Well let’s start with the basics. Space A stands for Space Available. There are military flights that go around the world each day. These flights might be relocating people, moving cargo or a variety of other things. Sometimes these airplanes are not completely full and that is when the available space is offered to the military sponsor and/or their dependents. Some flights may have 5 open seats, while others may have over 30.Who is eligible for Space A? Well that is a good question. On a regular day, a uniformed member of the military along with his/her dependents is eligible to fly. BUT, there are a few reasons that dependents can fly without their sponsor. This includes but is not limited to emergency situations, those with deployed sponsors, Command Sponsored OCONUS dependents, Non-Command Sponsored CONUS located dependents, Command Sponsored OCONUS dependents on EML.
I know this sounds a bit confusing, but let me direct you to a site that explains in detail much of this information that I have shared. http://spacea.net/mediawiki/index.php?title=Main_PageI have learned a lot in the last few weeks as I prepared to leave South Korea and fly home Space A to visit my family in the United States. One of these things is that those flying on Space A are broken down into different categories. Depending upon how and why you are flying, will determine which category you will be assigned to for your trip.
Since I was flying without my sponsor from an OCONUS duty station to CONUS, it put me in Category V (5) of the 6 Categories. I made the decision to get approval for EML which bumped me up to Category IV. Here is a summary of the categories:Category I – Unfunded Emergency Leave
Category II – AD (Active Duty) on EML and their accompanying family members
Category III - AD and their accompanying family members, House Hunting Permissive TDY, unaccompanied dependents of deployed service members (365 plus day deployment)
Category IV - Unaccompanied dependents on EML or sponsor is deployed for 120 days
Category V – Unaccompanied dependents of AD (command/non-command sponsored), Permissive TDY
Category VI – Retirees and their accompanied dependents
I must tell you upfront, I am not the adventurous type and doing a trip from South Korea to the United States without my husband but with my 4 daughters in tow, was a big deal for me. When we moved to Korea, I had to do this same trip but I was on a commercial flight with flight attendants, meals and movies. From the stories I had heard, Space A would not be the same. BUT the idea of saving the cost of 5 commercial airlines tickets at $1500.00 a piece is what enticed me.Tomorrow I will begin to share my Space A journey from South Korea to the United States with you. Stay tuned.