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How the airline industry is coming together to support healthcare workers and how you can help too

May 11, 2020
4 min read
Project Wingman
How the airline industry is coming together to support healthcare workers and how you can help too
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If you'd like to help go to the GoFundMe page here.

The airline industry has come together once again to support our hardworking healthcare workers, with the latest being Project Wingman's newly opened "First Class Lounges" for healthcare workers at Flushing and Jamaica Hospital in New York City.

As the name suggests, there's an aviation tie to this initiative with the volunteers being grounded/furloughed airline employees from American Airlines, Delta, Endeavor Air, JetBlue, Norwegian Air, Spirit and United.

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This initiative was first launched in the UK and has grown tremendously since its inception with over 4,000 volunteers at 30 hospitals across the UK currently. After witnessing the success of the project in the UK, Norwegian Air Director of Communications and Project Wingman USA Chairman Anders Lindström, was inspired to bring it across the pond.

"I was so impressed with what easyJet Captain Emma Henderson and BA Captain Dave Fielding launched about a month ago at a hospital in North London. I reached out to Emma to see how I could bring there concept to the U.S. and started getting my colleagues and partners involved. I then tried to find a suitable hospital to launch Project Wingman USA at and we got great responses from Flushing and Jamaica Hospitals, which are part of the Medisys Group." said Lindström.

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In these lounges, healthcare workers will be treated to complimentary food, drinks and gifts. But most importantly, these lounges will serve as a safe area to relax and rejuvenate.

Airline employees can find volunteer opportunities on Project Wingman's website. The public can also help out by donating to the organizations GoFundMe page. All donations will go towards the purchase of snacks, beverage, transportation costs and other miscellaneous necessities.

Besides being in the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, it's fitting that Flushing and Jamaica Hospital are the ones with the lounges given the, "two hospitals located close to two of the busiest airports in the country [JFK and LaGuardia] and so close to where many airline employees live,” said Lindström, who is the U.S. Director of Communications, for Norwegian Air.

Related: How to donate to Project Wingman

Project Wingman has also partnered with the Front Line Appreciation Group (FLAG) of NYC in an effort to support local restaurants and businesses during these tough times.

When asked if Project Wingman plans to expand in the U.S., Lindström said, "That's the goal. We want to establish these two lounges first and make sure we have enough volunteers and donations for them to run smoothly, and then expand."

Safety is the number one priority for airline crew when they’re in the air, and it’s of equal importance when they’re on the ground volunteering for Project Wingman. The first-class lounges are set up in secluded, non-patient facing areas within hospitals. Doctors and nurses who come to the lounges are fully de-gowned and all potentially contaminated protection is removed to safeguard the health and well-being of the volunteers who are supporting them. Additionally, all volunteers are outfitted with PPE such as face masks and gloves as well.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Anders Lindström)

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

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    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

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  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees