Flying Space-A

By Staff Sgt. Antonio Gonzalez
Air Force Social Media Team

Don’t think you can afford that vacation you’ve been planning? Well think again because as a member of the Air Force you qualify for a unique benefit that can provide you with some inexpensive airfare– Space-Available travel or Space-A.

You can fly Space-A between Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard facilities around the world at virtually no to little cost. But before you fly, you must register at the terminal you plan to fly from. You can do this in person, online, by phone or by e-mail. Here’s a link with every Air Mobility Command Terminal’s contact information:

When you register for a flight, you get assigned to a passenger category that designates your place in line for a seat. Category seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Knowing which travel category you fall under and what that means for your chances of getting a seat can help relieve some stress.

Category 1:

First priority goes to active-duty service members and dependents on unfunded emergency leave. These people need to get back to the States as quickly as possible to handle an emergency situation, so they’ll get the first seats available.

Category 2:

For all those active-duty service members on environmental morale leave from adverse overseas locations or deployments, you fall under Category 2.

Category 3:

This is the category that most people fall under when taking a vacation. Category 3 is for active-duty service members and their dependents on ordinary leave status or house hunting status in conjunction with a permanent change of station or PCS. Family members may travel unaccompanied in this category when their sponsor has been deployed for more than 365 days.

Category 4:

If an active duty member is deployed over 120 days and stationed in an adverse overseas location, their command sponsored dependents may take a break from their overseas duty location and travel Space-A under this category.

Category 5:

This category is for unaccompanied active-duty dependents and active duty service members on permissive TDY.

Category 6:

If you’re a military retiree, reservists, National Guard Member or ROTC Cadet, this category is for you.

Now that you know what category you fall under, you must ensure your travel documents are in order. This includes your leave paperwork, valid Uniformed Services ID, passport/visa or other documents required by the location you are traveling to or from. In many cases this will be different for each traveler depending on your status. Please contact your departure passenger terminal for documentation requirements or travel restrictions.

Also, when checking in at the terminal to mark yourself present, ensure you do not exceed baggage weight limits and that you are not traveling with any prohibited items. Here is the list of prohibited items:

Then simply await your Space-A call and follow instructions given to you by the passenger service agents.

Here is some addition useful information on Space-Available travel:

–Air Mobility Command Official Website – Space-Available Travel Information:

–Space-A Travel Handbook:

Safe travels!

If you’ve traveled on Space-A, tell us about your experience. Where did you travel? Share your tips for this type of travel in the comments.