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Posted: 6/2/2008 1:11:03 PM EST
My office's GYSGT mention flights from one base to another for just a few bucks. I have been trying to find info on the flights. Does anyone have a link. I just got commissioned, so my status is reserve currently.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 1:13:22 PM EST
AMC's FAQ regarding Space-A travel.
It's a Microsoft Word document.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 1:17:07 PM EST
it's called "space available" travel. basically you grab a empty seat on a military flight going somewhere. this is completely at the discretion of the aircraft commander as to whether he opens his flight to SA travel, and how many seats are available. It's not like commercial flights where you buy a ticket to where you want to go, and there's no guarantee of a return flight either. You could jump on a C-17 to Hawaii, but that jet usually won't be returning directly to the origin point, and there may or may not be a flight back to your origin base for quite some time.

If you want to see about SA travel availability, call the base ops desk for whatever base you are looking to depart from.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 1:21:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/2/2008 1:22:03 PM EST by Tim_the_enchanter]
I've done it. You may get a quick flight/connection, you may spend 24 + hours in a military terminal, only to get bumped. If you have the time, it can be an adventure in and of itself.

It was ten bucks way back when. Oh, and It was MAC back then, not AMC.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 1:25:59 PM EST
I carry a lot of Space A's all over the world. its a pretty good deal if you are flexable and can plan accordingly. Normally we arrive at a field and AMC will ask how many seats we are releasing and usually we give up 10-15 depending on what we have on board, etc. Sometimes we open up 75. Then we load up and go. There are retirees that travel the world Space A. You want to take leave and vacation in Spain? There are regular AMC flights to Rota at least once a week, if not more that always have unfilled Space A seats. Maybe HI is your ideathen thats pretty easy too. just start looking at USAF, USN, USMC air bases in your vicinity and get on the phone. I dont recall AMC charging anyone for flights.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 1:27:21 PM EST
Its a great way to fly for cheap. If you can make it there and back space-a, great you got a vaction for cheap, if there isnt a return flight then you got a vaction for half price. Only two things i would add to what has already been said.

Add one week to your leave over what you want, to give yourself wiggle room for getting home. There is no gaurantee of a return flight.

Make sure you have enough money to be able to buy a commercial ticket back home.

Link Posted: 6/2/2008 1:29:56 PM EST
ive taken space a all over the place. just be prepared to buy a ticket at least one way if necessary. active duty get priority for seats and ive used it extensively.

taking a C-5 transatlantic isnt exactly the most comfortable option, but most definately the cheapest.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 1:32:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/2/2008 1:33:21 PM EST by Frank_The_Tank]

Originally Posted By Tim_the_enchanter:
I've done it. You may get a quick flight/connection, you may spend 24 + hours in a military terminal, only to get bumped. If you have the time, it can be an adventure in and of itself.



That doesn't sound too different than airline travel. Except change the spending time in a military terminal to any variety of civil airport ones.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 3:18:51 PM EST
I am trying to get out to Alaska around Aug or Sept. I will have to get looking for airbases. I have pretty much the second half of the summer to play with. I dont report to TBS till mid Oct.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 4:46:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bittner182:
I am trying to get out to Alaska around Aug or Sept. I will have to get looking for airbases. I have pretty much the second half of the summer to play with. I dont report to TBS till mid Oct.


since you are in OH, start looking at Wright-Pat AFB for flights to Elmendorf AFB, AK. Ive been there and it's beautiful. You could get a flight from Wright-Pat to McHord then to Elmendorf also. be flexable and have money for a one way tix home and you should be fine..
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 4:59:11 PM EST
Wow, I keep forgetting about Space A. I took a KC-135 from Bentwaters to Pitt back in the day. Slept down in the Boom Operator position the whole way across the Atlantic. Woke up looking down at the runway, hehe, they forgot I was down there and scared the crap outta me. All we paid for back then was for box nastys.......
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 5:06:23 PM EST
Personal experience tells me that getting a flight out of Hawaii is about 1,000 times easier than getting one back. Plan accordingly and it isn't a problem. My son and I had quite an adventure getting from Hawaii to Albama and back. We had a great time but it is not for the easily annoyed!
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 5:07:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By Valkyrie:
There are retirees that travel the world Space A.


That's what I want to do when I retire. The wife doesn't get to see the world like I do. I figure after 20 years of putting up with me getting to travel, she should be able to see the world too.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 5:27:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By GLHX2112:
Wow, I keep forgetting about Space A. I took a KC-135 from Bentwaters to Pitt back in the day. Slept down in the Boom Operator position the whole way across the Atlantic. Woke up looking down at the runway, hehe, they forgot I was down there and scared the crap outta me. All we paid for back then was for box nastys.......



Riding the boompod was a norm whenever I flew. Not space a, I was a crew chief. Was always a point to be in the pod for takeoffs and landings.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 5:31:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:
it's called "space available" travel. basically you grab a empty seat on a military flight going somewhere. this is completely at the discretion of the aircraft commander as to whether he opens his flight to SA travel, and how many seats are available. It's not like commercial flights where you buy a ticket to where you want to go, and there's no guarantee of a return flight either. You could jump on a C-17 to Hawaii, but that jet usually won't be returning directly to the origin point, and there may or may not be a flight back to your origin base for quite some time.

If you want to see about SA travel availability, call the base ops desk for whatever base you are looking to depart from.



And ANY flight can be cancelled at ANY time due to any number of reasons
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 5:40:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/2/2008 5:41:33 PM EST by KA3B]
www.armytimes.com/benefits/mwr/military_spaceavailable_travel_2007hbml/

Space-Available Travel




Space-available travel is a way for service members and their families to fly for free or for a nominal fee. It’s more complicated than travel by commercial airline, but it can be considerably cheaper.

Competition for seats can be intense, however. Many passengers awaiting Space-A travel during the summer and holiday seasons may end up paying premium rates for unexpected lodging, dining and even commercial airline tickets if no Space-A flight is immediately available.

The biggest disadvantage to Space-A travel is that there are no reservations. Because they are subject to change due to mission requirements, Space-A flights are never guaranteed. Also, there is no guarantee to Space-A passengers that the mission will travel the scheduled route. Space-A travelers can be bumped at any stopping point along the route to accommodate space-required passengers or cargo.

Continental U.S. travel
Certain family members can travel Space-A within the continental U.S. when accompanied by their sponsor. Family members of active-duty members and retirees drawing retired pay (those who are not “gray area” reservists) can travel Space-A within the continental U.S. when accompanied by their sponsor.

Conditions
The primary mission of Defense Department airlift is the movement of cargo and passengers in support of operational requirements. Both military aircraft and contracted commercial aircraft support this mission. When the mission allows, unused seats may be offered to anyone meeting Defense Department eligibility rules.

Eligible passengers fly only in space not required for duty-status passengers or cargo, and only when they do not interfere with the mission.

No one should consider using Space-A without having the means to switch to a commercial airline or some other form of transportation if they are bumped from a military flight.

Space-A travel is not permitted for personal gain or in connection with business, nor is it authorized for permanent change-of-station or official travel, or when prohibited by international or theater restrictions on movement.

Documents
Anyone traveling Space-A must have a valid military ID card and other documentation required by the Foreign Clearance Guide, to include the military sponsor and all dependents. Other papers necessary for registration may include passports, visas and immunization records. Space-A passengers must present travel documents when selected for travel.

Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which took effect Jan. 23, tourists — including those traveling by Space-A — must have a passport to re-enter the U.S. when they’ve traveled by air or sea through another country, including Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Eligibility
Space-A is open worldwide to all active-duty members on leave and military retirees receiving retired pay, with a DD Form 2. It is also open to reserve and National Guard members traveling within the U.S. or its territories.

Gray-area retirees — those under age 60 who have qualified for retirement but are not yet drawing retired pay — are eligible for Space-A travel within the U.S. or its territories. Once they reach age 60, start drawing retirement pay and are issued a DD Form 2, they are eligible for worldwide Space-A travel with their dependents.

Under certain circumstances, Defense Department civilians are authorized to travel Space-A when they are on Emergency Leave or Environmental Morale Leave.

Within these broad categories of eligibility, Space-A also can be used in special circumstances. For instance, family members who are command-sponsored and living with their active-duty sponsors stationed overseas can travel without their sponsor to, from and within the overseas theater. This requires a letter signed by the sponsor’s commander verifying the family member’s status.

Family members under age 18 must be accompanied by an eligible parent or legal guardian.

If the service member is on an unaccompanied tour, family members can travel Space-A (Category 3 accompanied, Category 5 unaccompanied) to and from the member’s approved overseas tour location to visit the duty location. The exception to this benefit is travel to Diego Garcia.

Because service members must report to unaccompanied duty in active-duty status, family members cannot accompany them when they initially report to the unaccompanied overseas tour.

Active-duty service members must obtain prior written approval for noncommand-sponsored dependent travel from their installation commanders or designated representatives.

Environmental Morale Leave Program
Family members can use Space-A flights overseas under this program, which is generally authorized in areas that are considered austere for Americans.

People on assignment to such areas can fly Space-A twice a year for a change of scenery. Unified combatant commanders determine which duty stations fall in that category and identify the places where people stationed there may travel.

Fees
The law directs that a $12 federal inspection fee must be collected from Space-A passengers entering the U.S. on commercial contract aircraft. In addition, Space-A passengers pay a $14.10 transportation tax when entering or departing the U.S. on commercial aircraft.

House-hunting trips
Space-A rules allow a family member to accompany the service member on house-hunting trips in the continental U.S. if the trip is related to a pending permanent change-of-station move and the member is on permissive temporary duty orders for house hunting.

College students
The military makes some provision for full-time college students under age 23 to travel independently if their parents are stationed overseas. Base personnel offices have details.

Luggage
The Defense Department generally allows passengers two pieces of checked luggage weighing no more than 70 pounds each, up to 62 linear inches in size. Some aircraft may have more restrictive allowances. Hand-carried baggage must fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment, if available.

Meals
Passengers who want meals on military aircraft pay a fee, usually less than $4, depending on the type of meal and travel status of the person. Meals are provided free on commercial contract aircraft. On Patriot Express flights, meals have been upgraded from economy or coach class to business-class equivalent. Some terminals may have limited snack bar facilities and vending machines, so travelers should be prepared to provide their own food. When traveling with young children, be prepared for stops along the way where baby supplies are not available.

Sign-up
Service members can sign up for a Space-A flight in person or by “remote space-available sign-up” at passenger processing activities, such as Air Mobility Command terminals. Wait times vary by cargo load, destination and season. Each passenger processing activity maintains a single Space-A register.

Remote sign-up allows travelers to register by fax, mail, or e-mail. They can fax travel requests to the passenger terminal from which they plan to leave. The advantage to travelers is that they have priority for a seat from the time of receipt of the travel request.

Regardless of how they sign up, service members must be on leave and have a valid military ID. They must remain on leave while waiting and until they complete the travel.

Space-A travelers can sign up for five destinations, with the last selection being “all,” to take advantage of any mission that may come through their departure point.

If signing up in person, passengers use forms available in the air terminal. The forms are stamped with the date and time the person signed up.

Travelers can sign up for all legs of a trip at once. For the return trip, they must sign up again.

Service members who sign up for a flight and are not there when their names are called remain on the waiting list. Only the opportunity to take that particular flight has been lost.

Retirees and unaccompanied family members remain on the Space-A register for 60 days after registration, depending on category. Service members remain on the register for the duration of their leave, but no longer than 60 days.

Did you know?
Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that took effect Jan. 23, all tourists — including those traveling Space-A — must have a passport to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad by air or sea, including to the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico. The Defense Department Foreign Clearance Guide has details; see http://www.fcg.pentagon.mil.


At one time you could buy seat space on World Airlines charter flights for $20 or so, don't know if that still holds true.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 1:41:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bittner182:
I am trying to get out to Alaska around Aug or Sept. I will have to get looking for airbases. I have pretty much the second half of the summer to play with. I dont report to TBS till mid Oct.


MAC used to have a charter that initiated at LAXm to Portland or Seattle, to anchorage, to Yokota to Osan and back. Flying to Anchorage was easy. Getting back was a bitch because all the troops flying back from ROK or Japan got there before you did.

My son is in the AF and he says it's tough to get transcon flights. His buddy is a Loadmaster at Pope and hasn't been able to find some to get out here or back since he got back from the sandbox.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 2:28:58 PM EST
Thanks for all the great info.
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