Space-A Travel Basics

Many Space-A Flights are much like a commercial flight - with a few differences.

Many Space-A Flights are much like a commercial flight – with a few differences.

Space-A travel is a wonderful benefit afforded to Service Members, retirees, DOD and certain civilians to use for their travel needs. Space-A travel refers to DoD-owned (or controlled) flights and are available to certain categories of travelers when the aircraft are not totally booked with those who have official orders.

Many military families have taken these flights as part of a military PCS or other official purposes. Others have heard of Space-A travel, but are wary of attempting to use it for recreational use. If you have an attitude of adventure and desire to save some money, Space-A travel can be a great way to get around and save a great deal of money. We’ll outline some of the basics for you and the best resources to help you with your planning.

Happy Space-A Travels!

First things first: Space-A travel is a privilege, not a right. It’s best to keep this in mind if you’re waiting for days and days to catch a flight home or to one of many more exotic locations. As stated in the United States Code, “officers and members of the Military Departments, and their families, when space is available, may be transported on vessels operated by any military transport agency of the Department of Defense”.

If you decide you’d like to give a Space-A flight a try, keep in mind you have to start by officially signing up at the military base from which your flight is scheduled to depart. Sign up processes vary – you may interact with a website, go in person, mail, etc.

You can sign up on the terminal’s register up to 60 days in advance and you can also register for more than one destination at other terminals. After you register, you’ll be placed on a list that determines your priority for boarding. Your “category” (such as military spouse, retiree, etc.) will be taken into consideration, as will your sign up date and other more specific selection procedures if there are any unique to the installation.

Space-A is usually free to eligible passengers, but you might run into a few small fees for various services such as boxed meals or other fees such as departure taxes for international travel.

Sometime close to takeoff, the number of available Space-A seats is determined and announced. You may make it on, and you may not! Also, flights can be delayed for many hours, or even days, when necessary.

 Tips, Links and Other Things to Remember:

Once you arrive, remember to register for return flights!

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