How to Take a Military Hop and Fly for Free


Learn how to take a military hop and fly for free.

Are you military and want to fly for free, but do not know how to take a military hop? Find out how to take a military hop and start using this cool military benefit.

What is a military hop?

A military hop is when you are able to fly on a military aircraft from one location to another location. This is also know as space a travel. Military hops are only available at certain bases and you never know where available planes may be going or how many seats will be available. 72 hours before the flight most military terminals update their Facebook pages so you can see where they planes are going. These are always subject to change at a moments notice. It is not always free to travel space a, but it is extremely cheap if you are able to take one. Your travel planes must be extremely flexible.

How to take a military hop?

If you are on active duty you must be on leave to be eligible to get on a hop. You must show your orders or leave paperwork to get on a hop. The military member is allowed to fly space a and bring direct dependants with them. Spouses are not allowed to hop without the military sponsor unless stationed overseas. Each dependent must show a military id unless they are under the age of 9.

Space A Baggage allowance

Baggage allowance varies by aircraft. You are allowed to take quite a bit of weight, but since we never know exactly what we are getting into we always pack as light as possible.

  • C12, C20, C21, C26, UC35 and C38 – 30 LBS total checked baggage.
  • C9, C40 – 50 LBS per person.
  • C5, C17, KC135 and C130 – 70 LBS per bag, 2 bags per person. (This is normally the type of aircraft you would hop on.)

Space A Facebook pages

Facebook pages have made it so much easier to see where the planes are going. Terminals release the tentative schedules on their Facebook pages 48 – 72 hours in advance. Here are a few Facebook pages.

Andrews  in Maryland

Aviano, Italy (They have a rotator, so lots of seats.)

Charleston, NC

Honolulu, Hawaii 


Seattle Airport 

Tacoma, Washington (There is a USO right next door!)

What to expect a Military Hop

You will need a coat. It gets very cold during the flight. Snacks are given out during the flight sometimes, but not always. If a meal is available for purchase, get it. If you are traveling with a hungry teenager, but them two meals.

The Cost to fly Space A

Zero – So far, I have never had to pay to hop. I know that if you get on the rotator in Baltimore you have to pay.

Back up plan

Do you have the money to get yourself home if you are not selected?

Depending on which status you are classified as you may or may not make it on to the hop. For example: You are your family have successfully hopped over to Hawaii from California. You’ve completed your vacation and are now ready to hop back to California. Only California is having a huge storm, so all flight gets cancelled that day. The next day twice as many people are trying to hop due to the cancelled flight the day before. You are retired, therefore in the lowest category, category six. Only Categories 1-3 make it on to the first flight, the next flight only categories 1-3 make it on again. Things are not looking good and you NEED to get back. Guess what? You have to pay out of pocket for a last minute one way flight from Hawaii home on a commercial airline. (I use this example, because I watched this happen to a family when we were all trying to get back from Oahu.)


Can you use an air mattress on a military hop? Yes, you can use an air mattress on a military plane. We’ve only done it once, but there was enough room and no one seemed to mind. I’ve also seen someone do this on one of the flights we were on, which is where I got the idea!


  • Feel free to leave a question in the comments and I will do my best to answer them!


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