SPACE AVAILABLE TRAVEL QUESTIONS
Travelers who may not be familiar with the Space Available system often do not know which Questions to ask to get the right information. To help make your travel easier, the following are some of the most common Space-A Questions and Answers.
Question 1: What is Space-A
Answer: Space-A is short for "Space-Available air transportation on government owned or controlled aircraft." When mission and cargo loads allow, there are often seats made available to eligible passengers. With a little patience and flexibility, you can travel all over the world for almost nothing.
Question 2: What restrictions are there on Space-A
Answer: You cannot use Space-A privileges for personal gain or in connection with business enterprises or employment. You also can't use Space-A travel to establish a home, to transport dependents to a duty station where you are or will be serving an unaccompanied tour, to transport dependents to a TDY duty station, or when international or theater restrictions prohibit such travel.
Question 3: When can I mark myself present for a flight?
Answer: You may mark yourself present for a flight up to 24 hours prior.
Question 4: Where do I get the terminal phone numbers?
Answer: The phone numbers can be found in guidebooks, on information sheets provided by the passenger terminals, and through the World Wide Web on the Internet. Many passenger terminals now have their own World Wide Web pages and Facebook pages, and many of them also list phone numbers.
Question 5: I have command-sponsored dependents. Can they travel unaccompanied?
Answer: Yes, if you are 18 years of age or older. However, the intent of this program is to afford command sponsored dependents relief from their overseas duty location. Travel is authorized Overseas-CONUS, CONUS-Overseas, and Overseas-Overseas within the same theater. Once your dependent lands in the CONUS, they are no longer authorized to travel Space-A to another destination unless they are manifested on an aircraft that is only transiting the en route CONUS location. Please refer to AMC Travel Website (http://www.amc.af.mil/amctravel/index.asp) for additional info.
Question 6: My husband is stationed in Korea, can I go Space-A to visit him?
Answer: Travel is authorized to the sponsor's unaccompanied permanent PCS location. Travel under this program is not authorized when the sponsor is on TDY/TAD orders. Travel is authorized Overseas-CONUS, CONUS-Overseas, and Overseas-Overseas. However CONUS-CONUS travel is not authorized unless they are manifested on an aircraft that is only transiting the en route CONUS location. The sponsor must obtain documentation, in the form of a letter, verifying authorized travel from their current unit commander.
Question 7: I just traveled from Overseas to CONUS under the Command Sponsored Dependent Program. What do you mean I cannot travel from state to state (CONUS to CONUS)?
Answer: Once a dependent lands in the CONUS, their onward travel is complete unless they are manifested on an aircraft that is only transiting the en route CONUS location or transiting a CONUS location is required, i.e. EDF-HIK
Question 8: What documentation do I need for dependents without an ID card and less than 10 years old?
Answer: Dependents without an ID card and less than 10 years old must have proof of age, i.e. birth certificate, passport, or other Government provided document.
Question 9: My sponsor was retired and is now deceased. Can I still fly Space A.?
Answer: No. Space-A travel is a privilege granted to the service member and does not carry over after death to dependents. With one exception; only dependents of retired Uniformed Services members who die overseas, Travel is authorized for the purpose of accompanying the remains of the deceased retired member from overseas to the CONUS. Return travel is authorized if accomplished within one year of arrival in the CONUS. Documentation certified by DoD mortuary affairs personnel shall be presented to air terminal personnel, and shall be in the dependents' possession during travel.
Question 10: I have non-command sponsored dependents. Can they travel unaccompanied?
Answer: Yes, for those 18 years or older. Travel is authorized to the sponsor's unaccompanied permanent PCS location. Travel is not authorized to meet up at another location. Travel under this program is not authorized when the sponsor is on TDY/TAD orders. Travel is authorized CONUS-Overseas, Overseas-CONUS, and Overseas-Overseas. Once your dependent lands in the CONUS, they are no longer authorized to travel Space-A to another destination. CONUS-CONUS travel is not authorized unless they are manifested on an aircraft that is only transiting the en route CONUS location. Please refer to AMC Travel Website for additional info.
Question 11: I am a disabled veteran, with a retiree card (DD Form 2). Can I fly Space-A?
Answer: Yes. However, there are certain restrictions you need to be aware of. If you require motorized assistance to move around, the current allowance is for mobility assistance equipment shall not to exceed 100 lbs. in weight.
Question 12: After I sign-up, what is my next step?
Answer: On the day you would like to travel, you must mark yourself present for travel either at the Kiosk or see a passenger service agent at the counter.
Question 13: What is EML and does it apply to Space-A?
Answer: EML stands for Environmental and Moral Leave. Typically, only unfunded EML travel is authorized for use in the Space-A program. Passengers travelling in the EML status are given a higher priority than those traveling on ordinary leave.
Question 14: What is remote sign-up?
Answer: Remote sign-up allows passengers to sign-up for space available travel by emailing or faxing copies of proper service documentation along with desired country destinations and family member's first names to the aerial port of departure. The email or fax data header will establish date/time of sign-up; therefore, active duty personnel must ensure that their email or fax is sent no earlier than the effective date of leave. Mailed in entries will also be permitted and date and time for sign-up will be the time it is received at the Passenger Service Counter.
Question 15: What is self sign-up?
Answer: Self sign-up is a program that allows passengers to sign-up at a terminal without waiting in line. Most 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 of specific requirements a passenger service representative on duty would be happy to assist.
Question 16: How can I find where my name is on the Space-A register?
Answer: Each terminal maintains a Space-A register organized by priority category and the date and time of registration for travel. The register is conveniently located in the terminal and directly accessible to you and updated daily. Travelers may call the terminal to find where they stand on the register.
Question 17: As a Reservist, where can I fly?
Answer: 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 Continental United States (CONUS). Dependents are not authorized to travel. Additionally, when on active duty for more than 30 consecutive days, members may fly anywhere overseas that AMC has flights operating, when on the member is on leave.
Question 18: Can dependents travel with retired Reservists?
Answer: Dependents can travel with retired sponsors if their sponsor carries a DD Form 2 (Blue retired ID card), NOT a DD Form 2 (Red). When carrying "Red" card, only sponsor can travel Space-A.
Question 19: What is Date and Time of Sign-up?
Answer: Date and Time of Sign-up is the time used to determine the next selected passenger in their category during the Roll Call process. 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.
Question 20: Can I travel unaccompanied Space A if my husband is deployed?
Answer: Unaccompanied dependents of deployed uniformed service members, when the deployment orders indicate the deployment is between 120 and 365 consecutive days, are authorized to travel Space-A unaccompanied in Category IV. If the deployment period exceeds 365 consecutive days, the unaccompanied dependents are authorized Category III travel.
Question 21: Can I have family members travel with another military member if given power of attorney, other releases, or authority?
Answer: No. Family members may only travel when accompanied by their sponsor except as noted in Question 10.
Question 22: I am disabled. Can I have a brother, sister, or friend accompany me to help me?
Answer: The only persons permitted to accompany you are your spouse, dependents 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.
Question 23: Do I have to be in uniform to travel?
Answer: Each service determines its 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 it 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. Passengers are also reminded the high heeled, open toed and "five finger" styled shoes may not be worn on military aircraft.
Question 24: How much baggage can I take?
Answer: 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. Each passenger is permitted to hand-carry one article (small luggage, garment bags, backpack, etc.) and one personal item (cosmetic case, purse, briefcase, small boxes, packages, etc.) for storage in the passenger cabin area.
NOTE: Smaller type aircraft have restrictions (C-12, C-21, UC-35 aircraft have 30lb baggage limitation. Navy C-40 & C-9's are restricted to two bags at 50 lbs total).
Question 25: Can I pay for excess baggage when flying Space Available?
Answer: No. Only duty status passengers may pay for excess baggage.
Question 26: Do you have any recommendations on baggage?
Answer: Yes. Travel light, take only essential items. Do not place valuables, medicine, or important documents in your checked baggage. Be sure your name and current address are on and inside your bags. AMC terminals have baggage ID tags available for your use. It is also advisable to place a copy of your leave/EML paperwork inside your checked baggage.
Question 27: Can my pet travel with me on a Space-A flight?
Answer: No. DoD has reserved pet shipments for passengers in Permanent Change of Station (PCS) status. Note: Service animals may fly with a member with proper /documentation.
Question 28: Will Space-A travel cost much?
Answer: In general, no. You might spend a bit on phone calls to find out about flights, a room for the night along the way, or a bus fare to get from one base to another. You will be assessed a Federal Inspection Fee if you travel on a commercial mission arriving the United States from overseas. Head tax is another fee that applies to Space-A passengers who arrive/depart the Customs Territories of the United States (CTUS) to/from overseas locations on these missions. It will depend on how frugal you are (e.g. take a bus vs. rent a car) and how lucky you are (e.g. get a room on base vs. pay for an off base hotel room). Meals may be purchased at a nominal fee at most air terminals while traveling on military aircraft. Meal service on AMC Category B full planeload charters is complimentary
Question 29: What facilities are available at AMC terminals? (Family Lounge, BX, and Snack Bar)
Answer: Facilities at most military terminals are generally the same as commercial facilities. Facilities include exchanges, barber shops, snack bars, television, traveler assistance, United Services Organization (USO) lounges, and Family Lounges. The type of facility available will vary according to the terminal size and location. NOTE: Most AMC passenger terminals close overnight. Space-A travelers should be prepared for billeting expenses.
Question 30: 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?
Answer: 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 affecting Space-A movement opportunity. AMC is dedicated to putting a passenger in every available seat.
Question 31: What is the best time of the year to travel Space-A?
Answer: Any time other than peak travel and holidays (December-January and June-August) periods.
Question 32: Is it easier to go to some destinations?
Answer: Yes. Places where we fly often such as Japan and Germany are much easier than low frequency areas.
Question 33: Can people travel Space-A to Alaska or South America?
Answer: 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 Travis AFB, California, and McChord AFB, Washington. Travel to South America and other remote areas can be 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.
Question 34: I am retired and am traveling on a passport and my flight originated overseas. Where in the Continental United States (CONUS) can I fly into?
Answer: When traveling on a passport, all family members, retired uniform service, reserve, and others 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 available.
Question 35: Can I fly on Space-A on other than AMC flights?
Answer: Yes. Your travel eligibility is for all DoD-owned or controlled aircraft. AMC, however, does not always have knowledge of other command/services' scheduled flight information.
Question 36: Can I call the bases for flight information?
Answer: We can only release limited flight information up to 72 hours. However, 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 Space-A opportunities from their location.
Question 37: Where and when can my family members travel with me?
Answer: 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 and within the Continental United States. Dependents of active duty members may travel within the Continental United States (CONUS) 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 (PCS). 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. Unaccompanied dependents must have documentation signed by their sponsor's commander verifying command sponsorship during their travel and show to Passenger 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.
Question 38: May I use my Government Travel Card (GTC) or personal credit card to pay for meals and any other fees associated with AMC travel?
Answer: Yes. The Government Travel Card and personal credit cards are accepted at most AMC terminals. Contact your local and or departing terminal to ensure service is available. NOTE: The Government Travel Card is for official use only.
Question 39: As a Retiree, where can I fly?
Answer: Retired members with DD Form 2 (Blue) identification card may fly anywhere AMC has flights operating, including the Continental United States.
Question 40: I am a disabled vet but not retired, can I fly Space-A?
Answer: Sorry but even though you are entitled to other benefits, Space-A travel privilege is not one of them at this time.
Question 41: Is Space-A travel a reasonable substitute for commercial airline travel?
Answer: The Answer depends on you. Space Available travel may be a good travel choice if you have a flexible schedule and your finances allow for a hotel stay (sometimes in a "high-cost" area) while awaiting movement. While some travelers may sign up and travel the same day, many factors could come together and make buying a commercial ticket your best or only option. Traveling Space-A depends on flexibility and good timing.
Question 42: Who determines eligibility to fly Space-A?
Answer: The four services jointly establish Space-eligibility. AMC's first responsibility is airlifting official DoD travelers. Space-A seats can be offered only after official duty passengers and cargo.
Question 43: How long does my name stay on the Space-A list?
Answer: All travelers remain on the list for 60 days after registration, for the duration of their travel authorization, or until they are selected for travel.
Question 44: What is country sign-up, and how does it affect me?
Answer: Under this program, you may sign up for five different countries rather than five different destinations.
Question 45: I am deployed. Can my family members travel without me?
Answer: As long as the sponsor is deployed at least for 120 consecutive days, family member 18 years of age or older are authorized to fly unaccompanied. For 120 days or greater, the family member moves in Category 4. For greater than 365 days, the family member moves in Category 3. However, they will only be eligible to move in this category after every other Category 3 member has been selected.