The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Christmas Flight Program will once again be offered this year in a reduced scope due to “operational pressures and reconstitution activities.”
According to CANFORGEN 126/23, the reduced scope of the program will “result in a significant reduction in overall flights.”
The Christmas Flight Program was instituted to support CAF members in their plans to visit immediate family during the holiday period. This year’s program will begin Dec. 15 and run until Jan. 7.
Since this is considered a perk and is considered non-duty travel, if flights are cancelled, rerouted or delayed, members are responsible for any subsequent costs for travel or accommodation.
Who can apply this year?
There are two categories that CAF members are placed in when applying for this program. These categories determine the precedence of booking.
Category 1 includes the following:
- All Regular Force, Class B and Class C Reserve Force personnel from the U.S.A., NATO, or other Commonwealth countries on exchange with the CAF and are separated with their families and are not otherwise allowed duty travel;
- All Regular Force, Class B and Class C Reserve personnel from the U.S.A., NATO or other Commonwealth countries to visit their next of kin.
- Only military members travelling alone are qualified for Category 1.
The CANFORGEN states, “Applications from the above CAT 1 personnel will be considered equally, with priority going to the earliest date and time an application was received at the National Passenger Service Centre.”
Category 2 includes the following:
All other CAF military personnel and their dependents who are entitled to leave travel on a non-duty basis. As in Category 1, “applications from the above CAT 2 personnel will be considered equally, with priority going to the earliest date and time an application was received at the National Passenger Service Centre.”
If there is space available, then other branches, such as Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Class A reservists, and other military members, will then be considered for seats.
Each category’s requirements being with completing the Christmas/New Year’s Leave Travel Program Application Form. Detailed descriptions of subsequent steps are listed in CANFORGEN 126/23.
Other pertinent information includes:
- One-way travel is permitted
- Stopovers are not permitted
- Primary flight departure may be later than an alternate flight date
- No one aboard RCAF flights can be in possession of cannibis or cannabis products
- Military members can wear either civilian or military dress.
Passengers who do not check-in for a flight in time will be placed on a no-show list, and their name will be removed from the flight manifest. Because this negatively impacts the program, those who are placed on the no-show list will not be allowed to apply for the program the following year.
Those wishing to check-in baggage during one of the CAF’s flights this year must note the following requirements:
- One piece is allowed that weighs no more than 50 lbs. (23 kg) per passenger.
- Baggage cannot exceed 62 inches (158 cm) overall in dimensions.
- Each passenger is allowed one carry-on and one personal item such as a purse, briefcase or laptop.
- A carry-on bag cannot exceed 22x16x9 inches.
- A personal bag cannot exceed 17x13x6 inches.
- Passengers are not allowed to bring ski equipment, snowboards, hockey sticks, hoverboards, golf clubs, hockey bags or other oversized items.
- Strollers and approved child car seats are allowed and not considered checked baggage.
- No firearms or ammunition is permitted.
Upon check-in, military members will be required to show their valid military ID, and dependents will be required to show one piece of government-issued ID with photo identification. Dependents can also show two pieces of non-photo ID, such as a birth certificate or school ID card for those under the age of 25.
Information about terminal locations and flight schedules will be published on the DWAN website at this link: HTTP://INTRANET.MIL.CA/EN/ORGANIZATIONS/SJS/LP-MOV-LEAVE-TRAVEL-PROGRAM.PAGE.
To submit an application, use the DWAN website: HTTP://INTRANET.MIL.CA/EN/ORGANIZATIONS/SJS/LP-MOV-LEAVE-TRAVEL-PROGRAM.PAGE.
Service personnel can contact the National Passenger Service Centre at 1-800-823-3857 between 0730 – 1200 HRS AND 1300 – 1600 HRS (EDT) MON-FRI or by email here.