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SkyWish, a collaboration between United Way of America and Delta Airlines, uses frequent flyer miles donated by Delta frequent flyers to transport patients with life-threatening illness to medical treatment.


  • The SkyWish Program has flown over 173 families to medical treatment.
  • Delta frequent flyers have donated over 8,000,000 miles to the program.
  • Medical facilities, nonprofit organizations & local United Ways are referring patients to the SkyWish Program.


UWA has an application process for local United Ways and private individuals to request mileage for people in their communities. Applications can be obtained through your local United Way or completed by phone by calling United Way of America, 800-892-2757 ext.285.

The criteria for determining awardees for SkyWish are:
  • Medical treatment must be for life threatening condition
  • Doctor verification is required
  • Maximum number of tickets per case is two- one for the patient and a companion if necessary
  • Eligibility is limited to once every six months per individual

To apply for flight tickets, contact your local United Way or United Way of America at 1(800)UWA-2757,extension 285. Local United Ways can receive documentation about SkyWish by calling InfoFax and requesting any of the following SkyWish documents: Fact Sheet #720, Application#721, and Referral List#722.


  • Making your SkyWish donation is simple. You may do so in increments of 5,000, with a 5,000-mile minimum. To help boost the value of your gift, Delta will add one mile for every five miles you contribute to the SkyWish Program.
  • Using the Delta award request form on your monthly mileage summary, indicate the number of miles you wish to donate to United Way of America in the space provided.
  • Return your award request form to Delta as you would normally. They will make sure your miles reach UWA.
  • Mileage will be automatically deducted from your account and reflected on your next mileage summary. However, SkyWish donations are not tax deductable for Delta Airlines or its SkyMilesTM members.
  • For details on donating your Delta frequent flyer miles to United Way of America through SkyWish, contact Delta Air Lines at: 1(800)323-2323. For general information on United Way of America's involvement in the SkyWish Program contact your local United Way or United Way of America at 1-(800)UWA-2757, extension 285.


  • A Georgia family needed transportation for treatment for a young mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer. The cancer had spread and she was advised by her doctor to see specialists in a Seattle clinic. Responding to a call from the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, UWA presented two round-trip tickets through Delta's SkyWish program for the woman and her husband to fly to Seattle for treatment. And two additional family members received transportation when the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta and its volunteers identified two people willing to donate directly to the family, respectively, 25,000 Delta frequent flyer miles and a full fare ticket.
  • A seven-month-old girl in Alabama was stricken with retinal carcinoma. The American Cancer Society called on UWA to help this young girl and her mother fly to Philadelphia for surgery. With the assistance of the Wiregrass United Way, Inc. in Dothan, Alabama, arrangements were made for round-trip transportation for them through the Delta SkyWish program.
  • A woman with pancreatic cancer was flown from Texas to the John Wayne Cancer Center in California for specialized treatment available only at that facility.
  • A middle aged man was flown from Florida to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Cancer Center in NYC where he recieved intensive chemotherapy treatment for retroperitoneal germ cell cancer.
  • A young man in San Diego diagnosed with Castelman's Disease, a rare lymphoproliferative disorder, was flown to the Univ. of Arkansas Medical Facility in Little Rock for experiemental treatment for his disease.

The above examples are only a few that SkyWish and Delta Airlines has lent a helping hand. It can also be surmised from the information above, the purpose and overwhelming need of the SkyWish Program. Please, consider donating some of your frequent flyer miles. Your extraordinary gift will be greatly appreciated.

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