CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii --
Headquarters and Service Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, hosted a class here Sept. 7 to inform servicemembers and their families on how to fly space available air transportation on government-owned or controlled aircraft through the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Passenger Terminal.
Although flying ‘Space-A’ may seem complicated to some, with planning and flexibility, the benefit of these free flights can save a servicemember the cost of a commercial airline ticket. Catching a flight can be summed up into three important but simple steps.
Signing up to fly through the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Passenger Terminal can be done in three ways. Passengers can register in-person at the terminal service desk, or email or fax their name, rank, branch of service, destination, number of family members flying with the sponsor and leave travel dates.
Registration for a flight won’t expire for 60 days, but military members must be on an active leave status before submitting their flight request. Once their leave expires, they will no longer be on the flight waiting list.
Hickam Air Mobility Command’s Facebook site uploads a 72-hour update on outgoing flights and roll-call times. Passengers should monitor the site before the dates they intend to fly and are advised check-in one hour before the roll-call time with a maximum of one personal item, one carry-on item and two pieces of luggage weighing no more than 70 pounds apiece.
Boarding priority is separated into categories. Active status military members flying because of a family emergency, such as death, impending death, or serious illness fall into the first category.
The second category for boarding, for which servicemembers stationed on Oahu do not qualify, is for military on environmental and morale leave. EML is applicable to servicemembers serving a hardship tour.
Active-duty members on annual, terminal or convalescent leave and their family members, as well as servicemembers on house-hunting temporary additional duty are boarded as category three.
Category four is reserved for dependents of military members who are deployed for more than 120 consecutive days and dependents on EML orders traveling without their sponsors.
Category five includes command-sponsored dependents, military personnel on other permissive TAD orders and students who are going to school in CONUS flying to or from their sponsor’s station in Hawaii or Alaska.
The final category is for military reservists on an active status, retired military members with their dependents (with valid identification) when they are accompanied by the retired sponsors.
Once called, passengers will check their bags and receive a 30-day parking pass for their vehicles. All passengers must move their vehicles to the designated parking area or risk being towed.
It’s important to remember that family members over the age of 10 must have valid identification. Those younger than 10 must have a birth certificate or another legal document that proves their age.
Proper civilian attire is required for anyone flying Space Available. Passengers are not authorized to wear open-toed shoes aboard a military aircraft and are encouraged to dress for a cold flight.
Women who reach the 34th week of pregnancy cannot fly until six weeks post partum. Infants are also not allowed to fly until at least six weeks old.
Those flying into or out of CONUS must comply with Unites States Department of Agriculture guidelines, as well as have a valid passport for international flights. Transportation Security Administration rules are observed on these military flights.
Patience and flexibility are key to flying on space available flights. Passengers should budget for flying commercial airlines just in case the Space-A flight is canceled.
Those interested can sign up by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or fax their information to 808-448-1503. For more information visit www.amc.af.mil/amctravel/index.asp