What is Space-A Travel?
Space Available Travel, most often called Space-A Travel, or even military hops, is part of the Space-A program that fills remaining seats on Department of Defense flights at low or no cost to the veteran flying! The program is run by the Air Mobility Command (AMC). The network includes flights through:
- Continental U.S.
- Puerto Rico
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- American Samoa
There are also a few Naval Aviation and Air National Guard Units that offer flights in this program.
*Resource: Save this list of participating terminals.
Things to Know About Space-A Travel & Flights
There are several important things to remember when utilizing Space-A travel:
- Patience is a must. Last minute changes may occur, which can mean a sudden schedule change or a seat becoming unavailable. If this occurs, the veteran should be prepared with a backup plan. This can mean flying commercially and paying for the airfare, in order to make it to the destination on time.
- There are categories for Space-A flights. The categories (see the next section for these) are a priority list of who will get available seats first. It’s a first-come, first-served based on categories when seats on these DOD flights are open.
- Flights can be reviewed at AMC terminals. The flights don’t offer much advance notice, as leftover capacity is determined as time draws closer to the flight. A 72 hour window is the most likely timeframe.
- Some AMC terminals on military bases or commercial airports have a Facebook or other social media page with the schedule. It’s worth looking for that to see information on seats available.
- You must complete a Space-A travel form. You can access the form here. Print this form and bring it with you to the terminal, even if you email or fax it.
As a veteran, category 6 is where you’ll find out if eligible for Space-A travel and flights. See the full list of categories on the AMC page.
Category 1: Emergency Leave Travel
- DOD civilian employees who are stationed overseas (US citizens)
- Family members of these employees who need to get overseas for the emergency
- Military family members needing to travel for an emergency that exists overseas
- Paid, full-time American Red Cross personnel who serve overseas with the US Military
Category 2: Accompanied Environmental & Morale Leave (EML)
- Sponsors (a military member or civilian employee with dependents) and family members who are on EML
- DOD Dependent School teachers and family members in EML status during school year holiday or vacation periods
Category 3: Ordinary Leave, House Hunting
- Military personnel who are on ordinary leave; military patients who are on convalescent leave
- Military personnel who are on permissive temporary duty (TDY) orders for house hunting that accompanies permanent change of station (PCS) orders; can be accompanied by one family member
- The dependents of a military personnel who has been deployed for 365+ consecutive days
- Family members (up to age 23 w/ID card) of a military member when accompanied by their sponsor who is in an ordinary leave status between overseas and CONUS
Category 4: Unaccompanied Dependents on EML
- The dependents of a military personnel who has been deployed for 120+ consecutive days
- Unaccompanied family members (18+ years old) traveling on EML orders
- If under 18 years of age, must be accompanied by an adult family member who is traveling EML
- DoDDS teachers/family members in EML status during summer break
Category 5: Permissive TDY, Students, Dependents, Post-Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence
- Unaccompanied command-sponsored dependents
- Students with a sponsor who is stationed in Alaska or Hawaii
- Students enrolled in school INCONUS and sponsor is stationed overseas
- Military personnel traveling on permissive TDY orders other than house hunting
Category 6: Retirees, Dependents, Reservists & Disabled Veterans
- Retired military members who are issued DD Form 2 and eligible to receive retired or retainer pay
- Family members are eligible if they have an ID card and travel with retired service member
- Veterans with a VA rating of permanent 100% disability and their dependents
- Dependents must be accompanied by the veteran and travel must be in CONUS or directly between the CONUS and Alaska, Hawaii or U.S. territories
National Guard, Reserve components, members of the Ready Reserve and members of the Standby Reserve who are active status
- Spouses of veterans or service members who died on active duty or training status
- Dependents can travel with the surviving spouse
- You can download the Military Space-A Travel Sign-up Take-a-Hop app through the App Store or Google Play
- Read Military.com’s post on Tips for Space-A Travel
- Space-A Travel is just one of many benefits you may have access to as a veteran! Learn more about benefits on our Understand Your Service-Connected Benefits blog post.
While the extra benefits and perks are great, what’s most important is making sure you are accurately rated by the VA. The vast majority of veterans we work with are NOT accurately rated. Use the button below to contact an amazing member of our team. The free consultation will help us quickly identify if you’re eligible for our services. If you are not eligible, we will suggest other methods that may help.Click Here for Info on Your Free Consultation