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My son's in A school for fire control right now. We've been looking forward to the leave that he'll get following A school before he goes on to C school. Now, he says it may be possible for him to save that leave and use it at Christmas time. I hope that he's right because his younger brother and sisters would get to spend so much more time with him! Does anyone have experience with leave being used around Christmas? How flexible are the dates?

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He should be able to go home for Christmas, even if he has not accrued the leave time, they can advance it to him. My sailors Christmas leave date changed on him more than once, so if he is going to purchase a airline ticket home make sure he is sure on the date before he purchases it.

Ouch, that'll make it harder to get a good price. Those ticket prices are all over the place! It's a good thing to be aware of, though. Thanks!

Although I know it's ideal to purchase tickets many weeks in advance I just know my sailor bought a ticket as soon as he heard the leave dates thinking he could leave anytime and didn't realize that he would get an actual time he would get dismissed from the base so he had made his flight plans too early and had to pay the difference to have it changed. Your sailor will fine as long as he is in communication with his chief they do try to give them a few weeks in advance to purchase his ticket and sometimes if he speaks with the airline customer service rep they will help get the best deal.

Wow, it's good to know that time of day can be a problem. I would never have though of that, either!

In this internet age, a lot of the sailors do not realize they can use the on base travel agency through MWR. They get bulk discounts, and can often get flights cheaper.  

I just looked up the MWR in chicago, and I sent my son the link to the tickets and travel page. That should help a lot, thank you!

When I was in the USAF, we were able to arrange to hop on a flight on a cargo plane from somewhere near where we were stationed to a base near home - I can't remember if we paid anything for it, but we all just strapped in.  I do remember it being really cold back there, so it was not a luxury option.  Is that still an option? 

Space A isn't very reliable, and there aren't any MAC terminals near Great Lakes.  But yes, it still exists.

I found out this weekend that stand down for great Lakes begins the 22nd of Dec. but it must be after 9am and then they must be back before Jan. 7th. But I was also told because of their busy schedules some haven't even put in their chit as of yet. so it takes anywhere from 2 weeks to a month to get it back. So this was nerve wrecking to me knowing he hasn't been able to submit. so we are waiting to see what get approved before buying the airline ticket but like it was mentioned they have a place on base where they can go and get discounted tickets for just about anything. Hope this info helps.

The check out begins at 9 am ... don't book anything before noon as they must ALL check out of their rooms, get their leave papers, and take shuttles or taxis to the airport.  

Great to know!

Hello I too am trying to figure out plans after A school. My son wants to come home his 10 days, but they haven't actually told him when those days will be. I was hoping you or someone else on this group would be able to tell me if families usually go to A school graduations. I have booked my flight in order to get a cheaper rate, but really don't have any details besides graduation is December 8th. 

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