MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Air Force passenger terminals’ mission is much larger than simply providing services to distinguished visitors, they also provide services to all Airmen who may need a lift.
“Our job here is to make sure that distinguished visitors, either Space R or Space A, are handled as any other passenger that comes through the passenger terminal,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Kersey, 42nd LRS noncommissioned officer in charge of small passenger terminal.
Although the terminal provides the opportunity for just about anyone to fly free of charge in or out of the base, patrons are sorted by urgency.
Priority for flights are determined by six categories:
· Category one: Emergency leave. If a military member’s next of kin passes away they can contact the Red Cross and receive a reference number that will get them on a plane as soon as possible.
· Category two: Environmental morale leave. Only available in overseas locations where certain living conditions are not suitable, so leave can be taken to travel to a more suitable environment.
· Category three: All active duty service members with approved leave; must provide proof of approved leave.
· Category four: Temporary duty travelers and dependents.
An example of this situation would be if a sponsor has been deployed for less than 365 days, but more than 30 days, the dependents of that sponsor can travel through the passenger terminal.
· Category five: A dependent that is traveling without their sponsor. Those in category five can’t travel throughout the U.S., unless they are coming back from an overseas location or going straight to their overseas location, said Staff Sgt. Jyron Cowser, 42nd LRS air terminal supervisor.
· Category six: Retirees and reservists.
Depending on the situation, a dependent can be upgraded to a category three if their sponsor is deployed for 365 days or more, Cowser said.
These categories are only one part of how the terminal categorizes passengers.
· Space R, which is space required for individuals with orders or mission oriented individuals.
· Space A, is for space available on aircraft that will be at the terminal.
“So if you’re a retiree or active duty member on leave, you can utilize a plane that leaves here if there is space available,” Kersey said.
In order for active duty members to utilize these Space A spots, they need to bring their leave approval paperwork and common access card. The passenger terminal staff do recommend all family members, if traveling with their active duty spouse, have their passports with them if that flight is going overseas.
The requirements for luggage is the same as any normal regional and national airport. To find a full list of what not to bring, visit https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/prohibited-items.
For more information about the PAX Terminal, call 334-953-7372, or visit the PAX Terminal Facebook page for upcoming flights, https://www.facebook.com/MaxwellPassengerTerminal/.