Report: Expansion Of Space Available Flight Program Would Hurt Military Fliers
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Congress wants to expand the Space Available Flight program, which allows active-duty and retired military to fly free when there's available space on a commercial or military aircraft. But that expansion would actually reduce the chance of a service member getting a free spot on a plane, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report.
The proposed expansion of "Space-A" would include international travel for active-reservists, retired reservists, and their dependents; and domestic and international travel for military widows and their dependents.
The GAO report finds this expansion would lead to roughly 20,000 travelers "not being able to obtain space-available seats."
The report says the proposed expansion could hurt uniformed service members, for whom the Space Available Flight program was created:
For example... a lower-priority passenger who already has a seat cannot be rotated off of an en-route flight at a subsequent stop by a space-available traveler in a higher-priority category. Therefore, the higher-priority uniformed service member may have to take leave while waiting to obtain a space-available seat on another flight or purchase a ticket with a commercial airline.
Do you use the Space A program? What do you think about the proposed expansion?