Space-Available Travel (Space-A Travel)

Air National Guard: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet

Share on Facebook Share on X Share on LinkedIn

Space Available (Space-A) travel allows authorized passengers to occupy Department of Defense (DoD) aircraft seats that are surplus after all Space Required (Space-R) passengers have been accommodated. Space-A travel costs nothing but is allowed only on a non-mission interference basis.


Retired National Guard Service members are eligible for Space-A travel.

When not on active duty, authorized Reserve component members and authorized Reserve component members entitled to retired pay at age 60 (gray area retirees) and their dependents (when accompanied by their sponsor) may travel in the CONUS or directly between the CONUS and Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa (Guam and American Samoa travelers may transit Hawaii or Alaska); or may travel within Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.  

In order to fly Space-A, Guard and Reserve members of the Standby Reserve who are on the active status list, must present a military ID card and DD Form 1853. The same is true of retired Guard and Reserve personnel entitled to pay at age 60, but have not reached retirement age 60.  Dependents of these retirees are authorized to travel Space-A when accompanied by their service member sponsor. This retirement-eligible group must present their ID card and retirement-eligibility notice or possess a DEERS-generated, DD Form 2. Retired service members are not eligible for Space-Required travel.

Reservations will not be made for any Space-A passenger. Travel opportunity shall be afforded on an equitable basis to officers, enlisted personnel, civilian employees, and their accompanying dependents without regard to rank or grade, military or civilian, or branch of Uniformed Service.

A complete listing of eligible passengers by category is contained in DoDI 4515.13. The following is a partial listing of eligible individuals.

Category I: Emergency Leave Unfunded Travel. Transportation by the most expeditious routing only for bona fide immediate family emergencies, as determined by DoDI 1327.06 and Military Service regulations. This travel privilege will not be used in lieu of funded travel entitlements.

Category II: Accompanied EML. Sponsors in an Environmental Morale Leave (EML) status and their dependents traveling with them, also in an EML status.

Category III: Ordinary Leave, Relatives, House Hunting Permissive TDY, Medal of Honor recipients, and Foreign Military. Dependents of service members that are deployed more than 365 days will be placed at the bottom of the Category III list.

Category IV: Unaccompanied EML. Unaccompanied dependents (18 years or older) of military members deployed for more than 30 consecutive days traveling under the EML program. Family members under 18 must be accompanied by an adult family member who is traveling EML.

Policy update in regards to the “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019” This act provided eligibility for Veterans with a Permanent Service-connected Disability Rated as Total to compete for travel aboard Space-available passenger transportation, using surplus aircraft capacity.

Category V: Permissive TDY (Non-House Hunting), Students, Dependents, Post Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence, and Others.

Category VI: Retired, Dependents, National Guard/ Reserve, Reserve Officer Training Corps, Nuclear Power Officer Candidate and Civil Engineer Corps members. Family members (with a valid identification card) of retired members when accompanied by a sponsor.

Space Available Travel Priority of Category VI (6) Authorized Veterans with a permanent service-connected disability rated as total traveling in the Continental United States (CONUS) or directly between the CONUS and Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa (Guam and American Samoa travelers may transit Hawaii or Alaska); or traveling within Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Authorized Veterans with a permanent service-connected disability rated as total or VA-100% Disabled Veteran.

Notes: Space Available (Space-A) eligible travelers may not use their privilege for personal gain or in connection with business enterprises or employment. Space-A travel may not be used to establish a home or when international or theater restrictions prohibit such travel.

Space-A Sign-up:

Click here to use the Automated Space-A Email Sign-up Form.


Mail or email your information to the AMC Passenger Terminal at your desired departure location. Email addresses are located here AMC Travel Contacts.

For your convenience, please reference the Space-A Sign-up Information Document and the AMC Form 140, Space-A Travel Request.

Note: Space-A seats are normally identified as early as 3-4 hours and as late as 30 minutes prior to departure. Recommend you check with the passenger service center for the space available show time for your flight prior to departing the terminal. Be ready for immediate processing and boarding.

Benefit Highlights

Space-A Travel is a privilege (not an entitlement) that is afforded to Uniformed Services members, retirees and dependents as an avenue of respite from the rigors of Uniformed Services duty and C130 flying overheadmay offer substantial savings for your leisure travel plans. Remember there is no guaranteed space for any traveler. The Department of Defense is not obligated to continue an individual's travel or return them to their point of origin or any other point. Travelers should have sufficient personal funds to pay for commercial transportation to return to their residence or duty station if space-available transportation is not available.

Transportation may be between overseas stations, between Continental United States (CONUS) stations, and between overseas and CONUS stations where adequate border clearance facilities exist or can be made readily available.

Space Available Travel is permitted, provided all space-required passengers and cargo have been accommodated. Space Available transportation is allowed on a non-interference basis only. DoD aircraft, including training missions, will not be scheduled or sized to accommodate the movement of passengers on a space-available basis. Space-available transportation will not be used for personal gain or for a business enterprise. No additional funds may be used or flight hours performed to provide transportation under the space-available travel program.

Additional Information

For more information, please visit the Air Mobility Command Travel Page Space Available and Space Required webpage maintained by the U.S. Air Force:

Air Mobility Command Terminals (bottom of page):

Prohibited Items:

DoD Policy on the Use of Government Aircraft and Air Travel:

Space Available Travel for Reserve and Guard Members:

Leave and Liberty Policies and Procedures:

Space Available Travel General Information Handout:

Department of Defense Air Transportation Eligibility Instructions:

DoD Instruction 4515.13:

COVID-19 Travel Requirements & Information Advisories:

Document Review Date: 27 June 2024