It can be a challenge to find the right provider for air ambulance transport especially when you have a lot on your plate. The good news is that you can always conduct a search online, which makes this task much easier. During this process, however, you may come across air ambulance brokers who may portray themselves so convincingly as actual air ambulance operators.
How to Differentiate Between a Provider and a Broker for Air Ambulance Transport
Although it’s common knowledge that air ambulance brokerage services aren’t a good idea, many people don’t realize this until it’s too late. So how do you spot an ambulance broker online? Here are a few basic tips to help you out:
- If there are pictures of aircrafts on the website, look for the tail numbers and see if they correspond to the aircraft model on the FAA website. You can then identify the company licensed to operate that particular aircraft.
Look for pictures where the aircraft doesn’t have a tail number or where the logos seem over imposed on the original photo. With decent photoshop skills, anyone can alter images.
- Be cautious of careful wordings on the website content. For instance, they could be saying that they “have access to” a certain aircraft even if they don’t “own and operate” that aircraft. Instead of “providing” air ambulance transport, they could be “arranging” for such transport.
- Look for the contact information and see if the company has a physical address. This is far more trustworthy than an anonymous P.O. box number. Additionally, local or geographic phone numbers are more preferable than a toll free number.
- Find out if the website has a copy of the Air Operator Certificate on display. If not, then ask them to send you a copy because no company has the right to operate an aircraft without it.
While some brokers may provide valuable service, many of them may be just on the look-out for profits. That’s why it’s mostly recommended to be aware of air ambulance brokerage services when searching for air ambulance operators online.