Service members and their families can use Space-Available flights – formally known as Military Airlift Command or MAC flights – to travel around the country and world at little to no cost. Though sometimes unpredictable, military flights are perfect for families with flexible plans and limited travel budgets. With the right planning and documentation, Space-A travel can be the best way to take a trip with your family.
Space-A Tips and Tricks
Learn how to take Space-A flights like a seasoned pro with these seven tips.
Space-A travel basics
These flights are not commercial, but rather military flights with a mission. That means there are certain restrictions to travel, including:
- Only service members, retirees and their families are eligible. Only with certain qualifications are reservists, National Guardsmen and family members without an accompanying active-duty sponsor permitted.
- Flights are typically free of charge, but you should contact your closest Air Mobility Command, or AMC, passenger terminal or the terminal at the location you intend to depart from for specific information.
- Most terminals have a Facebook page where they post flight information, including their 72-hour flight schedule.
Space-Available travel eligibility
Once you sign up for a Space-A journey, you’ll be put into a category that determines your priority for a flight. A complete listing of eligible passengers by category is contained in DoD Instruction 4515.13. For the most recent instruction, search the DoD Directives Division website for “Air Transportation Eligibility.” Categories include:
- Category I: Emergency Leave Unfunded Travel.
- Category II: Accompanied Environmental and Morale Leave, or EML.
- Category III: Ordinary Leave, Relatives, House Hunting Permissive Temporary Duty, Medal of Honor Holders and Foreign Military.
- Category IV: Unaccompanied EML.
- Category V: Permissive Temporary Duty (Non-House Hunting), Students, Dependents, Post Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence and Others.
- Category VI: Retired, Dependents, Reserve, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program and Civil Engineer Corps members.
Prepare for your Space-A flight
AMC has a travel page that includes the following important information about Space-A travel. You should review this travel page for up-to-date information, including what type of identification is required for you and your family, baggage allowance for checked and hand carried baggage, and prohibited items.
- Travel instructions: travel eligibility; locations; required travel documents; registration, flight schedule and checking-in information.
- AMC Form 140, Space Available Travel Request (fill out a form online and email it to your desired AMC passenger terminal)
- Listing of Facebook pages for stateside and overseas locations.
- AMC passenger terminal contact information.
- Various travel information links.
- Legal information for Space-A travel.
- Operations security for social media and travelers.
Fly commercial with TSA Precheck
If Space-A travel isn’t right for your plans, take advantage of TSA Precheck to expedite your time at the airport when flying commercial. Use your Department of Defense ID as your known traveler number.
You’ll bypass long security lines without removing your shoes or jacket or taking your laptop from your bag. Family members under the age of 12 can pass through expedited screening with you.