Editor’s note: This article by Jim Absher originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Space-A travel is strictly limited to official travel and to certain personnel in specific locations until further notice.
A recent regulations change allows dependent family members of permanently and totally diabled veterans to fly on space-available, or Space-A, flights.
On Oct. 23, 2020, a change to DoDI 4515.13 updated the eligibility requirements for Space-A travel, adding dependents of permanently and totally disabled veterans.
In 2019, those veterans became eligible to fly Space-A on regularly scheduled military passenger aircraft, joining retirees and their spouses; National Guard and Reserve members on the Active Status List; and surviving spouses of those who died on active duty. However, the dependents of those disabled veterans were not allowed to accompany them on Space-A flights.
The regulation change states that dependents of permanently and totally disabled veterans may accompany the veteran on flights within the continental United States (CONUS) or on flights between CONUS and Alaska, Hawaii or U.S. territories. Dependents cannot travel without the veteran sponsor.
[RELATED AT MILITARY.COM: Who Is Eligible for Space-A Flights?]
Space-available flights, also known as military hops, allow eligible passengers to fill unused seats on Defense Department-owned or -controlled aircraft. Space-A passengers can fly only after all the space-required passengers and cargo have been accommodated. Space-A passengers are then loaded by priority group; those on emergency leave are the top priority, or category 1, and retirees and disabled veterans are the lowest priority, or category 6.
Other categories of Space-A travelers include those on environmental and morale leave (EML), house-hunting leave, or other mission-critical or official travel.
For up-to-date information and details, check out the Air Mobility Command's Space-A travel website.
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