is usually made up of a community of several people, so the best way to say ‘thank you’ is to send us back a note and photo from your visit. We will share it with our community. In some cases, the donor may ask to remain anonymous, and if this is the case, none of the details will be shared with the donor or community.

Yes, we provide flights that originate from Canada or the US or flights that will be to visit someone in the US or CDN.

We recommend at least two weeks’ notice. We understand you may be in an emergency situation and we will do our best to accommodate.  If that much notice is not possible given your circumstances, Give A Mile will make best efforts to escalate your request for a quicker turnaround 

Give A Mile will do its best to help those in need, however we cannot provide any guarantees.

Give A Mile has a review panel made up of dedicated volunteers. We make our best effort to review requests within 24 hours of their receipt. Please let us know if it is an emergency flight and we will do our best to speed up the process 

We take your privacy seriously. Give A Mile is compliant with all applicable Canadian and U.S. privacy laws, including but not limited to the Canadian Federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the U.S. Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). We love sharing flight stories, photos, and videos. This helps us stay connected to our donors.  Story info and photos will be shared with our donors unless you specifically let us know to keep them confidential.  We only share first names in an effort to protect the privacy of those who choose to share their stories with us. Please see our Privacy Policy for more detail.

Yes, we evaluate each individual situation, however, cannot guarantee the approval of all flights.

No, we do not provide flights for medical appointments or funerals.

We do not reimburse for previously purchased or unused flights

After a flight has been approved and travelled, another flight request cannot be granted for the same family or individual.

A traveler profile must be completed and submitted by each person requesting a flight on the flight request page. The applicant (person who is travelling) needs to outline how the flight request aligns to the need of loved ones being together during the critical or palliative illness. There is a dedicated area on the application form for this information.

As the healthcare provider, we need you to confirm the patient is in your care. Please fax (1-855-420-4482) or email ([email protected]), confirming the terminal or critical illness and the urgency of the request. Include your contact information. You do not have to disclose any confidential medical information. We just need confirmation that the individual is under your care. 

Any travel requirements (visa, passport) are the responsibility of the traveller.

Once this information is received, it is forwarded to a flight review team for approval, usually done within 24 hrs from receipt of the documents.

Please email your question to [email protected]. You can also reach us by phone 1-877-545-3050 or fax 1-855-420-4482.

After a flight has been approved and travelled, another flight request cannot be granted for the same family or individual.

A traveler profile must be completed and submitted by each person requesting a flight on the flight request page. The applicant (person who is travelling) needs to outline how the flight request aligns to the need of loved ones being together during the critical or palliative illness. There is a dedicated area on the application form for this information.

As the healthcare provider, we need you to confirm the patient is in your care. Please fax (1-855-420-4482) or email ([email protected]), confirming the terminal or critical illness and the urgency of the request. Include your contact information. You do not have to disclose any confidential medical information. We just need confirmation that the individual is under your care. 

Any travel requirements (visa, passport) are the responsibility of the traveller.

Once this information is received, it is forwarded to a flight review team for approval, usually done within 24 hrs from receipt of the documents.

Please email your question to [email protected]. You can also reach us by phone 1-877-545-3050 or fax 1-855-420-4482.

The patient can be anywhere, hospice, home, hospital including ICU and NICU.

Yes, the patient may use GAM to fly home for end of life care or a final visit with family and friends while they are well enough to travel.

It is the responsibility of the person flying to be aware of all COVID requirements such as vaccination status, negative COVID tests and visiting regulations at their destination.

Feature Flight Stories

Margaret’s Flight Story

Flying from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia

Margaret’s world revolved around her four sons; upon receiving a harrowing cancer diagnosis, her only request was to have her entire family in one place. Folks rallied from coast to coast to grant her final wish.  

Amanda’s Flight Story

Flying from Oregon to Ontario

While some families say farewell to a life full of memories, others spend their final days making up for lost time. After over 30 years apart, Diane’s dying wish was to see her daughter, Amanda, for one last hello. 

Shannon’s Flight Story

Flying to Halifax, Nova Scotia

When Shannon’s second devastating battle with cancer put her in the hospital, a dear friend of nearly 30 years was committed to being by her side. Flight Hero, Stacey Lazarenko, made it happen.


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