Christmas and New Years 2012 Leave Travel Program
For those of you who have been in or around the Canadian Forces for several decades, you may recall the Service Flights or “Flips” of the past where serving members and their families could travel with military flights throughout Canada to visit families and take holidays. Yes it meant traveling on stand-by, did not provide the comforts of commercial flights and did require some flexibility on our part, however the cost benefit of being able to fly your family home to see Grandma was often well worth it. Did you know that today in the CF, there still exists a limited but equally beneficial opportunity to fly home to visit family throughout the Christmas Season on a service flight?
The CF member’s unit orderly room will be able to assist members and their spouses/dependants with accessing and completing an application and will be the authority on the process. For the purposes of passing the information as widely as possible, here is how the program works:
The period covered for travel this year is from 18 Dec 2012 to 7 Jan 2013.
The Christmas Flight program is available to two different categories of passenger. Priority of travel is granted within the two categories of passenger below and based on a “first-come first-served” approach based on the earliest date and time of application.
Category 1: Married military members of the Regular Force, Reserve Class B and Class C on active duty and members of the USA, NATO and Commonwealth Forces on exchange with the CF separated from their spouse and children due to service reasons and not entitled to duty travel. Single military members of the Regular Force, Reserve Class B and Class C on active duty and members of the USA, NATO and Commonwealth Forces on exchange with the CF to visit their next of kin as per their Personal Emergency Notification (PEN) form.
Category 01 applications are completed through the unit orderly room and will be accepted by email from 1300 hrs on 4 Oct 12 to 1300 hrs 06 Dec 12. Confirmation of seats will begin 4 Oct 12.
Category 2: All other CF members and eligible dependants who are entitled to leave travel on non duty or space available basis and do not already hold a confirmed category 01 seat. Category 2 includes unaccompanied leave travel for spouses and dependants (travelling without the CF member).
Category 02 applications are completed by the military member and submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org from 1300 hrs 22 Oct 12 to 1300 hrs 06 Dec 12. Confirmation of seats will begin 7 Nov 12.
Some things to keep in mind:
1. Once you have submitted your application, requests are actioned on a first come, first served basis while you are on the phone and if seats are available.
2. If you are travelling unaccompanied as a spouse or dependent, you will require someone at the CF member’s unit to assist you with processing the application and completing a CF leave pass for you as a spouse/dependant in order to board.
3. One-way travel is permitted.
4. Stop-overs are not permitted unless connecting flights are required.
5. There are baggage restrictions: 2 checked bags per passenger, no skis or hockey sticks, child car seats are ok and not considered checked baggage. Check the website for further details or with the attendant when confirming your flights.
6. An authorized CF100 leave form is required which includes all travellers names in order to board the aircraft.
7. You must have a valid email address to complete the application form.
8. Each passenger will require 2 pieces of photo ID (school ID or birth certificates for children are acceptable).
9. Children 12 years and older may travel on all CF Service flights without parents/escort. The parent’s signature on CF100 form acknowledges that CF member accepts full responsibility and liability.
10. Flight Schedules to help you complete the application forms are available to be viewed and printed at http://trenton.mil.ca/8WINGUNITSOPERATIONAL/2AIRMOVSQN/christmas/2012-13... (accessible only on the DWAN)
11. It is a service flight so ask the attendant when they confirm your flight about what you should expect, what you need to know about boarding safely, security and how to prepare for a service flight (ie, bringing snacks, blankets, entertainment).
So I say, go get some family lovin’ into you so you are ready to take on 2013. Don’t delay if you are considering travelling this Christmas using CF Service Flights. Plan early and have a great holiday.
Reservation assistance is available by phone at 1-800-823-3857 between 0730-1200 and 1300-1600 Monday through Friday.
REFERENCE: 8 Wing Trenton Christmas Season Travel http://trenton.mil.ca/8WINGUNITSOPERATIONAL/2AIRMOVSQN/XMASFLIGHTS_ENG.ASP and CANFORGEN 172/12 both accessible through DWAN (internal Defence network).