Planning any flight, whether short or far, can be a hassle. You have to compare different airline prices, airport availability, and layovers. Did you know that as a 100% T&P Veteran, you and your family could qualify to travel anywhere in the world for little or no cost? Space-Available flights are private, military-ran flights with available seats for those serving or those who have served, plus their families!
Space-A Cost of Flying
Space-A travel has little to no cost. Compared to commercial flights, or even a bus ticket, Space-A flights are dirt cheap! Occasionally, you may have to pay a surplus of $10.00, and that’s typically only if you’re going overseas. Other than that, flying with the military is completely free. Now, with that, there are some drawbacks when it comes to the convenience factor.
Locating Military Flights and Passenger Terminals Near You
Unlike routine commercial airlines, military flights are far less planned. Most Space-A flights are transporting active duty military, cargo, or medic supplies. These flights are typically arranged within a very short time period. For most Space-A flights, you will have anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to reserve your spot. This may sound a bit frightening, but there are plenty of passenger terminals to help you find the right flight.
Who Can Fly Space-A?
Space-A travel has 6 categories that identify who can get a seat on the next flight by priority. The National Defense Authorization Act now allows veterans with 100% Total and Permanent Disability Rating the option to use military airlift command flights. Disabled veterans with 100% T&P are placed in Category 6, which is the lowest priority slot. This means if there is available space, all other 5 categories have priority over you.
The priority list is as follows:
- Category 1: Emergency Leave Travel.
- Category 2: Accompanied Environmental and Morale Leave.
- Category 3: Ordinary leave, house hunting Permissive Temporary Duty, Relatives, Foreign Military, Medal of Honor Holders.
- Category 4: Unaccompanied Dependence and Environmental and Morale Leave
- Category 5: Permissive Temporary Duty, Students, Dependents, Post Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence.
- Category 6: Retirees, Dependents, Reservists, Disabled Veterans with 100% Total and Permanent Disability Rating, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program and Civil Engineer Corps members.
Finding Flights as a Military Active Duty, Reservist, or Veteran
There are several ways to book a Space-A flight. You can go online to the official Air Mobility Command website. Here, you can find passenger terminal locations for AMC, as well as other commands. You may find what is called an AMCGRAM at certain terminals – this is a fact sheet that provides terminal hours, long-term parking, lodging info, and rental cars. An AMCGRAM can be very helpful and is typically provided at the better terminal locations.
Another option is visiting Facebook and searching for passenger terminals in your location and the location you want to fly to. Most terminals typically update their flight schedules routinely on Facebook, so this can be a good tool if you want flights to update automatically on your social media – with a free flight, why not?
What You Need to Book a Space-A Flight
In order to book a flight, you will need to contact the passenger terminal you wish to fly out of by using one of the methods below:
- Phone Call
- In Person
Your number of seats will be entered to compete for a spot. Unfortunately, as a disabled veteran, you will be last priority. However, Space-A flights are constantly lifting off, and you can actually choose up to 5 destination locations at a time so you will fall into the next flight. If you choose to sign up for a flight remotely, you will need to fax the needed travel documents from the next section below.
What do you need to travel Space-A?
You will need some important documents upon signing-up for your flight.
The following information is needed:
- Military Rank/Grade and Branch
- Proof of Category (DD Form 2765 for disabled veterans)
- Armed Forces ID Card
- Name and SSN of any dependents flying with you
- Destinations (5 or less)
What To Expect On Day of Travel
Be sure to arrive at your terminal in time for roll call. This will be where you can state yourself as “present” and lock in your spot if the flight has one available for you. Once you officially have your seats, let the fun begin! The best benefit of flying with Space-A is the camaraderie you get to share with fellow active-duty personnel, reservists, and veterans.
After you reach cruise altitude, you’ll be able to roam around the cabin with the comfort of knowing that you are with people who have sacrificed to protect our country. Unlike a commercial flight, you can also take refuge in knowing that you won’t be judged by your fellow military men and women.
Upon landing, you will want to make sure to visit a service center once you are in the terminal if you plan on flying back out of the terminal you flew into. Here, you can sign-up to be on the list for return flights. Typically, you can score seats back within a day or two of your desired date. However, you will want to be flexible in case priority rules over you.
Overall, traveling with Space-A can require some spontaneity, but there’s a lot of benefits, including cost and camaraderie. Contact Strategic Veteran for help booking a Category 6 Space-A travel flight!