SPACE AVAILABLE TRAVEL TIPS
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.
- 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.
Bring the Required 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)
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.
- 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.