College students fly free
Published: October 5, 2010
Q. I am command sponsored to Korea. In all my research, I know that I saw somewhere that my daughter can visit us, paid for by the government, once per fiscal year. Well, I just got here in August and am trying to get my daughter's flight arranged for her visit during the Christmas holiday. Do you know the regulation for command sponsored dependents who are in college? I've looked high and low. Please advise.
A. You have asked at the right time, because now is the time to start to get your daughter's travel in order for Christmas. The Joint Federal Travel Regulation does authorize government-funded travel for college students to visit their families stationed overseas.
In order to qualify for one round trip ticket each year, your family and your child must fit these qualifications:
- The military member must be permanently stationed overseas and accompanied by family members
- The student must be a dependent of the military member.
- The student must be unmarried, under 23 and show proof of enrollment in a full-time course of undergraduate study at a 2 or 4 year institution.
- Students at military academies do not qualify, but qualify for space-available travel on military aircraft.
- Students at vocational and trade schools also do not qualify, but are also authorized to travel space-A
If she fits the criteria, the first step to book your daughter’s travel is to obtain student travel orders from your personnel office. You’ll need proof of your daughter’s full time enrollment in an accredited school and a copy of your PCS orders listing her as a dependent.
With student travel orders in hand, you can then book her trip through your military travel office.
The JFTR also allows your student to travel to another location – for example to meet you for a family vacation in Tokyo – as long as that flight does not cost more than the flight home. You can be reimbursed up to the amount required to fly her home.
If you would like to book tickets on your own, first be sure that you have authorization for student travel. Get detailed information from travel on how to proceed so that you can be reimbursed. Do not book tickets before you have student travel orders.
A few more facts about student travel:
- This privilege does not roll over, so if a ticket is not used one year, you don't get two the next.
- Students are authorized two suitcases at government expense.
- Your daughter will need a passport for overseas travel.
- She should also carry her dependent ID card.
- Transportation of pets is not covered, except at the student's expense.
You can find a link to the Joint Federal Travel Regulation information on this subject on the Bridge to Education page of thd DODEA Web site.
Click on the tab marked “College Students” and you will see what you need right under the heading “College Student Travel Info.” There you can download a PDF of the JFTR. Student Travel is covered in Chapter 4.
Thank you, Trena, for your question. I hope that all goes well for your daughter’s travel home for Christmas.
Thanks also for the reminder that I need to do the same for our college son’s trip home in December. He traveled on student orders last year, but students need a new set of travel orders for each year.