Get a Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride Program

Traveling across the state or the country without a vehicle is not always affordable for someone leaving an abusive relationship. Studies report more than 90% of domestic abuse cases involve some degree of financial control and abuse. An abusive partner may monitor credit/debit card transactions to know a ticket was purchased, or monitor emails for departure information. Families to Freedom offers a solution!

Criteria for Receiving a Bus or Flight Ticket

  1. You must meet criteria 1-6 on our criteria for receiving transportation service page
  2. Your receiving shelter/program or receiving family/friend must agree to pick you up upon your arrival
  3. Luggage must fit within size and weight limits set by the bus carrier or airline
  4. We will arrange for you to arrive at the bus station or airport for departure- friends or family cannot take you

Area of Service

Families to Freedom provides free bus and flight tickets for victims and new survivors calling from North Texas (purple box) or the upper Gulf Coast region (blue area). We are unable to accommodate departures that start from outside of the service areas. For ticketed travel, the a domestic violence shelter, or family home, must be located outside of the service area you leave from anywhere in the lower 48 states. In summary, you must be physically inside a service area box and going to somewhere outside of that box for a bus or flight ticket. Transportation that stays inside of a box, will likely be honored by car/van ride. See our Ride to Safety page for information.

Departure Times

Same-day travel is not an option. Departure by bus or flight is generally scheduled a few days up to a week (sometimes longer) in advance. If you feel you are not safe to wait before your scheduled departure we urge you to seek shelter. We can provide a ride to a shelter that accepts you. For a list of shelters, see our directory here.

Need a suitcase or travel bag? Maybe we can help!

Travel by Bus

For many, the idea of flight is scary and stressful. We get it! We offer intracity bus tickets as a solution for those going far away for long-term safety. Tickets are typically booked days or a week in advance of departure. Amtrak train or commercial airfare may be offered if the cost and timing is better than travel by bus, and it is at our discretion to offer these travel options. Bus transfers and layovers may occur at a location without shelter from the elements. After Families to Freedom volunteer or staff drops you off at the bus depot, you are on your own for food and creature comforts in the event of a cancellation or delay. During a bus transfer or layover, if you miss your bus, Families to Freedom will not purchase a new ticket.

Baggage restrictions may apply for how much luggage is allowed by bus. Any single suitcase, bag or box must weigh under 50 lbs. Families to Freedom is unable to pay for travel costs with excess baggage and unable to ship items left behind. We will arrange for your ride to the bus depot, unless your domestic violence shelter agrees to provide that on our behalf.

Travel by Commercial Flight

You must have a physical non-expired state issued photo ID or passport before we will consider booking a flight. A picture of your ID on your phone or photocopied is not valid. Commercial flight is generally a comfortable experience but it does come with several risks. For example, a suddenly cancelled flight, unplanned diversion, and unplanned delays may result in having an uncomfortable long layover in an airport, missing a connecting flight, and arriving late to your destination. After Families to Freedom volunteer or staff drops you off at the airport, you are on your own for food and creature comforts in the event of a cancellation or delay. We will not pay for a hotel stay if a flight is cancelled. If you miss your flight for some reason that is not the fault of the airlines and not the fault of Families to Freedom, you are on your own. Families to Freedom will not purchase a new ticket. We will provide for your ride to the airport arriving at least 2 hours prior to the flight departure time.

Prior to booking a ticket we will ask you multiple times to describe your luggage in terms of quantity and size. Be careful not to bring more than what you reported. If a suitcase/bag is bigger or heavier than what your ticket allows, you will be responsible for paying for the excess luggage or disposing of items. Our volunteers are not responsible for paying for extra luggage so please plan ahead!

New to flight? We will attempt to prepare you and ease your mind prior to your departure. Most airports have an electronic kiosk that you will use to obtain a printed boarding pass. Any luggage that needs to be checked (isn't carried with you on to the aircraft) will need to be given to a ticket agent who will weigh the bag/suitcase then tag the luggage. After you have a boarding pass and checked luggage is handled, you will then go through security. Anything sharp, combustable, and any containers of liquid larger than the palm of your hand (3 oz.) will be confiscated and discarded into the trash. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has more information about what is and is not allowed. Once you're through security, you'll look for a gate for your flight's departure. There is usually a digital screen showing the flight number, city, time, and corresponding gate. At the gate, the boarding agent will announce when it will be time to board and which passengers will go first.

Safe Locations for Pickup

A safe place for a volunteer to pick up at can be the location of a civic professional such as the police station, a fire station, hospital or medical clinic, or a shelter. In some cases where municipal resources are too far or not available, we will also accept public establishments including a retail store that is well lit and has camera surveillance and/or security personnel. This requirement is for the safety of all people involved. We will not pickup from your residence or any location accessible by your abuser.

Call 833-903-7233 Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm CT to discuss your travel needs.

Civic Professionals

To qualify for transportation services, you will need to have been in contact with a licensed or certified civic professional. This ensures that you receive immediate assistance related to your abuse and that we are serving people who are genuinely in need of our services. In contact can be a phone call, meeting in-person, or by digital means with a licensed or certified civic professional. We will ask to contact this person for verification. Victims referred by a domestic violence program, law enforcement, or CPS social worker take priority for service.

We define a civic professional as a person who is employed by or engages in a professional capacity on behalf of a registered company, an organization, or a municipality. Additionally, this profession should deal with civic matters such as health, legal matters, community outreach, or public safety.

Examples of civic professionals include (but are not limited to): police, sheriff deputy, district attorney or lawyer, fireman, doctor, counselor, therapist, school nurse, shelter personnel, campus police, emergency line dispatch, caseworker, social worker and others.

Answers to Common Questions

  • We do not provide city bus passes such as DART or METRO.
  • Rides to the bus station or airport are free. We require to provide the transportation for you to arrive to the bus depot or airport.
  • A valid photo ID or passport is required for flight and train travel.
  • A shelter or program's deadline for your arrival is not our responsibility. We will present modes of travel dates and times for departure based on a variety of factors.
  • Cancelling your desire for travel after a ticket is purchased forfeits future ticket purchases. Contact our office to reschedule or discuss challenges before your departure date.
  • We must verify by a 3-way call to your receiving shelter or long-term program that you are accepted to their facility and that they will hold that space until you arrive. Facilities on a first-come basis do not meet criteria.
  • Our drivers are all volunteers who have passed a criminal background check, a driving check, and who we have an ongoing relationship with. Timing for pickup depends on the mode of travel. We aim to get you to the airport 2 hours before your flight departs. Arrival to the bus depot/station may be 30 minutes or less before departure.
  • We will provide a car seat or booster seat to be used for those traveling with children.
  • For home arrivals, we must receive proof of residence of the destination before travel begins.
  • We do not offer international flight or bus tickets. We can support domestic travel such arrival to a border city or airport for transfer to an international flight that you obtain on your own.
  • We can give you a ride to a bus depot or airport for travel you or your family paid for if you are leaving from a domestic violence facility, or if recommended by law enforcement or CPS for help.
  • We do not purchase travel insurance. Unforseen delays, cancellations, and crashes are a risk of ticketed travel. Families to Freedom is not liable for these risks.

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