One of the nicest benefits available to Servicemembers in the United States Armed Forces is being able to fly on military flights for free. Called Space Available air Travel, it is the concept of using unused or underutilized flights for transporting personnel who are in the military on active duty, reserve duty, National Guard, or in some cases even civilian DoD personnel.
It is a privilege that is available to Servicemembers and their families. Just as the name says, it is flying as space is available after all the cargo and mission duty personnel have been accommodated. While there are more restrictions now than there used to be, it still is a great way to travel if you have patience, and is not in a time crunch to get anywhere. If you are in a hurry, then it is often best to consult commercial travel venues and inquire about possible military discounts flying that route.
Before the War on Terror and September 11th, it was possible to get advance warning of flights, even some Internet and Web Access was available. But in the years since, it has been taken out of the public access domain, and so traveling space available has become more challenging.
Now, having said that, if you have some flexibility and time, then traveling via Space Available can garner the serviceperson who is traveling incredible opportunities for basically free travel.
That having been said, if you have the time and flexibility, Space A travel offers incredible discounts. The numbered category list is based on the priority and movement precedence of each type. For example, Category Two members will be accommodated before Category Three, and so on.
Here is a list of some of the category of travel priority, and a partial list of some of the individuals who are eligible for Space Available Travel. Category One: Travel for Emergency purposes, death, and serious illness or impending death of immediate family members. Category Two: Environmental Moral Leave. This is a leave related travel category for Servicemembers and their family members. Category Three: Ordinary Leave: Another category for leave, this can also accommodate some types of TDY travel.
Category Four: Unaccompanied members of a Servicemembers family associated with Environmental leave orders. Category Five: Permissive temporary duty and travel for students and dependents of Servicemembers. Category Six: Travel for retirees and Veteran retired Servicemembers.
Placement on this priority list is done according to a set of two different criteria: Your military status (such as reserves, active duty in Uniform, DoD Teacher) and your individual situation (ordinary leave, emergency, TDY, etc).