While refugees can receive federal assistance to cover travel costs, funds not spent on flights can be reallocated to cover other expenses as evacuees get set up in their new communities.
United Airlines is contributing the mile equivalent of 7,000 flights and Delta Air Lines is donating nearly 700 flights. The commitments build on previous initiatives to collect and match donations for Afghan refugees. American Airlines and JetBlue are also supporting flights, 6,000 and nearly 2,500 flights, respectively. Alaska Airlines is contributing 1,500 flights.
Other companies included in the effort are The Boeing Company, the Tripadvisor Foundation, Frontier Airlines and Air Canada.
The initiative is being launched with Miles4Migrants, which donates frequent flyer miles, credit card points and cash to help fly displaced people, and Welcome.US, a national effort to welcome and support Afghan refugees. Organizers are hoping to secure an additional 30,000 flights to help Afghans.