A is for Affordable

  • Published
  • By C2C Harriet Randolph, United States Air Force Academy
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Space Available travel is the perfect way to see the world while not burning a hole in your pocket.

The "Space Available" program, more commonly referred to as Space-A, is an Air Force wide program that provides active duty, their families, reservists, and retired military the opportunity to fly on military aircraft free of charge.

"To sign up at Altus, passengers can fill out their signup sheet at base operations (building 185)" said SrA Helena Cox, from the 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

"Going in the south end of the building, you will see a display case, a tiny shelf and a machine. The display case has a map showing how to get from base ops to the... passenger terminal, plus a small display of the current calendars showing possible upcoming flights."

If a travel opportunity catches your interest, there is a drop box hanging on the wall with AMC Forms 140. Fill out a form, use the machine to time stamp it and then drop it in a box beside the shelf.

"Passengers can also signup the day of the flight at the terminal but doing so puts them at the end of the list because their signup date and time is after previous passengers. Typically, here at Altus, that isn't an issue, as we rarely fill up the flight on most occasions... unless it's a popular destination like Puerto Rico, then we may have some disappointed passengers." said Cox.

To check on your status you can either call the terminal or "check the screen at the terminal [which] can be viewed by passengers through the window... if the terminal is closed." said Cox.

If you choose to travel Space-A, you must remain flexible. Seating is not guaranteed and flights can be diverted.

There are several key differences between traveling on commercial airlines and Space-A. First and foremost, you need to be attentive to your "show time." "Show time" is when seats are allocated to passengers and missing it can result in not receiving a seat. "Show times" can be changed without notice so it is very important that you call the terminal to confirm yours. Additionally, you need your uniformed services ID card in order to receive a ticket. If your children do not have one, bring either their social security card or birth certificate.

Overall, Space-A is a flexible unique opportunity to travel without spending hundreds of dollars on airline tickets.

For more in-depth information on traveling Space-A, or if you would like to read personal accounts, visit http://spacea.info/ or the Air Mobility Command webpage http://www.amc.af.mil/amctravel/index.asp.

If you would like to speak to someone in person about travel arrangements at Altus call 481-5288 or 6614. To receive up to date information, contact 481-5333, which is an automated information line. You can also check the Public Affairs Facebook page for Altus (http://www.facebook.com/97AMW), which frequently carries Space-A information.