JBPH-H passenger terminal is changing the way you fly Space-A
By Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden, 15th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 21, 2014
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- The 735th Air Mobility Command Passenger Terminal is currently testing a virtual Space-Available roll call initiative, which will electronically notify passengers of their selection for a flight without having to be physically present at the terminal.
Traditionally, in order for Space-A passengers to manifest onto a flight, they would need to take leave, go to the terminal and sign up for the flight, then return for roll call to find out if they were selected. Now the new customer service-geared process eliminates the need for the extra trip back to the terminal.
"This is a Headquarters AMC initiative set up for the convenience of the customer," said Ronald Abernathy, 735th AMS Passenger and Fleet Service flight chief. "Before, finding out if you had been selected or not often times involved prematurely checking out of hotels, returning rental cars too early, packing up and dragging the whole family to the terminal only to find out you hadn't made the flight. Sometimes lodging would have already re-booked their room or hotels downtown would be too expensive and this left people having to sleep in the terminal."
Now passengers can find out their status without ever having to leave the comfort of their home or hotel room.
However, passengers should be advised that the selection process remains the same, and signing up on line is simply a convenience. Those who sign up online will compete for the same spots as those who wait in the terminal, and as usual, seats will be given in order of category and date and time of sign-in.
After seats have been assigned, virtual roll call passengers will receive an email version of the roll call briefing that's held in the terminal, so all travelers will receive the same pre-flight information prior to checking in.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is the second test base for the sixth-month trial run, which according to Master Sgt. George Gonzalez, NCO in charge of passenger operations, is off to a successful start.
"We have about 25 percent of our passengers using the virtual role call now," he said. "It's early in the test phase. I think a lot of folks don't know how the process really works yet, so they are hesitant and just watching, but so far we've gotten all positive feedback from the people who have used it."
Although the virtual process is of huge convenience to passengers, Gonzalez said it's also a big help to the terminal personnel as well. Instead of processing all of the passengers two hours before take-off, the five-hour window for the virtual roll call allows the work to be distributed over a longer period of time, which Gonzalez said is particularly helpful in the busy summer months.
Gonzalez also said Space-A, the ability for active-duty and retired military members and their families to travel relatively free of charge on DoD owned or controlled aircraft, is a huge benefit and privilege to service members, and AMC continues to look for ways to enhance the customer service experience.
"We're changing the way you fly Space-A," said Abernathy. "This initiative is technology driven because that's the way society is moving and we're doing all we can to increase passenger convenience. We've gotten overwhelming approval of the program. People love it. They love the time it saves them. People who are coming to Hawaii should be able to get out and do things if they are waiting on a flight. They shouldn't have to sit in a terminal all day--and now they don't have to."
For more information about flying Space-A or the virtual roll call, contact the passenger terminal at 808-449-6833.