The service and sacrifices that the Armed Forces and its Servicemembers make on a daily basis are well received and appreciated by the U.S. Government. In support of the personnel who risk daily and give their all in service to their country, the United States Government has a program where military transport craft, mainly aircraft, that is not filled to capacity on a specific mission or trip designation can carry off duty military personnel. This travel arrangement has existed for many years and is called the military Space Available program.
Space Available travel is a military privilege, one that is considered in a way a benefit, but with a lot of restrictions. It exists and continues to exist as a form of sanctioned DoD personnel support, but it is always secondary to the mission or the purpose of the transportation itself. Military Servicemembers are able to qualify based on a priority system to travel on military aircraft and military transportation, but it is something that may in times of need be rescinded
The days since September 11th, 2001 have been stricter for the Space Available program. The program used to be much more accessible before our country was attacked and the World Trade Centers destroyed. Since the World Trade Center attack, the program has continued but it is with strict safeguards for making sure that the services and the flyers are provided with protection. The schedules for military flights are no longer easily accessible on the Internet, and the overall access is more difficult, but not impossible. It is still a great program for military Servicemembers to utilize in their off duty and leave hours. It allows a person to fly for little or no cost great distances and gives the Servicemember and their families that fly with the program a great opportunity to experience travel at a bit of a different pace. Because it utilizes a “Space Available,” format the program is literally a first come, first served program, based on the priority system that exists for qualified Servicemembers.
The program is one that requires a lot of flexibility, in that you have to wait and fly when there is available space. That being said, if a person has flexibility with time and can wait, then the opportunities can be a definite boon to traveling inexpensively. Space Available transportation is available for Active Duty, Reservists, National Guard members, as well as veterans, and in each case depending on priorities, their families. Even some classes of civilian Department of Defense workers are allowed on Space Available Flights.