American Forces Travel (AFT), a joint venture between Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) and Priceline.com, offers discounted travel to military members and their families. AFT launched in 2019 and is the only leisure travel website dedicated to Department of Defense and veteran customers.
AFT offers discounts of up to 40% for transportation and as much as 60% off hotels, rentals, and events and is the first online MWR Leisure Travel website. Qualified users can find deals on:
- Event tickets
- Travel packages
The event tickets option is supported by TicketNetwork.
Update: In a memo signed April 12, 2021, the Defense Department will extend online access to American Forces Travel to honorably discharged veterans of the uniformed services.
Who Is Eligible To Use American Forces Travel
The website is unique in that it is NOT open to the general public. You can use American Forces Travel if you are in any of the following categories:
- All current active duty military (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard)
- All veterans of the United States Armed Forces with a discharge status of honorable or general under honorable conditions
- All members of the Reserve components and National Guard
- Coast Guard Auxiliary Active Duty
- All current active duty and retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- All current active duty and retired US Public Health Service (USPHS)
- All retired military, including Reserves and National Guard who are retirement eligible
- All Medal of Honor recipients
- All veterans with service-connected disabilities
- All veterans who are Purple Heart recipients
- All veterans who are former prisoners of war
- All primary family caregivers of eligible veterans under the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers
- Eligible family members who are officially sponsored (ID card holder) by those in the above categories
- All Department of Defense and Coast Guard civilians, including appropriated funds (APF) employees and nonappropriated funds (NAF) employees
- Full-time, paid employees of the American Red Cross and United Service Organizations (USO) hired in the United States and serving at U.S. DoD installations overseas
In many cases, those who are separated from the military but who did not spend enough time in uniform to draw retirement pay are left out of certain military perks like the ability to use certain MWR programs or facilities.
But in this particular case, that is not true. On April 12, 2021 MWR opened access to AFT to all who have separated honorably or under honorable conditions.
That was a significant shift in policy for use of MWR programs. Some 16 million veterans are given access to the discounted travel perks, along with 10 million active duty troops, Guard and Reserve members, dependents, etc.
Why People Use American Forces Travel
For some, the discounted travel options are quite enough, but not all who buy tickets are doing so from the United States.
Military travelers feel more comfortable knowing the people arranging their tickets and travel understand their unique requirements–especially when it comes to having limited time to spend traveling while on leave, traveling to foreign countries from other foreign countries, etc.
An agency like AFT brings with it an understanding of military lifestyle needs–when booking from overseas, to overseas, you’ll want to know you’re getting the price you need but also the support you might have to have en route no matter what time of day anywhere around the globe.
About American Forces Travel
AFT partnered with Priceline.com to offer the travel service. There are many sites that operate unofficially claiming to offer discounted leisure travel to military and military-affiliated people. AFT is the only one that operates under the auspices of MWR.
AFT is not the only military-affiliated travel service, but it is the only MWR leisure travel site.
American Forces Travel is a multi-service initiative designed to provide greater non-official travel options. Before AFT, such travel options were available through individual Base Tickets and Tour offices.
You can sign up for AFT online by clicking on the Get Started button on the upper right of the screen. You will need to enter some personal data to prove your identity including the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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