People not familiar with the Space A system often do not know the questions to ask to make their travel easier. The following are some of the most common Space A questions and their answers.
Is Space A travel a reasonable substitute for travel on a commercial airline?
The answer depends on you! If your travel schedule is flexible and your finances permit for a stay (sometimes in a "high-cost" area), while awaiting movement, space available travel is a good travel choice. While some travelers sign up and travel may be the same day, many factors could come together to make buying a commercial ticket your best or only option. Remember, Space A travel success depends on flexibility and good timing.
Who determines eligibility to fly Space A?
ANSWER: The four services jointly establish Space A eligibility. AMC's first responsibility is airlifting official DoD traffic. Space A passengers are accommodated only after official duty passengers and cargo.
How long does my name stay on the Space A list?
All travelers remain on the register 60 days after registration, or for the duration of their travel orders authorization, or until they are selected for travel, whichever occurs first. Revalidation has been eliminated.
What is country sign-up, and how does it affect me?
Under this program, you may sign up for five different countries rather than five different destinations. You are also eligible for the "ALL" sign-up which makes you eligible for all other destinations served. This gives you a greater selection of destinations from which to choose.
What is remote sign-up?
Remote sign-up allows passengers to enter the backlog by telefaxing copies of proper service documentation along with desired country destinations and family members first names to the aerial port of departure. The telefax data header will establish date/time of sign-up; therefore, active duty personnel must ensure the telefax is sent no earlier than the effective date of leave. Mail entries will also be permitted. The original date and time of sign-up shall be documented and stay with the passenger until his or her destination is reached. On reaching destination, the passenger may again sign-up for space available travel to return to home station.
NOTE: If applicable, a statement that all required border clearance documents are current, is required.
What is self sign-up?
Self sign-up is a program that allows passengers to sign-up at a terminal without waiting in line. Some locations now provide self sign-up counters with easy to follow instructions for registration. Active duty personnel must ensure sign-up takes place no earlier than the effective date of leave. If your travel will take you to a foreign country, ensure border clearance documentation is up to date. If you are unsure, verify it with a passenger service representative on duty.
How can I find where my name is on the Space A register?
Each terminal maintains a Space A register (organized by priority and the date and time of registration for travel) that is updated daily. The register is conveniently located in the terminal and directly accessible to you. The register reflects standings of all passengers regardless of destination. Travelers may call the terminal direct to find where they stand travel wise.
As a Reservist, where can I fly?
Reserve members with DD Form 2 (Red) identification and DD Form 1853 may fly to, from, and between Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the CONUS. Additionally, when on active duty, members may fly anywhere overseas that AMC has flights operating.
As a Retiree, where can I fly?
Retired members with DD Form 2 (Blue) identification card may fly anywhere AMC has flights operating CONUS or OCONUS.
Where and when can my family members travel with me?
Except EML and emergency travel, family members must be accompanied by the sponsor to fly Space A. Family members may travel to/from and between overseas locations, but not within the CONUS unless manifested on domestic leg segments of international travel.
Expanded space available travel privileges for dependents of active duty military members went into effect Oct 20, 1995.
Under the new rules: Dependents of active duty members may travel within the continental United States when accompanying their sponsor on emergency leave. One dependent may accompany the sponsor on permissive house-hunting trips incident to a permanent change of station move. Command sponsored dependents stationed overseas are allowed unaccompanied travel to, from, and within the overseas theater (in addition to environmental morale leave previously authorized). Travel restrictions may apply to certain overseas areas as determined by the unified commander.
Members traveling in the last category must have documentation signed by their sponsor's commander verifying command sponsorship during their travels and show to air terminal personnel. This document is only valid for one round-trip from the sponsor's duty location. Family members under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an eligible parent or legal guardian.
These changes do not affect the assignment categories for Space "A" travel.
Can I have family members travel with another military member if given power of attorney, other releases, or authority?
No. Family members may only travel when accompanied by their sponsor.
I am disabled. Can I have a brother, sister, or friend accompany me to help me?
The only persons permitted to accompany you are your dependents (not in the CONUS) or other persons eligible for Space A travel. Every effort shall be made to transport passengers with disabilities who are otherwise eligible to travel. Passenger service personnel and crew members shall provide assistance in boarding, seating, and deplaning passengers with special needs.
Do I have to be in uniform to travel?
Each service determines their own travel uniform policies. Currently, services except the Marine Corps permit appropriate civilian attire on DoD-owned or controlled aircraft. When civilian clothing is worn, use common sense. Attire should be in good taste and not in conflict with accepted attire in the overseas country of departure, transit, or destination, as defined by the DoD Foreign Clearance Guide. It should also be capable of keeping you warm especially on military aircraft.
How much baggage can I take?
As a Space A traveler, you may check two pieces of luggage at 70 pounds each per person. Family members traveling together may pool their baggage allowance as long as the total does not exceed the total allowance. You may hand carry only what fits under your seat or in the overhead compartment, if available.
Can I pay for excess baggage when flying space available?
No. Only duty status passengers may pay for excess baggage.
Do you have any recommendations on baggage?
Yes. Travel light, take only essentials. Do not place valuables, medicine, or important documents in your check baggage. Be sure your name and current address are on and inside your bags. AMC terminals have baggage ID tags available for you to use. All gels and liquids and all other items of similar consistencies must be placed in checked baggage prior or at the time of check in. Only exception is baby formula and prescription medicine.
Can my pet travel with me on a Space A flight?
No. DoD has reserved pet shipments for passengers in permanent change of station (PCS) status. Additionally, travel with pets would be difficult at best due to limited aircraft pet spaces, pet import documentation requirements, and the possibility of quarantine in the event of an aircraft divert.
Will Space A travel cost much?
I n general, no. Some terminals must collect a head tax or a federal inspection fee from Space A passengers on commercial contract missions. Meals may be purchased at a nominal fee out of most air terminals while traveling on military aircraft. Meal service on AMC Category B full planeload charters is complimentary.
What facilities are available at AMC terminals (nursery, BX, snack bar)?
Facilities at most military terminals are generally the same as commercial facilities. Facilities include exchanges, barber shops, snack bars, pay television (free television lounge in some military terminals), traveler assistance, baggage lockers or rooms, United Services Organization (USO) lounges, and nurseries (at major terminals). The type of facility available will vary according to the terminal size and location.
NOTE: Most AMC passenger terminals close at night. Space A travelers should be prepared to defray billeting expenses.
What are the trends in the availability of Space A travel? Does it seem as if there will be more or less Space A travel in the coming year?
Although AMC has led efforts to improve Space A travel in the past few years, movement still remains a result of unused seats. Present DoD personnel and budget trends are effecting Space A movement opportunity. AMC is dedicated to putting a passenger in every available seat.
What is the best time of the year to travel Space A?
Any time other than peak travel and holidays (December-January and June-August) periods.
Is it easier to go to some destinations?
Yes. Places where we fly often (Germany) are much easier than low frequency areas (Australia or New Zealand).
Can people travel Space A to Alaska or South America?
Yes. Travelers may obtain Space A travel to Alaska, South America, and other interesting locations; i.e., Australia, New Zealand, etc. Travel to Alaska is relatively easy when departing from the West Coast (Travis AFB, California, and McChord AFB, Washington). Travel to South America and other remote areas is much more difficult. Infrequent flights to remote areas are primarily cargo missions and have few seats available for passenger movement. Expect long waiting periods for movement.
I am retired and am traveling on a passport and my flight originated overseas. Where in the CONUS can I fly into?
When traveling on a passport, (family members, retired uniform service, reserve, etc.,) you may return to the CONUS only through authorized ports of entry where customs and immigration clearance is available. While you may depart the CONUS literally from any military airfield, reentry locations for passport holders are limited. Active duty passengers who do not require immigration clearance have more reentry options open.
Can I fly on Space A on other than AMC flights?
Yes. Your travel eligibility is for all DoD-owned or controlled aircraft. AMC, however, does not always have knowledge of other command/services' flights. Telephone numbers are available for many of the passenger terminals in the CONUS (see paragraph 11).
Can I call the bases for flight information? If so, what are the phone numbers?
We encourage you to call the passenger terminal you plan on traveling through 30-60 days before travel. The terminal will be happy to discuss their flight schedule, Space A backlog, movement forecast, etc.