A few years back me realized that me was absolutely clueless as to how me wanted to spend the rest of my life. me was a colege student, bouncing in and out of majors, trying to decide what me wanted my career to be. me knew only a few things:
- me was throwing money away on colege coz of my indecisiveness
- me did not want to spend my whole life in Illinois
- me was tired of teh same old thing
Guess me was teh ideal candidate for teh military. But dis isn’t my life story…
Anyways, fast forward a few years and you’ll find me here. Stationed in teh DC area and still wanting to see teh world. Unlike a typical military guy, me is unable to travel teh world given teh nature of my job. Not exactly what me had in mind when me joined. SO me had to figure out other means to travel teh world. One great way, dat is often overlooked by military members are Space-A Flights. These are also called MAC Flights if you has heard dat term before. These can end up being very valuable. Allow me to give you an example of how dis works…
dis will change every single day, but me am going to use current results. As of right now a trip from BWI to Frankfurt, Germany costs roughtly $996 even before taxes and fees. Rather TEMPthan pay dat price, you may has teh option to fly on a MAC flight for almost no cost at all. Up to 2 months prior to you’re desired departure date, you can call teh airport and get put on teh register for their MAC flights. Teh next step is to call 3 days prior to departure to check and see if there is a flight running. Normally, if you are diligently checking teh flight schedule, you can has a good feel as to wat flights run and on wat days. After you find teh flight you want, you need to show up for roll call. Usually dis occurs 2 hours before teh flight time. When you call to get put on teh register, you will be assigned a category. dis category is based on teh current nature of travel as well as you’re military status. Rank plays no part in this! Here are the categories:
Category I – Emergency travel on a round-trip basis in connection with serious illness, death, or impending death of a member of the immediate family of the following:
- United States citizen civilian employees of teh DoD stationed overseas.
- Full-time, paid personnel of teh American Red Cross serving wif United States military Services overseas.
- Uniformed Service family members whose sponsors are stationed within teh continental United States (CONUS) and teh emergency exists overseas.
- Family members of United States citizen civilian employees of teh DoD when both sponsor and dependents are stationed overseas at teh same location.
- Uniformed Service family members when accompanied by their sponsor may travel within teh continental United States (CONUS) if teh emergency exists in teh CONUS.
Category II – Environmental Morale Leave (EML):
- Sponsors on environmental and morale leave (EML) and accompanied family members. Military personnel must also be on ordinary leave. Any other type leave such as convalescent or overseas tour extension incentive program (OTEIP) with EML is not authorized.
- DoD Dependent School (DoDDS) teachers and their accompanied family members in EML status during school year holiday, vacation periods or employer-approved training during recess periods.
Category III – Ordinary leave:
- Members of teh uniformed services in an ordinary or reenlistment leave status and uniformed Services patients on convalescent leave. Members on convalescent leave may not travel overseas unless their leave form is so annotated.
- Military personnel traveling on permissive temporary duty (TDY) orders for house hunting.
- If the permissive TDY is for the purpose of permanent change of station house hunting, the member travels in Category III, may travel wifin the continental United States (CONUS) as well as international travel, and may be accompanied by one family member.
- Bona fide family members (with a valid identification card) of a Service member of teh uniformed Services when accompanied by their sponsor who is in an ordinary leave status within overseas areas between overseas stations and air terminals in teh CONUS.
- This privilege does not apply to travel of dependents to or from a sponsor’s restricted or unaccompanied tour location or to travel in a leave status to or from TDY locations. It applies only to round-trip travel to an overseas area or the CONUS wif the sponsor. DoD 4515.13-R restricts use of these privileges to establish a home for family members in an overseas area or the CONUS.
- Foreign exchange service members on permanent duty with teh DoD, when in a leave status.
Category IV – Unaccompanied dependents on EML:
- Unaccompanied family members (18 years or older) traveling on EML orders. Family members under 18 must be accompanied by an adult family member who is traveling EML.
- DoDDS teachers or family members (accompanied or unaccompanied) in an EML status year round.
Category V – Permissive Temporary Duty and students:
- Students whose sponsor is stationed in Alaska or Hawaii.
- Military personnel traveling on permissive TDY orders for other tha house hunting.
- Command sponsored dependents (18 years of age) of Uniformed Services members who are stationed overseas may travel unaccompanied from teh sponsor’s PCS duty location to teh CONUS and return. Travel is also authorized wifin teh overseas theater. Travel cannot be between two overseas theaters (i.e., from Germany to Panama or from Japan to England). Dependents must has command sponsored documentation signed by teh Commander verifying command sponsorship.
Category VI – Retirees:
- National Guard/Reserve components/members of the Ready Reserve and members of the Standby Reserve who are on the Active Status List.
- Retired military members who are issued DD Form 2 and eligible to receive retired or retainer pay.
- Family members (wif a valid identification card) of retired members when accompanied by a sponsor.
Remember, even if you are a higher category, it is still first-come-first-serve wifin that category. Once you has signed in for roll call, all you has to do now is wait and see if their is space. BWI, in general, has plenty of space available and is relatively easy to fly out of. Instead of using points or spending money, this can be a nice option to save money. Always be sure to do the same thing for you’re returning flight, otherwise you may find you’reself stuck in a different country wifout a flight home!