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Flexibility: The key to airpower...and Space-A

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - Have you ever dreamed of climbing the steps of an Egyptian pyramid or schussing down a black diamond ski slope in Bavaria? Or is digging your toes in the sand on a Hawaiian beach more your speed? Regardless of your dream vacation destination, Space-Available travel; or Space-A, can help turn your dreams into reality.

Did you know? Space-A travel is free with the exception of certain fees on some Patriot Express missions.

Typically, these dreams require a considerable amount of money to buy a commercial plane ticket. However, Space-A tickets don't cost a dime. Some charges may apply, such as arrival/departure fees or purchasing a flight meal. Otherwise, if your eligible all you need is your luggage, a Depart of Defense-issued identification card for ages 10 and up, current leave paperwork for active duty personnel and most importantly, time, patience, and flexibility. Of course, if traveling outside the United States, a passport and possibly a visa, are required. By remaining flexible and prepared, you and your family can have a great travel experience.

Over 130,000 travelers fly Space-A every year on approximately 900 daily Air Mobility Command aircraft flights around the globe. Although duty passengers on travel orders have first priority on these flights, many aircraft have seats open for Space-A. This means there are a lot of Space-A opportunities to fly to a variety of worldwide destinations for eligible travelers.

When scheduling your trip, plan for flexible traveling dates with a strong consideration for lodging, meals and daily incidental costs. Keep in mind, missions can be rerouted, delayed or cancelled for a number of reasons, including weather, maintenance, and higher priority missions. Therefore it is essential to have a back-up plan for these potential, unscheduled, and short- to no-notice delays.

Did you know? Traditionally, dependents had to travel with their sponsor with the exception of Environmental Morale Leave and Command Sponsored/Non-Command Sponsored programs. As of 2007, that policy was modified to allow dependents of deployed military members to use the Space-A program if the sponsor is deployed for 120 consecutive days or longer.

Signing up for Space-A is easy. Travelers must provide their sponsor's name and all traveling dependents; rank, if active duty; and the destinations desired. Travelers can either sign up in person at the passenger terminal or remotely via telephone, fax, or email. Active duty members must be on leave to sign up and present their leave form at the terminal. Dependents of personnel deployed for at least 120 days are also authorized to use the Space-A program during the duration of that deployment.

Did you know? You can fly on DoD-chartered flights, also known as commercially-contracted flights, for Space-A travel if seats are available. While travel to deployed locations from these aircraft is not possible, you can travel to Germany if the aircraft transitions there.

An informed traveler is a happy traveler. If traveling overseas, ensure you thoroughly read and familiarize yourself with the restrictions of the host countries you plan to visit. Status of Forces Agreements restrictions, U.S. State Department travel advisory guidelines, the Foreign Clearance Guide and passport and visa requirements are all necessary items to research and ensure adherence. For example, as a retiree traveling in Germany for less than 30 days, you are not authorized to purchase items in the Base Exchange but you can shop off base in the local community.

Make the AMC Travel Website (http://amc.af.mil/amctravel) your first stop to plan your trip. It contains links for passenger terminal contact information, travel eligibility codes, rules and regulations, local information, and frequently asked questions. Passenger terminal personnel are also an invaluable resource for answering those tough questions. Arm yourself with the right knowledge, all the items you'll need, meet any mandated requirements and you'll make your Space-A travel experience smooth.

The Space-A program is a wonderful way to see the world. Being prepared and flexible is the key to helping you and your family go on the trips of your dreams. Start packing!

Office of Public Affairs - transcom-pa@mail.mil
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