Space-A Tips! From our new Military Space-A Air Travel Guide™

Photo courtesy of Military Living® Publications.

Photo courtesy of Military Living® Publications.


HOW TO USE THIS DIRECTORY TO PLAN A SPACE-A AIR TRIP

Many readers are initially confused about how to plan a Space-A air trip using our book. We have attempted to make planning each element of your Space-A trip as easy as possible. However, the information is not initially easy to comprehend. Very few people are able to just pick up our book and plan a trip if they have not read HOW to use this directory (below). There is simply too much information, most of which is new material to the reader.

We have put some samples together below of how you should go about planning a trip using our book. Please keep in mind that Space-A planning and use is a dynamic venture. Routes and, more importantly, schedules (when available in advance) will change over the course of time. Destinations and frequency of departure are the items most likely to change, so verify your itinerary before traveling!

If you carefully read and understand the information below, your ability to plan your trip will be greatly increased, and your task considerably less daunting.

First, answer the following questions:  Do you have a specific destination to which you wish to travel? This is called Backward Planning. (This will limit the number of places which you can use as your originating station.) In this case, you will work backward by planning your trip from your desired final destination.

Step 1: Choose your destination, and look in the table of contents under that state/possession/country to familiarize yourself with the possible places where you may fly as your final destination, and then go to step 2.

Step 2: Go to the Station (Arrival/Departure) Index at the end of the book and locate the destination station that you have chosen. Following the station name, you will see a number in bolded text that refers to the home page for that destination station. Each of the remaining numbers following the station home page number are a reference to every page on which that station appears as a destination. You can then look at those pages to see which originating stations (military installation/airport) you may travel from to reach your desired destination.

Step 3: At this point you have two options. You can decide if you wish to travel to one of the originating stations using commercial air, bus, train, car, etc., or if you want to use Space-A to get to that originating destination. (Note: The listing for each Space-A servicing location includes the nearest major civilian airport or the civilian airport most usually used to travel to/from the Space-A servicing location to help in your travel arrangements.)

Step 4: If you need to plan another leg to your trip, simply start again with Step 1, using your originating station selected above as your destination. Repeat the above steps as necessary. You will have to use the flight information provided in the listings (and call the departure locations to confirm that the flight is operating and the days of departure along with the show times, if available) in order to plan efficiently, and limit your time between flights.

Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski

Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski.


Editor’s Note: On multi-legged trip planning: For overseas destinations, you may wish to plan several legs to your trip, especially if there is not an originating station to your desired destination near your home/starting point. If you can fly from an originating station near your home to a CONUS/OCONUS destination, and from that place, fly on to your final desired destination, you will have a lot more options!

Do you want to travel from a specific originating station (military installation or airport), but are less concerned with where you are going? This is called Forward Planning. (This will decrease the number of places you can select as final destinations, but will also decrease travel expenses associated with getting to your originating station.)

Step 1: In this case, plan your trip by looking in the table of contents or index for your desired originating station, and go to that page. Examine all of the possibilities for final destinations.

Step 2: If you want to add another leg to your trip, after you have done Step 1, then look in the table of contents for the flights originating from your final destination selected in Step 1. Repeat this step as necessary.

Final notes: Don’t forget to plan your return trip home! In order to be higher up on the space-A roster, be sure to sign up for your return at your destination station before you leave home (provided that you are not remaining at your destination station more than 60 days, which is the time limit that you can remain on the Space-A roster without a new sign-up). If you plan a multi-legged trip, be sure to sign up on the Space-A roster at all originating flight locations!

* * * IMPORTANT WARNING * * * If you have planned a trip with more than one leg, then you will have to sign up again on the Space-A roster after you fly out of a location, as you will have fulfilled your Space-A from that location, and will be removed from the roster!  For example, if you have applied for Space-A travel from Rota NS, ES to CONUS, but while waiting for this transportation you take a flight from Rota NS, ES to Aviano AB, IT, then your application for Space-A from Rota NS, ES to CONUS will be deleted from the computer system when you fly out of Rota NS, ES to Aviano AB, IT. To keep your application to CONUS in place at Rota NS, ES, fly from Moron AB, ES to Aviano AB, IT. Many first-time Space-A travelers miss this important point and end up at the bottom of the list on the day they wish to return/fly to CONUS. It is no fun to be stuck at a military installation/airport when you thought you would be flying home!

Author: Robert Biel, Military Living® Publications

Reprint from November–December 2015 • Volume 45, No. 6

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