Does the expense of traveling keep you from vacationing? Coming from a family of seven, I can remember my parents saying flying anywhere was out of the question. Until we found military discount flights! If you’re like us, these discounts and free flights can make your dream vacation possible.
There are two ways to get military discount flights. First, you can fly with the military Space-A for FREE and second you can fly on commercial airlines with discounts.
ALL military members are eligible to fly space available completely free! You can fly to and from air force bases around the world. My family used this program to fly to Hawaii FREE. They even served us snacks! All free.
Flights also fly across the world to destinations like Italy, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Imagine flying across the world for free! You can find a list of all destinations online.
How to Register
You can register one of four ways: complete AMC Form 140, complete an online registration, fax in your registration, or in-person. If you are active duty, you must be on leave when you register for Space-A and you will need the dates of your leave. To register, you will also need to know the number of passengers traveling with you, your social security number and your dependents’ social security numbers, category (I-VI), your destination, and your rank/grade.
What to Bring
To get on the plane for free, you will need to bring some documents.
Active Duty members can bring DD Form 2 (Green) US Armed Forces ID Card (Active), or Form 2 NOAA (Green) Uniformed Services ID and Privilege Card (Active), or PHS Form 1866-3 (Green) US Public Health Service ID Card (Active).
Retired members can bring DD Form 2 (Blue) US Armed Forces ID Card (Retired), or DD Form 2 NOAA (Blue) Uniformed Services ID Card (Retired), or PHS Form 1866-3 (Blue) US Public Health Service ID Card (Retired).
National Guard and Reservists need to bring DD Form 2 (Red) Armed Forces of the United States ID Card (Reserve), DD Form 1853, Authentication of Reserve Status for Travel Eligibility.
Retired reservists entitled to retired pay at age 60 can bring DD Form 2 (Red), A notice of retirement eligibility as described in DoD Directive 1200.15. If the automated DD Form 2 (Red) has been issued, the member is registered in his or her service personnel system as a Reserve retiree entitled pay at age 60, and a notice of retirement is not required.
Remember to Be Flexible
The catch is that since it is free, the plane boards based on rank and first come first serve. Active Duty members are given priority but reserves and retirees can still fly when space is available. This means your travel plans need to be flexible just in case you aren’t able to make the flight you wanted. Plus, they do not fly these flights as often as commercial airlines. You will need to check in advance when they fly.
Commercial Military Discount Flights
Besides free flights, you can also get discounted flights on commercial planes. Some airlines have military discount flights, however, most only offer free checked bags so read carefully before booking your flight. I have organized the airlines in order of the best deals.
You can get military discount flights on Southwest! The Southwest military discount is only available over the phone (1-800-I-FLY-SWA). You can call Southwest to book a flight if you are active duty or an immediate family member of an active duty servicemember. The discount varies depending on when and where you are flying, so call to find out the best option for you.
ALL military members (active, reservists, and veterans) and their family may receive up to three free checked bags. Active Duty personnel can also get priority boarding. Another perk for veterans and military is that you will not be charged oversized baggage fees! You must present either a military ID card, Veteran ID card, or a dependent ID card.
Delta offers special military fares, but you cannot redeem them on delta.com. Contact their reservations to use the discount. Delta also has senior discounts in some locations, but again it cannot be redeemed online.
You can check up to 5 bags free traveling on duty or 3 bags free if you are traveling for any other reason. You can read more about the size requirements on military baggage on the American website.
Alaska gives up to 3 free checked bags per person to active duty members and their dependents. Active duty members and their dependents can get up to 5 free checked bags.
All active duty personnel and their dependents can check 2 bags for free. Additionally, if you are traveling for duty you can get 5 bags each for free. You must present ID and if flying for duty, you will need to present military orders. Call 1-800-JETBLUE to learn more.