Harvard Health Letter

Air ambulance services take off

But it's 'flier beware' for the customers of a confusing, lightly regulated industry.

More Americans than ever before are traveling to Africa, Asia, and South America. These adventurers now include many older people with the time, money, and able bodies necessary for such long, awe-inspiring trips.

But even if you're in good overall health, there's no getting around the fact that age makes you more vulnerable to medical setbacks. A serious one at home may become calamitous when it happens overseas, particularly in a remote place. Some commercial airlines reserve space for a stretcher and medical personnel in the back of the cabin, so you could always get home that way. But many airlines — British Airways, for example — are no longer providing that service.

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