The Military has an amazing opportunity to fly for Free on select missions around the world when extra seats are available. This is called flying Space-A.
There are many rules to using this privilege, it’s not a guaranteed seat, flights get canceled at the last minute or you can easily get bumped. But if you have time and are completely flexible in your travels it can be a great way to explore!
The best way to find out how to fly Space A is to use this great website. It explains the different categories or how they prioritize passengers, how to get signed up to fly and info on destinations and how to look for flights.
I have flown a few times Space A when we lived in Hawaii. It was a great way to leave the island when my husband was deployed and be able to go see the grandparents!
I decided last minute to try a get a flight out to Hawaii to visit my best friend from college who still lives out there. A flight had popped up leaving San Diego 7am the next day. I quickly contacted a friend to see if she knew someone who could take Kona. Thankfully she had the perfect person and by 5pm I was dropping him off with Mr. P at his vet tech school. Kona was going to be able to attend class too! How amazing is that?!
The students were practicing wrapping bandages. Kona is so chill I think he was the perfect dog to help out!
Now my next obstacle was what to do with the RV! Since I have it listed for sale I decided to put it on the base used car lot. I went down and they had space available, I filled out the paperwork and paid my fee. Latter that night, after traffic died down and I finally got all packed and took a shower I drove the RV over to the lot to park it.
The next morning we arrived at the terminal very early to mark ourselves present for the flight. Once roll call came we had been accepted for the flight and had our bags weighted. We were excited & ready! Unfortunately right before we were going to be called to board the plane, the flight was canceled! We were so bummed but that’s how Space A works, you have got to be flexible!
We were told there were not going to be any more flights to Hawaii through the end of the month. So I decided to check for last minute commercial flight deals, but the cheapest flights were over $2k! yikes! That is not in the travel budget! I then looked at the next closet terminal to fly out of, which was Travis AFB and an 8 hr drive north.
They had quite a few flights with many seats going out the next 4 days so I figured that was my best option! And if we didn’t get a flight out sight seeing San Francisco, Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park are all on my list of places to visit.
Since we had all of our luggage in the car we just hopped right on the highway and drove north! We arrive at Travis shortly after dinner and was able to get the LAST room available at the base lodging. It was a huge 2 bedroom apartment too. After living in an RV for a year that felt like a palace!
Unfortunately the fight that was scheduled for the next morning was canceled so we took the opportunity to drive into San Francisco to do some sight seeing!
I was able to check off 2 bucket list items too!
✅Drive over Golden Gate Bridge, it was way smaller then I expected!
✅Drive down Lombard St, aka the windiest road. It was so steep! Actually all the streets in San Fran were very steep and I was not expecting that!
We explored Fisherman’s Warf, had an amazing lunch & found a really cool antique coin operated game museum that you could actually play!
There was so much more we could of done or seen but with no plans and tired kids I called it a day!
Saturday 5/18 there was a Patriot Express Flight scheduled with 36 seats available. I figured that was our best shot at getting a flight. We arrived at the terminal very early because we had to check out of our hotel. After a quick trip to Walmart and the BX we decided just hanging out there was the best option. We marked ourselves present and waited for roll call. Once the list of people who had marked themselves present was posted I saw we were the only ones in Cat 4 and there were only 15 people in the higher categories so I knew were would get seats! Of course I didn’t let myself get too excited until we were taking off! lol!
These two guys had a long few days but man are they were troopers! 👊🏼
They were so excited to get on the plane. ✈️
Kai was telling people in the terminal he was going back to his “Homeland” 🤣
Keanu was a bit nervous & asked if we could hold hands on the plane ❤️
Once we got on the plane he was looking around asking 100 questions. 🤓
Then it hit me.🤦🏼♀️
This is only his 2 flight ever & he was a baby the first time we left Hawaii, so he obviously doesn’t remember that plane ride.
Fun fact: Keanu has only flown on military space A flights!
He was praying as we took off & got really scared when the fasten seatbelt sign came on during dinner and we got a bit of turbulence. I explained it was completely normal, kind of like going down a road with too many potholes and needing to keep seatbelts on so you stay safe. Kai was so sweet and grabbed his hand and told him it was ok.
He was very interested in what the buttons were, how the tray table worked and how the oxygen mask came down.
The bathroom was another cool thing to checkout too! Like 20 times durning our flight. I was glad we were right next to the bathrooms!
Our meal included an old school hostess cupcake… they were not fans. 🤣 Its amazing that as a kid those were one of the best things ever! But I even took a bite and it was gross! 🤢 How did we eat that crap?! 🤦🏼♀️
As we were about to land Keanu exclaimed “I see a volcano!” Really loud. There was a bit of laughter from the other passengers. I explained there was no active volcano on Oahu 🌋
We arrive in Hawaii after 9pm, collect our bags and went out to get the base bus that runs to the Navy Exchange so my best friend could pick us up. Unfortunately that bus was not running anymore since the store was closed! I swear when I called and asked about the bus they told me last bus leaves at 10:15pm. I was bout to order a Uber when another couple offered us a ride. I was very grateful since the Uber was a 45 minute wait and $30 to go 2 miles! yikes!
Here to a start of an amazing adventure!
The next morning after breakfast with my best friend and her room mate we headed down to Hickam Beach which is located on Hickam AFB. When the boys saw the colors of the water they were so excited!