Hey everyone! So I have read on here a lot about waiting with your sailor at the gate at the airport. From what I understand.. you get there super early (like 1am) and wait by the USO until your sailor shows up and can sign for you to get a gate pass.
I want to make sure I have every last detail so I can go to the gate with my Sailor, does anyone have a big long drawn out explanation of how this works? Thanks!
Hi Jessica. I found this, I don't know if it helps....
If your Sailor is a Saturday Departure, GO WITH THEM TO THE AIRPORT, if at all possible. We were able to see him interact with his new Shipmates and hear more stories about his Boot Camp experience. My husband did not go, but me and his Fiancée did. I wouldn’t trade this time with him for the world. He had to be there at 0100 hours, we got there about an hour later, they were still dividing up into departure groups so we had plenty of time before we all had to go through security which opens at 0500, the security was no problem either, they let us though with a GATE PASS. This was at Midway. Once our Sailor was handed his boarding pass, we just handed the Ticketing people our ID’s (must be a driver’s license or STATE ID card). The reason I mention this is because we had “military ID’s” and they didn’t want us using these. I also was able to get photos of the people that he hung out with during Boot Camp. This is a MUST. Please do this if you can even if you get little or NO sleep. His Fiancée and I only got 3 HOURS sleep, but we did this, and it was worth every moment.
Just want to clarify...you don't "go with them." They are bussed there from RTC and you can meet them there. Some get there very early, before the bus arrives, and watch the sailors arrive. Others get there a bit later and meet up in the USO. I suggest that all try to get some sleep after dropping off your sailors at RTC...just a few hours...so you can make it through the next day!
Here's the deal about the USO: If at Ohare, the USO is before security, so no problems. Meet your sailor there and have him/her go with you to the airlines counter to get your gate pass. Be sure to have ID for all who need a pass. It is up to the airlines on how many passes they issue for your group, but they try to accommodate.
Now....if your sailor is leaving from Midway, you must have him/her meet you in front of security. The USO there is past security so no meeting them there.
From my son's experience and reading posts over the past 1.5 yrs, sometimes flights are delayed, cancelled, etc. My son's flight ended up leaving about 3 hours after it was supposed. At one point, they got on it and taxied out, only to return to the terminal. So plan on staying until you are sure they are "in the sky!" His group missed their Atlanta connection because of the delays in Chicago and was put up in Atlanta overnight (uh oh---sailors tired of being cooped up on RTC now "free" in Atlanta? I don't want to know anything :-))....flown out the next day.
The only time you can't meet up with your sailors is if they are on a charter flight rather than a domestic one. Then unfortunately, there are no airport visits so no need to go. :-(
Jessica: On your concerns about meeting up with him, just plan to meet him at the USO. They will hang out there for a while. They are very kind to the military at the USO's so it is a comfortable place to be. They can give you any info you need there as well.
thank you thank you(: Does she say what time the flight is by any chance? early morning or afternoon? and Ohare?
i totally understand hoping for flight delays, i am too :) or even a late fight. chances are we will end up meeting at the airport. Both are going to charleston so i figure they will prolly be on the same flight.
Diannep-thanks for the info about waiting until they are in the sky. last year my sis in law wanted to leave as soon as my brother walked down the jetway. i will definately be waiting until i see the plane take off.