Recent cuts by ATA Airlines have hit Indiana’s Make-A-Wish Foundation hard.
ATA once offered the group free flights from Indianapolis, saving the organization about $32,000.
The cancellation of several hundred ATA flights has jeopardized plans for 26 Indiana children with life-threatening medical conditions to travel to Disney World, Colorado and other places they hoped to visit through Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The children and their families now are depending on others to donate frequent-flyer miles and travel vouchers from other airlines.
ATA announced recently it will reduce the number of Indianapolis flights from 41 to four by April 10 and end service from Fort Wayne, South Bend and Evansville on March 28.
ATA had donated trips for 35 Make-A-Wish families this year. So far, at least nine of those children have traveled on ATA, but the cancellation of flights left the foundation scrambling to rebook travel for the remaining 26 families.
Matt Ferch from Make-A-Wish Foundation of Indiana says, “It is certainly not a matter of whether those wishes will be granted or not. They will still be granted on the same time frame. What it does effect is our ability to schedule wishes afterward or how fast those wishes will occur.”
Over the past two years, ATA has given the Indiana chapter about 55 trips.
Although the foundation will need donations to maintain that pace this year, Ferch said he expects all currently planned wishes to be granted.
One way to help Make-A-Wish keep granting kids’ wishes is to donated your frequent flyer miles. To find out more, contact Ferch at 317-636-6060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.