Q: Nothing in life is free. What’s the catch?
There is no catch, we promise. The Veteran memorials in Washington DC were built to honor you and your service, and those of the fallen. We provide Honor Flights as our way of thanking our Veterans and offering each an opportunity to view and reflect at those memorials.
Q: I really want to go but now, but am I just too old?
You are in good company with that concern, since the average age of our senior WWII Veterans is 95. Our Korea era Veterans are in their 80’s and our Vietnam era Veterans in their 70’s. On each trip, we have Veterans who can’t see well, Veterans who can’t hear well, and Veterans who can’t walk well. Still, we are generally up for the challenge of providing a tour of Honor for you, even when there may be some limitations to those things you can do for yourself. We strive to make your trip possible, and your Honor Flight an amazing and memorable experience despite those challenges we all experience as we age.
Q: Do I have to live in Orlando to fly with Honor Flight Central Florida?
No, we accept applications from all Veterans in the Central Florida area and/or those that prefer to fly from Orlando. All Veterans and Guardians are responsible for their own transportation to Orlando Airport (MCO) and any related travel expenses to join us there on flight day. We may be able to refer you to a car service and/or a hotel should you choose to stay near the airport the evening before or after a flight mission, at your own expense.
Q: I am not a Combat Veteran. Do I qualify to go?
If you served, you answered your country’s call to duty. Whether you were a mail clerk, an airplane mechanic, or a front line soldier, all jobs were important to the overall war effort. We ask you to fly with us in recognition of your part in the war effort. We don’t minimize your service, and neither should you.
Q: When are Honor Flight missions scheduled?
Honor Flight Central Florida holds all our flight missions on Saturdays, and we only fly in the spring and fall seasons. We typically schedule two flights in the spring and two in the fall.
Q: Where does a typical Honor Flight Mission travel to?
On a typical flight mission, our tour of honor includes a visit to Arlington National Cemetery to witness the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and time spent at the WWll, Korea, and Vietnam Veteran’s memorials on our national mall in Washington, DC. Depending on the ground time we have in the capital on a flight mission, we also may schedule visits to the Women in Military Service Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, and the Marine Corps Memorial.
Q: What do I need to bring with me on my Honor Flight?
Nothing, other than anything you might like to budget for a personal souvenir. We will provide all Veterans and Guardians with breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and water throughout the day. We make every effort to accommodate our traveler’s special dietary needs as well. We will also provide every traveler with a flight mission bag filled with many of the things you might need for immediate personal care or comfort. There will also be room for other personal items like a camera, as you’ll want to take lots of pictures. Depending on the weather, you might also want to bring a windbreaker or jacket. We provide ponchos in the event of inclement weather.
Q: Will health issues prevent a veteran from flying?
On our application we ask for some information about our Veteran’s health, so we have some insight into any challenges that may be a concern. We may ask for a note from a Veteran’s doctor confirming their ability to safely fly and travel on an Honor Flight. Our paramedic team will also conduct interviews with each Veteran, so we have a good understanding of any concerns and can make a final determination. We make every effort to accommodate any veteran with a doctor’s clearance to make the trip.
Q: What if I require a wheelchair or oxygen?
WHEELCHAIR - Every Veteran who flies with us will have a wheelchair available and most of our Veterans will use this chair for some or all of the day. We travel through Washington D.C. in luxury buses that have wheelchair lifts available, if needed. Even Veterans who have never sat in a wheelchair before may welcome the chance to take a rest during a portion of the day. We recognize that this day of honor is a very long day.
OXYGEN – If a Veteran requires oxygen, their health care provider must supply a prescription for it which identifies the delivery method (mask or nasal cannula), frequency (as needed or continuously), and the rate of delivery (liters per minute). We will also assist is acquiring an oxygen concentrator for the flight as well as the bottled oxygen for the day.
Q: How is someone selected to go on a flight?
All Veterans fill out a Veteran Application and mail or e-mail the application to us. Once we receive the completed application, our Honor Flight Team prioritizes the Veteran’s position on our waiting list of applicants based on their era of service and date of application. Veterans are generally called for a specific flight about 4 to 6 weeks before the flight date.
Q: Are Korean War veterans and Vietnam veterans eligible to fly now too?
Yes, but as always, our focus is on serving our WWII Veteran population as a priority, as most are in their 90’s at this time. After we have filled seating for all interested or waiting WWII Veterans, we make seating available for our Korean War Veterans next, then Vietnam era Veterans, but we need your applications for consideration of placement on our waiting list.
Q: I’d like to have my spouse accompany me. Can she/he fly with me?
Unfortunately, we cannot have spouses, “partners” or “significant others” fly with Honor Flight Central Florida, unless that spouse is also a Veteran. Our priority is to honor those who served our country in its time of need, and seating is limited.
Q: My mom was recently widowed. She did not serve in the military, but my dad did. Can she fly with Honor Flight to honor him?
Again, unfortunately, we cannot accommodate these requests. Our mission is to serve our Veterans, and our resources are devoted solely to this mission.
Q: Will my dad/mom have to pay for anything?
There is no cost to the Veteran for him/her to fly with us as an honoree. Flights are fully funded through private donations and sponsorships.
Q: How much does it cost? Who pays for the trip?
Our Veterans have already given so much through their service to our country. All costs associated with the Veteran’s trip, including airfare to and from Washington DC, are covered by Honor Flight Central Florida. Our honored Veteran’s flights are funded by donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, schools, military organizations, and other fraternal organizations who wish to be an important part of honoring these heroes. Honor Flight Central Florida receives no government funding.
Our Guardians are asked to donate $500 to cover their cost of the privilege of escorting an honored hero to Washington D.C.
Q: Can another family member fly with my mom/dad as an escort or “Guardian”?
GUARDIANS are picked by our Flight Selection Team based on a number of factors. The number of Guardians per flight can vary, depending on the needs of the Veterans on that particular flight, but generally there is one Guardian for each and every Veteran. Guardians must be at least 18 and no more than 65 years of age and be physically healthy and able to assist Veterans into or out of wheelchairs, up and down stairs, and push a wheelchair up a slight incline such as a plane jetway, and while on the national mall, at a distance of up to a half mile. Guardians pay for their own trip with their donation, and are required to attend a mandatory orientation session typically scheduled 1 or 2 Saturday’s prior to flight day.
Important Note: Family members of Veterans are invited to apply to be part of our Guardian team, however, we are unable to guarantee they will be invited on the flight. Spouses, “partners”, and “significant others” are not permitted to fly with a Veteran and their Guardian. There are a limited number of spots available for family member Guardians on each flight, so unfortunately, not all family members who apply to be Guardians may be able to accompany their own Veteran on a flight. Each Veteran is only paired with one Guardian. When filling out a Guardian Application, it is important that you indicate the name of the Veteran you wish to fly with.
Q: How do I get an application?
Veteran and Guardian applications can be found on this website. Or, you may call us at 407-203-7010 to request an application be mailed to you.
Q: Can an individual or an organization sponsor a specific Veteran? Can I give the trip as a gift/surprise to a Veteran?
Seating for our Veteran and Guardian applicants are filled on a prioritized, first come, first served basis. Donations are always accepted and appreciated, but cannot be earmarked for a specific Veteran to change their priority on our waiting list of available seating.
Occasionally, family members of our Veterans may want to sign up their mother or father for a flight as a surprise; however, it is important that the Veteran be involved in the application process from the beginning.
Q: How can I find out information on upcoming flights and the homecoming?
Please check our website and Facebook page periodically for flight updates. The general public is always invited to welcome our returning honorees back home the evening of the flight.
Q: What do I wear the day of the flight?
As a veteran, you will receive a shirt and cap from us that we ask you wear during your Honor Flight. The only exception to this rule is if a veteran would like to wear his or her uniform instead. Guardians are also given shirts that they must wear on flight day. This serves to identify each traveler as being a part of an Honor Flight, and more specifically as a Veteran or Guardian with Honor Flight Central Florida.
Q: Do I need to bring my medications on the flight?
Yes. Please bring a three-day supply just to be safe.