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Space-available travel explained

Pittsburgh -- You may have wondered how to navigate the world of space-available travel at some point in your military career. I will attempt to answer some of your questions and offer some valuable resources in the following paragraphs.

Some considerations you should have are; your eligibility (category), locations to fly from and to, the documents that you'll need and how to sign up for space-available travel.

Most of our readers are considered either category III or VI. Category III includes anyone on active duty or on orders in excess of 30 days. These individuals may fly anywhere and their dependents may accompany them. Category VI includes reserve and guard members as well as retired military. Traditional guardsmen and retirees (under age 60) may fly within CONUS and directly within/between the CONUS and Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. Dependents are not authorized to travel space-a with these members. Once a retiree turns 60, he or she may have dependents accompany him or her on space-a travel and may travel anywhere in the world.

There is a fairly comprehensive list of passenger terminals at www.amc.af.mil/amctravel/index.asp, where you'll find answers to many space-a questions.

Documents that you may need for your space-a travel include, but are not limited to, your military ID card (dependent ID card), DD form 1853, AMC IMT 140, passport, visa and a copy of your orders.

Registering for space-a is as easy as emailing, faxing, mailing or showing up in person at the passenger terminal. Addresses can also be found at AMC's website listed above.

For flights departing from the 171st call 412-776-7531 for a recording of upcoming flights and specific requirements. If you have additional questions, the 171st Small Air Terminal can be reached at 412-776-7808.

Space-available travel can be a great adventure, but it does require flexibility, adequate research and proper planning. Happy trails!