YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Need a cheap flight for the holidays? Don’t count on the Patriot Express.

The U.S. military’s only chartered commercial air service in the Pacific will not fly the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas due to "pre-negotiated holiday operating hours identified in the contract" with Northwest Airlines, said Maj. Derek Harris, the 730th Air Mobility Squadron’s operations officer.

During New Year’s week, the flight will depart Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, on Dec. 29, stopping at Yokota before moving on to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington. It’s scheduled to be back at Yokota the next day for return service to Kadena.

Harris said the Patriot Express would resume its weekly schedule Jan. 8. It normally passes through Yokota every Thursday and Friday on a round-trip mission from Kadena to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

U.S. Transportation Command and Northwest Airlines have a deal in place for weekly Patriot Express missions through March 30. The only charge for space-available fliers headed to Seattle is a $27.40 inspection fee, or international "head tax."

For the latest AMC flight information, call DSN 225-7111 or DSN 225-5661 at Yokota and DSN 634-2159 at Kadena.

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