Today I share with you information about Military Overseas Free Flights for College Students to visit! If you are stationed at an OCONUS assignment (Overseas including Alaska & Hawaii) then this perk applies to you! It’s also know an Student Dependent Transportation, Student Dependent Travel, or Dependent Student Travel, because apparently one name would be too easy 😉
The military has a program where it will fly your college student back to visit once a year! Yep one round trip flight for free courtesy of the good ole military! Of course as with all programs there are some requirements and a process to get it all done. However we just did it to fly Boo back for the holidays and it was fairly easy!
You can find more information at the Military OneSource as well but I’ll cover the highlights here, with extra details for those who may be stationed at Spangdahlem. And there is some additional info over at Stripes as well.
First off they will fly your collage student back for one annual round trip in the fiscal year. This is kinda confusing so you can read of the official regs here the Student Dependent Transportation is in section U5260
Here are the ‘rules’
*The military member must be stationed overseas accompanied WITH their family. The student also needs to be command sponsored.
*The student has to be a dependent of the military member.
*The student has to be unmarried, under 23 years old.
*The student has to be enrolled in an accredited college and have proof of enrollment.
*The student has to attend college full time, which is at least 12 credit hours.
If your student fits under these requirements you can go to the MPS and get the required forms to fill out. You’ll also need to submit proof of enrollment for your student with the forms as well.
After submitting the forms (around 2 weeks) you’ll get their orders and then you can book their ticket.
At the MPS building when you enter there will be a set of shelves on the right that will have these (and many other) forms. You need to complete these forms and return to the 2nd floor of the MPS office to get Student dependent travel orders.
At the end of October Mr. B filled out the forms that he had from the MPS office and turned them in with a copy of his orders and proof of enrollment to get Boo’s flight. We were able log into Boo’s school and print off the needed enrollment letter.
About 2-3 weeks after submitting the forms Mr. B got an email with the student dependent travel orders. Then he took them to SATO travel to book the ticket. A week prior to Boo’s arrival he went and picked up the tickets from SATO and paid with his Government travel card. After Boo flies back he’ll submit a travel voucher and get it paid off the government travel card.
So if your visual like me these are the steps:
- Fill out the forms from MPS
- Turn in forms with a copy of your orders & proof of enrollment
- Receive email with student dependent travel orders
- Take student dependent travel orders to SATO to book airline ticket
- Pick up ticket one week prior to arrival, email to your child to print
- Enjoy spending time with your college student!
There is some rule about them having to fly from the closest airport to their college but you can have them look into other options. We wanted our son to go a bit further to an International airport to get a direct flight. When they were pricing flights for him them found that making him fly from a close airport was going to cost $3000 but flying him from the International airport would only be $1300 so they allowed him to fly from the International one. So it’s worth checking into if you need to.
So really the process was fairly easy to do and didn’t take too long, although I would always recommend getting all the paperwork and such done awhile before the flight is needed, as with all things military 😉
I’m pretty excited that Boo will get a free trip home once a year!
We personally chose to have them fly him back at Christmas time when the the tickets are more expensive and we will fly him back for the summer.
Have you used this program before? What did you think?