We hope that all volunteers know that AFW can support a mission should you need to cancel for any reason. The Passenger Assistance Fund (PAF) is used to support both our passengers and our volunteers. PAF is designated specifically to assist passengers with air and ground transportation, as well as lodging when needed, should a flight or drive with a volunteer cancel, or should there be no available volunteer for a given mission.
We know some pilots are hesitant to sign up for a flight before knowing what weather will look like on the day of the flight. If you know you will be available for a flight, we encourage you to sign up even if it is far in advance. As the mission date gets closer (or even the day of the flight), and you have weather concerns, we can put the backup plan into place. While not every flight can be supported with a backup (for example, for those passengers who live in remote areas without access to public transportation), many can be, and for those that cannot, the passenger is aware of the possibility of having to reschedule their appointment. Our passengers know we are a non-emergency service.
How can I tell if a backup has been booked for a mission?
One way would be on the available missions page. You will sometimes see a commercial leg attached to an itinerary. You can see a blue 'P', an orange 'G', and a green 'C' on the left side of the image. The blue 'P' signifies volunteer pilot, the orange 'G' signifies ground, and the green 'C' signifies commercial. Anytime you see a commercial leg attached to an itinerary, that means a backup flight has been booked for the given mission. If you do not see a commercial leg on an itinerary, that does not necessarily mean a backup has not been booked. It typically means options are still being reviewed and discussed with the passenger.