Monday, July 16, 2012

Space "A" / AMC flight adventures

So....everyone doesn't care.

And some people already know the story -

but here it is in review, for those confused by the back and forth comments on Facebook.

I'll try not to be too detail oriented and stick to the facts.

  • Flying on a military flight used to be called, "MAC" flights. 
  • MAC stood for something like Military Air Command.
  • Now it's called, "AMC" (Air Mobility Command) or sometimes, Space "A" (as in available)

  • Space "A" travel is divided into Categories based on priority.
  • The Categories go from I-VI  (1 to 6)
  • Military dependents are either Cat IV or Cat V
  • We are low on the priority list.
  • But the flight is free - you are basically "hitch-hiking" on a military mission with empty seats.

  • We signed up early - May 10th - thinking that we would be at the "top" of the Cat IV list.  Even though we didn't plan to travel until school was out in mid-June.  
  • You can stay on 'the list' for 60 days.
  • I still think this was a good decision.
  • It took us 2 weeks and 5 trips to the Air Force Base to get on a flight to Hawaii.
  • Once we got to Hawaii - I found out that there were over 800 people on Cat. II and III above us.
  • They weren't all trying for the same flights - but still, that's a lot of people with priority

  • We were in Hawaii for 5 days.
  • In those 5 days we spent some great time with our friends the Poe family and the Lynch family.  Certainly the highlight of our time there.

  • Also in those 5 days - (*other than Alaska) no flights went to the U.S. with more than 20 seats.

  •  One flight to Norfolk VA, with 73 seats, was turned around on the run-way after 2 hours and brought back to the terminal with some type of mechanical issue.  It was discouraging.

On Monday, July 2nd the boys and I were enjoying some fresh air outside the terminal.

Someone came out and told us we couldn't sit on the was the straw that broke the camel's back.  

  • There were no flights to the U.S. in the next 3 days with more than 10 seats each.
  • There WAS a flight back to Guam with 30+ seats - I signed up for it.
  • We got on it.
  • We came back to Guam.

Mike has a class in Hawaii starting today, Monday, July 16th for two weeks.
We got another wild hair to TRY AGAIN and go with Mike to Hawaii.
I mean, hey....the Navy is paying for his hotel room and rental car.
So, if we could get a flight - we would only be paying for food.  

For a military member to fly on a MAC flight - they have to be on leave.
Mike went on leave last Wednesday, giving us 4 days to get on a flight.
When Mike is with us - we go from Cat. IV to Cat II - much better odds.
But alas, no flights in those 4 days went to Hawaii.

Now, our 60 days are up and we are here, on Guam for the summer.
No more MAC flight possibilities.

It's time to regroup and refocus and plan the next month 'o fun before school starts back.

Who is in??  

1 comment:

  1. Why not vacation on a tropical Pacific island? We're here all August! Soccer for kids this Tuesday 4-5p at CKFC field if you want to join us!