DoD

July 5, 2013

Military One Source monthly focus

“Space-A” Travel on Military Flights

For service members and their families, traveling Space Available — or Space-A — on military flights can be a great benefit, but you have to be flexible. Military flights are unpredictable and subject to delays and cancellations. You’ll need to be ready both financially and emotionally to change your plans at a moment’s notice. But for many Space-A passengers, traveling to places like Hawaii, Alaska, Germany, Italy or Japan at no or very low cost is worth the effort. The following information will help you understand how the system works.

Understanding Space-A travel

Military planes (and planes contracted by the military) have mission assignments throughout the world and often offer empty seats to eligible passengers. Space-A passengers can’t reserve seats; available seats are offered to registered passengers before the flight. Here are some things you should know before you try to find a Space-A flight:

Eligibility. Available seats are offered to service members, retirees, certain DOD employees and their eligible family members. Guard and reserve members may also travel Space-A but with restrictions. Eligible family members can travel without their active duty sponsor under certain circumstances, such as Environmental and Morale Leave or when their service member is deployed for more than 120 days.

Military terminals. Space-A flights leave from military passenger terminals on installations throughout the United States and around the world. You must sign up for flights on a register maintained at each passenger terminal. Policies and procedures for Space-A travelers vary by installation, so make sure you understand the rules for registration at each terminal from which you are trying to fly. You can find contact information for military terminals at Air Mobility Command.

Flights. For security reasons, military flight information is not generally published online. The best way to find out about Space-A flights is to call the passenger terminal and ask. The busiest terminals often have regularly scheduled flights and offer the best opportunity for Space-A seats.

Costs. In general, flying Space-A is at no cost to eligible passengers. However, some contracted flights charge Space-A passengers a small fee, and you may be required to pay a departure tax if you are traveling internationally. On many flights, meal service isn’t provided, but you may have an opportunity to buy a boxed meal before the flight.

Signing up for a Space-A flight

In order to fly Space-A, eligible passengers must register (sign up) at the military passenger terminal from which they want to depart. Uniformed service members must be on leave or pass status when they sign up. Registration can be very competitive at some busy terminals, so be sure to sign up as early as you can.

Passenger registration. You can sign up on the terminal’s register up to 60 days in advance. You may sign up for more than one destination and at more than one terminal. When you sign up, make sure you have your military ID and leave papers (if necessary). Some terminals accept fax or email sign up, but procedures vary by terminal. For contact information on military passenger terminals, visit AMC. When you get to your destination, be sure to register for a return flight.

Categories. Once registered, you are assigned a passenger category. These categories determine how seats are assigned. Within each category, passengers are prioritized based on the date and time they registered. Available seats are assigned first to Category I passengers, continuing through the categories until all empty seats are filled. •Category I. Active duty service members and their accompanying families traveling on emergency leave.

Category II. Service members and their accompanying family members traveling on EML. This includes command-sponsored family members who are stationed outside the continental United States.

Category III. Service members and their accompanying families traveling on ordinary leave or reenlistment leave status, and unaccompanied family members of service members deployed 365 consecutive days or more. This category also includes service members and their families on house-hunting leave.

Category IV. Unaccompanied family members on EML orders and eligible family members of service members deployed 120 days or more.

Category V. Students whose sponsor is stationed in Alaska or Hawaii and students enrolled in a trade school within the continental United States when the sponsor is stationed overseas.

Category VI. Retirees and their accompanying family members. This category also includes Guard and Reserve members who are traveling within CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories.

For more detailed descriptions, go to DoD Air Transportation Eligibility regulation.

Documentation.

Make sure you understand what documentation you will need to travel, including: Your military ID

A copy of your leave orders, if applicable (for emergency leave, EML or ordinary leave passengers)

Unaccompanied family members of service members who are deployed for 120 days or more need a letter verifying eligibility from the service member’s commanding officer

A passport and appropriate visas (if traveling overseas)

DD Form 1853: Verification of Reserve Status for Travel Eligibility (for eligible Guard and reserve members)

At the terminal. Plan to arrive at the terminal early. Space-A seats can be released two or three hours before a scheduled flight. Check with the passenger counter to be sure you are registered for the flight and your documents are in order.

Traveling Space-A

Space-A travel can be trying — especially if you’re traveling with young children. Planning ahead will help things go a little more smoothly.

Research where to go. The busiest military passenger terminals will have the most available Space-A seating.

Figure out when to go. Try to fly when schools are in session. The busiest times to fly — which means fewer available seats — are during holidays and summer vacation. Visit DOD Education Activity for the Defense Department’s school calendar.

Prepare for long delays. Flights can be delayed for hours or even days. Sometimes flights make unscheduled stops or are rerouted. Be sure to carry plenty of snacks and reading materials. If you are traveling with children, pack extra food and toys.

Bring cash or credit cards. You’ll want to have enough money to buy a commercial plane ticket home or pay for a hotel room, if necessary. Many passenger terminals close at night, so you will need to find lodging if you are still waiting for a flight.

Pack lightly. Luggage allowance will depend on the type of aircraft. By limiting your luggage, you’ll be able to board any available flight to your destination.

Be flexible. As a Space-A passenger, you could fly on a comfortable passenger plane or in the cargo hold of a C-130. To get the most out of your trip, you’ll need a good attitude and a sense of adventure.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
square

‘Retired Air Force Reservist finds inspiration through loss’ addendum

Angela Alexander was a member of the 56th Aerial Port Squadron, March Air Reserve Base and on annual tour in Japan when she was notified that her family had been in a severe car crash. She was told her husband, Suri and two dau...
 
 

Alcohol: how much is too much?

Alcohol is a part of the American culture — civilian and military. Many of us drink with others to socialize and celebrate important events. Or we sometimes drink alone to relax and unwind from a hard day at work. But along with the good times and good feelings associated with alcohol, there are well-known health...
 
 
BC3---women-in-combatswuare

AF begins testing phase for women in combat roles

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Marionne T. Mangrum Cpl. Daisy Romero (left) and Sgt. Jessica Dmoningo, assigned to a female engagement team (FET), speak with an Afghan man in his compound during a patrol in Marjah, Helmand pro...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley J. Thum

Ten ways to help kids conquer military life challenges

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley J. Thum Capt. Adam Luber, a 334th Fighter Squadron pilot, and Jeremiah Seaberry, the 334th FS pilot for a day, watch F-15E Strike Eagles on the flightline during a 4th Fighter Wing Pilo...
 
 
BC4---wildfire

922nd Civil Engineer Flight, small unit, worldwide impact

U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jason Saberin Members of the Army’s Northwest Division Field Engineer Support Team join the 922nd Civil Engineer Flight’s Staff Augmentation Team (S-Team) at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., Feb. 2...
 
 

AF sexual assault prevention: moving in the right direction

“I was raised in a household where you take responsibility for your own actions and don’t blame others for your downfalls,” said Tech. Sgt. Kathleen Thorburn. “Instead of seeing a crime that had occurred, all I could see were my mistakes. Why did I go to that party? Why did I accept the drink? Why...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin