top of page

Space-A Air Travel 101

Check out some essential knowledge travelers need to familiarize themselves with before traveling Space-A Air. Space-A Air Travel 101 gives you a good start on your new adventure, from category eligibility to frequently asked questions!

space a


There are six categories of Space-Available Air travel. Space-Available travelers are placed in one of the six categories based on their status (e.g., Active Duty Uniformed member, etc.) and their situation (e.g., emergency leave, etc.) as shown below.

Category Space-A Priorities

I Emergency Leave (unfunded) II Environmental Morale Leave III Ordinary Leave, House Hunting, MOH Recipients IV Unaccompanied EML V Unaccompanied Dependent, Permissive TDY VI Retired, Reserves/Guard, ROTC, Veterans with Permanent & Total Disability, Surviving Spouses


A. Space-A eligible travelers may not use their privilege for personal gain or in connection with business enterprises or employment. Space-A travel may not be used to establish a home or when international or theater restrictions prohibit such travel.

B. Remember Space-A seats are normally identified as early as 3–4 hours and as late as 30 minutes prior to departure. Recommend you check with the passenger service center for the Space-A show time for your flight prior to departing the terminal. Be ready for immediate processing and boarding.

C. The numerical order of Space-A categories indicates the precedence of movement between categories; e.g., travelers in Cat. III move before travelers in Cat. IV. In each category, transportation is furnished on a first-in, first-out basis.

D. There is no guaranteed space for any traveler. The DoD is not obligated to continue an individual’s travel or return him or her to point of origin or any other point. Travelers shall have sufficient personal funds to pay for commercial transportation to return to their residence or duty station if Space-A transportation is not available. Space-A travel is a privilege and shall not be used for personal gain.

AMC is committed to provide you with the best possible service. AMC passenger (PAX) service agents are dedicated professionals who take great pride in offering the best customer service.

PAX terminal personnel are your best avenues for answers to your questions and concerns. Let them know if you have any questions or concerns during your travels.

Visit the AMC Travel website for additional travel information at 


DoD Instruction 4515.13 and AMCI 24-101, Vol. 14 establishes guidance for Space-A travel. Space-A registration occurs at PAX terminals from where you plan to depart and may be submitted in person, via fax, email, Internet and mail.

Note: All PAX terminals will accept remote sign-up via email. Basis for date/time of sign-up: ● Fax: The fax header data will establish date/time of sign-up. ● Email: The email header data will establish date/time of sign-up. ● U.S. Mail: The date and time received at the PSC counter will establish date/time of sign up. ● Internet: The system will determine date/time of sign-up.

Note: Bring a copy of sent email and or fax report in the event the system is down or for verification.

The best way to fly—in this seat formation, seats are first come first serve but everyone gets plenty of leg room! (U.S. Air Force photo)

The best way to fly—in this seat formation, seats are first come first serve but everyone gets plenty of leg room! (U.S. Air Force photo)


Active-duty uniformed Services members (includes National Guard, Reserve members on active duty in excess of 30 days, and cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Service academies) require a U.S. Armed Forces Common Access Card (CAC), a valid leave authorization or evidence of pass status as required by the Service concerned to travel Space-A.

Retired uniformed Services members: DD Form 2 (Blue) U.S. Armed Forces Identification Card (Ret.).

National Guard and Reserve members: authorized Reserve component members are required to have a valid DD Form 2 (Red), Armed Forces of the U.S. ID card (Reserve) or U.S. Armed Forces CAC and a signed DD Form 1853, Authentication of Reserve Status for Travel Eligibility, and may only register for travel to/from eligible destinations IAW DoDI 4515.13.

Gray Area Retirees: retired Reservists entitled to Retired pay at age 60 must present a valid DD Form 2 (Red) ID card. Note: Gray area retiree’s are only authorized to travel within the Continental U.S. (CONUS) and directly between the CONUS and Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. 


All PAX are required to be travel ready at the start of roll call/show time. To be considered travel ready, PAX must have all required documentation, checked baggage and all accompanying family or group members must be present. All vehicles must be parked in long-term parking prior to roll call/show time. For further info., contact the AMC PAX terminal nearest you or your departure terminal.

Space-A PAX are authorized two pieces of checked baggage not to exceed 62 linear inches each and a combined weight of 140 lbs. (not to exceed 70 lbs. per bag) for larger aircraft. On smaller aircraft, PAX are limited to one bag weighing no more than 30 lbs. Excess baggage is not authorized for Space-A PAX. Note: In most instances, family members may pool their baggage allowances.

Space-A roll calls are established by location, so check in with the departure terminal. Roll call is a phrase used to signify the beginning of the process when eligible PAX in each category are selected by date and time of sign-up. This enables PAX to plan activities and ensure equitable opportunities for all. Roll call times may vary according to the mission.

Space-A PAX will not be removed in favor of other Space-A PAX. All Space-A PAX competing for a seat must be marked present at the beginning of roll call. However, if PAX are physically present, but have not been marked present in GATES before roll call, they may still be accommodated. Those PAX must wait until all other Space-A PAX marked present at the beginning of the roll call have been afforded the opportunity to compete for the open seats.

PAX must be travel ready at the time of selection. Failure to comply may result in non-selection for the flight. PAX may choose not to meet all Space-A roll calls for any flight going to their desired destination. They will not be removed from the Space-A register.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Space-A? A: “Space-A” is short for Space-Available air transportation on government owned or controlled aircraft. When mission and cargo loads allow, there are often seats made available to eligible passengers (PAX). With a little patience and flexibility, you can travel all over the world for almost nothing.

Q: What restrictions are there on Space-A? A: You cannot use Space-A privileges for personal gain or in connection with business enterprises or employment. You also can’t use Space-A travel to establish a home, to transport dependents to a duty station where you are or will be serving an unaccompanied tour, to transport dependents to a TDY duty station, or when international or theater restrictions prohibit such travel.

Q: When can I mark myself present for a flight? A: You may mark yourself present for a flight up to 24 hours prior.

Q: I am a disabled veteran, with a retiree card (DD Form 2). Can I fly Space-A? A: Yes. However, there are certain restrictions you need to be aware of. If you require motorized assistance to move around, the mobility assistance equipment shall not to exceed 100 lbs. in weight.

Q: After I sign-up, what is my next step? A: On the day you would like to travel, you must mark yourself present for travel either at the kiosk or see a PAX service agent at the counter.

Q: What is remote sign-up? A: Remote sign-up allows PAX to sign-up for Space-A travel by emailing or faxing copies of proper service documentation along with desired country destinations and family member’s first names to the aerial port of departure. The email or fax data header will establish date/time of sign-up; therefore, active-duty personnel must ensure that their email or fax is sent no earlier than the effective date of leave. Mailed-in entries are also permitted. Date and time for sign-up will be the time it is received at the PAX service counter.

Q: What is self sign-up? A: Self sign-up is a program that allows PAX to sign-up at a terminal without waiting in line. Most locations now provide self sign-up counters with easy to follow instructions for registration. Active-duty personnel must ensure sign-up takes place no earlier than the effective date of leave. If your travel will take you to a foreign country, ensure border clearance documentation is up to date. If you are unsure of specific requirements a PAX service representative on duty would be happy to assist.

For more FAQ Space-A Air , subscribe to our website to access our 2024 Military Space-A Air Guide™. Check out our 2024 Military Space-A Air Guide™ online sample to see what is included.

If you are a paid subscriber, please log in to see the list of frequently asked questions.

Want to read more?

Subscribe to to keep reading this exclusive post.


Couldn’t Load Comments
It looks like there was a technical problem. Try reconnecting or refreshing the page.
bottom of page