|Military Space A Travel FAQ|
|4. Sign-up Procedures|
|4.1) How do I sign up? |
Passengers may register for travel at the passenger terminal in person or by fax, mail, or email. Travelers remain on the register for 60 days or the duration of their travel orders or authorization, whichever occurs first. For Active Duty members, the expiration of their leave, pass, or liberty status is almost always the limiting factor. Sponsors who register in person for family members traveling with them will need all the required documents for everyone in their family, but the family members themselves need not be present. These travel documents will need to be presented again when selected for travel. Travelers may select up to five countries. You should list "all" for your fifth choice so that you keep your options open if a flight pops up to a destination you had not previously considered or an intermediate stop that is part of the way to where you want to go.
4.2) What is remote sign-up?
Remote sign-up allows passengers to enter the backlog by faxing copies of proper documentation along with desired country destinations and family members first names to the passenger terminal from which they plan to depart. If applicable, a statement that all required border clearance documents are current is also required. The fax data header will establish date and time of sign-up. Active duty personnel must ensure that the fax is sent no earlier than the effective date of their leave, pass or liberty. Submission by mail is also permitted, and recently several passenger terminals have established email sign up procedures. The Ramstein AB World Wide Web pages have the most comprehensive list of terminals providing email sign up. The list can be found at <http://mobility.ramstein.af.mil/group/>.
4.3) What is self sign-up?
Self sign-up is a program that allows passengers to sign-up at a passenger terminal without waiting in line. Many large terminals provide self sign-up counters with easy to follow instructions for registration. Again, active duty personnel must ensure sign-up takes place no earlier than the effective date of their leave, pass or liberty. If you use self sign-up and your travel will take you to a foreign country, it is your responsibility to ensure that all border clearance documentation is up to date. If you are unsure, you should check with a passenger service representative.
4.4) Can I use the same sign-up next time I travel?
No. Names of all originating space available passengers who depart on a flight will be removed from all destinations. If you return to the same terminal upon completion of your trip you can sign up again.
4.5) What documentation will I need?
The answer depends on many things, so this is something you should discuss with the passenger terminal. For example, family members traveling alone must have a letter (or "leave" orders in the case of EML or emergency leave) from their sponsor's command. Reservists must have certification that they are in an active (e.g. drilling) status or eligible for retired pay at age 60. People traveling overseas will often need passports, immunization records and visas. There are way too many special cases to list here. You can read the regulations yourself, but some requirements may have changed since the regulations were printed so checking with a passenger terminal is usually the best idea.
4.6) How can I find where my name is on the Space A register?
Major terminals maintain a Space A register, organized by category and within a category by the date and time of registration, that is updated daily. The register should be available to you in the passenger terminal. You can also call the terminal to find where you stand on the register. But bear in mind that only the people who show up for a specific flight will be competing for seats on that flight, and who will come is very difficult to predict. So being low on the list isn't always a problem. The list is most useful to people in the lower categories (retirees, for example) to see how many people are in higher categories at a terminal before taking a flight there.
4.7) Do I have to show up for every announced flight to my destination?
No, you have the option to stand by for any flight on which you believe you may have a reasonable opportunity to travel. The old requirement to show up for every flight was eliminated long ago.
4.8) If it takes more than one flight to get to my destination, do I need to sign up again?
When you register, you are assigned a category of travel and compete for seats within your category based on your date and time of registration. This date and time of sign-up is yours until you reach your declared destination. At each intermediate stop you will be entered in the register at the appropriate spot for your original sign up date and time. You will receive a new date and time when you register for your return travel.
4.9) If there aren't enough seats, who gets to go?
Passengers are selected for movement by category, and within a category by the date and time of their sign-up. A complete listing of eligible passengers by category is contained in DoD Instruction 4515.13-R. The order of presentation within a category is not significant, though. The following list describes the largest groups of eligible individuals in each category:
Category I. Emergency leave
Category II: Environmental and morale leave (EML)
Category III: Ordinary leave, pass, and liberty
Category IV: Unaccompanied family members on EML
Category V: Permissive (no-cost) TDY orders
Category VI: Retirees and Reservists
4.10) When will I know if I'm on a flight?
Space A seats are often identified as early as 2-3 hours prior to departure, but sometimes seat availability is not known until the plane arrives, which might be only 30 minutes prior to it's departure! Since planes often are early or late, it is difficult to predict when seat availability will actually be known. Almost all passenger terminals will establish a "show time" for passengers interested in a given flight, and then assign the seats to people who present themselves for processing at that time. People who show up after the show time are usually only accommodated after everyone that was there on time is taken care of, regardless of their category or date and time of sign up. Of course, if the plane runs very early, they'll just process whoever is there when it's ready to go. But usually, being there at the show time is good enough. If you choose to leave the terminal before the show time, you should make sure you have the latest information before you do. You should, of course, be ready for immediate processing and boarding at the show time.
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