Space-A: Do you know how it works?

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Lauren Berry and Staff Sgt. Arnold Pena
  • 22nd Logistics Readiness Squadron
The McConnell Air Force Base passenger terminal accommodates active duty and retired military members as well as their dependents through space available travel. Space-A can seem confusing, but it’s actually quite simple.

It all starts with the sign-up process. Potential passengers will sign-up via email request and are then placed on the standby register. From there, travelers can either monitor our Facebook page or call our automated phone line, which is maintained daily for our 72-hour flight schedule. Once they see a flight they would like to take, they show up for roll call.

At roll call time, passengers are selected based off of the passenger’s category, followed by their date and time of signup. There are six Space-A categories. Emergency leave and environmental morale leave personnel and their families travel at the highest categories. Active-duty military take priority over dependents traveling without their sponsor, as well as retirees and reservists. Once the passengers are selected for a flight, they receive a Transportation Safety Administration briefing, then check their luggage and manifest them on the flight.

Once all passengers are accounted for and their checked luggage is weighed, tagged and scanned, we take down their meal order, process them through security and remind them of the TSA guidelines one last time.

The passengers are picked up by a bus and taken to the dining facility to pick up any meal orders that were placed. Once meals are received, the passengers are driven to their designated aircraft. Their checked bags are loaded, they receive a briefing on aircraft safety features and emergency procedures and are boarded onto the aircraft in preparation for departure.

If returning passengers are missing a piece of luggage, we locate missing items and return them as soon as possible. If we find an unclaimed bag after a flight has returned, our personnel find the owner and attempt to return his or her belongings

On average, we process and manifest an estimated 1,100 passengers per year on approximately 260 missions. Many of those missions take place after regular duty hours or on the weekend. In order to provide after-hours services, personnel are always on standby. We also assist redeployers when they arrive home.

Each month, the passenger terminal offers retirees an in-person briefing by a passenger service representative at the base community center about their Space-A travel entitlement. This forum also gives retirees the opportunity to ask any questions they may have and elaborate on any topics they are unsure of regarding the program.

Overall, the Space-A program gives active-duty members, reservists, retirees and their dependents the opportunity to fly to locations like the U.K., Germany, and the U.S., saving them thousands of dollars each year in travel expenses. The money saved by utilizing our Space-A program gives members the opportunity to experience more of the world at a fraction of the price.