photo from http://www.stockvault.net/photo/109810/c-17-globemaster
Lots of people have questions about what to take on Space A flight, what you take depends on if your flying the Rotator or Cargo plane or something similar. Flying the Rotator is a commercial flight that has been contacted by the military. Other planes such as cargo planes C-17’s, C-5’s, etc will have interesting set ups but we loved our Cargo flight experience, you can read about it here I’ve complied a list of What You Need To Fly Space A.
First and foremost with any Space A travel regardless of the plane type you’ll need to make sure you have lots of patience! That will be an essential key to having a successful Space A adventure, and remember it’s an ‘adventure’ 😉
Flying the Rotator:
(keep in mind this is just like any other commercial flight just contracted for military use)
Passports & Military ID’s
This is like flying on a normal commercial plane, so you’d take a normal carry on with typical items.
Snacks are always a good idea for long flights, remember no liquids until purchased after security. You should be served a meal & a snack along with drinks.
Neck pillows or blankets, although the airline should provide pillows & blankets as well.
Any electronics or books to keep you entertained, make sure you remember to charge your devices.
Carseats for your kids.
Flying on a Cargo Plane or other Alternative Aircraft
This flying situation can require some much more unusual items for a successful flight.
Passports & Military ID’s
Snacks are always a good idea for long flights, remember no liquids until purchased after security. Also know that if you want a meal on these flights you’ll have to purchase them for $4.50 each. Here is a photo of a meal we purchased.
They also offer a free snack on some flights which could include water, candy, fruit, crackers, etc.
These flights can get cold so it’s highly recommended that you dress in layers.
Also make sure you take some blankets with you, I took a bag full with me that we carried on. They are much more lax with the carry ons for these flights but take into consideration how much you pack if you’ll be flying commercial when you land in the States, you may want an extra suitcase or duffle bag to check the blankets at that point. I even took several small travel pillows as well! I had all blankets & pillows in space bags so that I could fit more in the bag to carry on.
I also highly recommend taking self inflating sleeping bags. The great thing about these flights is that your not confined to your seats, in fact your seats are often jump seats against the wall! Your able to spread out and lay on the floor after take off but the floor does get cold! We bought our self inflating mats at the BX in the States but you can also find them at Amazon, they look like these. These rolled up into individual carrying bags and are acceptable as carry ons for the Space A flights, again keep in mind if you’ll be using a commercial fight and what you’ll do with them.
There were also several people who had hammocks that they hung and were laying in it! I also seen several sleeping bags in use as well. It’s all up to you and what you want to carry.
There are bathrooms on the flight (yes, I’ve been asked this often) but they often don’t have running water to wash your hands so bringing a small thing of sanitizer or baby wipes could be handy for cleaning off your hands. There is often hand sanitizer in the bathroom.
Any electronics or books to keep you entertained, make sure you remember to charge your devices, but also know that some of the flights have electrical (110V) outlets in the wall as well! We were able to charge our iPhones & iPads on the flights. Look for them along the wall as your choosing your seats.
Seating is not assigned, it’s a first come first serve kinda thing, but there will be a seat for everyone and we’re all military so people will make sure families are together. If you get cold easily ask where the warm air is blown from, you could feel it towards the front of the flight on our ride to the States and in the back on the flight back.
Make sure to wear closed toe shoes! I normally just wear my comfy ballet style flats. If your going somewhere warm just keep a pair of flip flops in the side pocket of your backpack and you and pop them on as soon as you get off the plane. I also often wear my flip flops until right before boarding then throw my flats on 😉 And I take some warm socks for when I am trying to sleep as well.
Also these planes are loud, ear plugs will be handed out, but you and bring others if you prefer them. I like the ear planes (SP) for when I fly. Also noise reducing over the ear guards make work better for babies and little kids than the ear plugs.
Carseats for your kids. Yes, these will fit in the jump seats.
We personally love the ability to walk around, spread out and lay on the floor, and such on the Cargo flights, you can read about our trip here.
Any other items you would suggest for bringing on a Space A flight?