SAMA (82) Sponsored Veterans Concessionary Flight Scheme

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[South Atlantic Medal Association (1982)]

 

SAMA (82) Sponsored

Veterans Concessionary Flight
Information

(January 2014) 

 

 

This information has been compiled to assist you in completing your Veterans
Concessionary Flight Application and planning your visit to the Falkland Islands (FI)

 

Attachments:-


Veterans Concessionary Flight Application Process

  • The Flight Application Form (attachment above) must be completed in full and returned to the SAMA (82) Office.

  • Once your Flight Application Form is received by the SAMA (82) Office/Sponsor, and your eligibility is checked, it will be forwarded to the MoD for processing.

  • Once accepted for a flight the MoD will email the SAMA (82) Office/Sponsor who in turn will inform the Applicant and a Passenger Information Itinerary will be issued. This will also act as your ticket. Please Note: This may only be issued 8 - 14 days prior to your flight date.

  • Once your flight has been confirmed you should arrange your travel to RAF Brize Norton. Please remember to have sufficient funds (credit/debit card or cheque) to pay for your flight at the airport.

  • The SAMA (82) Office should always be your first point of contact for any enquiries in relation to your Veterans Concessionary Flight Application and they will endeavour to answer any questions you may have. Please email falklands.flights@sama82.org.uk or if urgent please telephone between 1000hrs – 1300hrs, Monday to Friday. Emergencies only: telephone the Sponsor on 07986 103035.

  • If for some unforeseen circumstances you are unable to return from the FI using this scheme you MUST have access to sufficient funds to cover the cost of a commercial flight to the United Kingdom (UK). The cost of a single scheduled flight from Mount Pleasant Airport (MPA) to the UK with LAN Airlines SA is currently £864 (Dec 2011), plus the cost of hotel accommodation, transfers and food for an overnight stop in Chile.

Veterans Concessionary Flight Costs

The current (Dec 2013) cost of a return flight is £275 which you pay at RAF Brize Norton before departure.
Payment must be by credit/debit card or cheque (accompanied by a cheque guarantee card).

South Atlantic Flight Schedule

Flights to and from the FI are now operated by the RAFon the Voyager aircraft, with two scheduled flights per week both Southbound and Northbound.

These flights operate as follows:

Departures

Southbound: Each Wednesday and Sunday from RAF Brize Norton to MPA.

  • Flights depart RAF Brize Norton at 2359hrs each day. (2300 during winter months)

  • Passengers are to report to the Main Terminal Building 3hrs prior to flight departure. On arrival, report to the Joint Air Booking Centre (JABC) Movements Staff at the Departure Check-In Desk and inform them of your arrival. If you think you are going to be late, please ring the Passenger & Flight Information Line with your reasons and approximate time of arrival.

If you wish, you could then go to the Gateway House Hotel for refreshments or an evening meal that is served between 1700hrs – 1900hrs. The Gateway House Hotel is alongside the long-term car park. There may be transport from the Terminal otherwise it is a 10 minute walk.  You MUST CHECK IN AT RECEPTION if using the Gateway House Hotel to wait for your flight, where you should check if there is organised transport back to the Air Terminal, what time it leaves the hotel and put your name on the Transport list.

Northbound: Each Tuesday and Friday from Mount Pleasant to RAF Brize Norton.

  • You will be required to arrive at the MPA Terminal Building at least 2hrs before your departure.

Arrivals

Southbound:

Wed Flight : Arrive MPA approx 1400hrs Thurs
Sun Flight :  Arrive MPA approx 1400hrs Mon

Northbound:

Tue Flight : Arrive Brize Norton approx 0820 hrs Weds
Fri Flight :   Arrive Brize Norton approx 0820 hrs Sat

Booking Your Flight Dates

Once you have decided upon your choice of dates you wish to travel, both Southbound and Northbound, insert these onto the Flight Application Form.
The dates chosen MUST be at least 8 weeks after the date of application.


Accommodation Bookings

All applications for flights to the FI must have a 'Confirmed Accommodation Address' with contact telephone number before submitting the Flight Application to the SAMA (82) Office. This information is to be entered on Page 2 of the Application Form.  Please also provide an email address for your hosts/accommodation provider.

Applicants are responsible for booking their own accommodation. The Sponsor will not make these arrangements on your behalf.

Falklands Veterans Foundation [FVF]
Liberty Lodge - Rowlands Rise, Stanley

To book accommodation at the FVF's Liberty Lodge please send an email to fvf@libertylodge.co.fk   You will need to supply the dates you wish to visit and the Ship/Unit that you served with during the conflict.  Only upon receiving confirmation that a booking has been arranged you can use the Lodge’s address on your Application Form. 

Veterans should be made aware that there are many benefits in staying at Liberty Lodge on their first or return visits, listed below are just a few:

  • Fantastic self-catering accommodation with wonderful views.
  • Friendly and very helpful local Manager.
  • Battlefield tours arranged with local drivers.  (Fuel costs to be met).
  • The facilities to invite previous hosts and friends for dinner.
  • Transfers arranged from/to MPA (£10 each way).
  • Mini bus available, driver supplied for the Round Robin Tour.  (Fuel costs to be met).
  • Small car available for running around town only, clean driving licence to be produced.  (Fuel costs to be met)

For more info on the FVF's Liberty Lodge click here --> FVF - Liberty Lodge Information Sheet

Please note:

The Falkland Veterans Foundation relies on generous donations from the guests staying at Liberty Lodge for its ongoing upkeep.

Alternative Accommodation

If the FVF's Liberty Lodge is fully booked you may wish to consider booking your own accommodation. Visit the following Website:
http://www.falklandislands.com/ and click "Stay with us"

Or contact:

The Falkland Islands Tourist Board, Stanley
Email: info@falklandislands.com  
Tel: +(500) 22215

Please Note:  You will also have to arrange your own travel from/to MPA and any battlefield tours.  You will not be able to call upon Ellen, the Manager of the FVF's Liberty Lodge or Gary Clement for assistance, as their time will be taken up with the Veterans staying in the Lodge,


RAF Brize Norton Information

Air Terminal Information

The services and facilities available include:

  • Check-in desks and Passenger Information Desk
  • Coffee shop and snacks/drinks vending machine
  • Children’s soft play area
  • Short term and long term car parking
  • Car rental desks
  • Newsagent kiosk (open for most scheduled flight departures)
  • Internet access kiosks & free WIFI for passengers
  • Television and gaming machines
  • Cash machine (fee payable)
  • Public telephones and post box

Full Information here --> http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton/passengers/index.cfm

If you are disabled or have difficulty walking and require a wheelchair, please ask for assistance at the Information Desk or Check-In Desk 1.
Please Note: All passengers must be able to climb the steps of the aircraft without assistance.

Long Term Car Parking At RAF Brize Norton

Although spaces are limited, they can be booked using the online Car Parking Application form on the RAF Brize Norton website.
http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton/passengers/pi_carparking.cfm 

You must have been allocated a flight BEFORE you apply for a Car Parking Space. Applications will NOT be processed without a valid Passenger Booking Reference; your Booking Ref is the six letter/digit combination issued by your booking centre e.g. NM16TY and sent to you by the SAMA (82) Office.  If a parking space is available your car pass will be emailed to you as a downloadable attachment.

If you are unable to book a parking space at RAF Brize Norton, Charlie’s Taxis can offer secure parking nearby.
For further information please contact 01993 845253.


General Information

Falkland Islands Immigration Form

You should complete this form in full and present it to Immigration Control on arrival at MPA.
These forms should be issued to you before the aircraft is due to land at the FI.

Length Of Stay On The Islands

There is no restriction on the length of your stay, but the final decision rests with the FI Immigration Officer at MPA on arrival.

Currency On The Islands

The currency is the Falkland Island Pound, but Sterling (GB Pound) is accepted everywhere.

The Bank and Treasury in Stanley have confirmed that they will accept all UK Bank notes, unless they are totally illegible, very badly damaged, out of circulation or with the security strip missing.  This is no different practice to the UK

Cost Of Living On The Falkland Islands

The cost of living is similar to the UK.

Some Typical Costs

Hire a 4 x 4 vehicle, with driver for the day £75.00
Meal out (per person) from £10.00

Respecting The Laws And Customs Of The FI

While in the FI you are subject to and expected to comply with the laws of the FI.

Block Out Dates

During the changeover of the Force Infantry Company or other planned or unplanned exercises taking place, some periods will be blocked out for flights. These dates will be notified to all Applicants by the Sponsor if their Flight Application coincides with any of these activities and alternative dates will be offered.


Q & A to Concessionary Flights

Who Is Eligible For A Concessionary Flight?

Only Veterans of the Falklands Conflict who hold the South Atlantic Medal [SAM] are eligible to use the Concessionary Flight Scheme.   

How Do I Apply For Flights?

Complete the Flight Application Form and return it to the SAMA (82) Office.

When Will I Know If I Have A Seat?

Confirmation will be sent out by e mail in the form of a Passenger Information Itinerary and will confirm the flight and act as your ticket.
Please Note:- This may only be issued two weeks prior to your flight date.

Will The Flight Be Just Like A Civilian Flight?

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has a contract with a civilian airline to provide regular flights to the FI.
The aircraft used is a civilian airliner and crewed by civilian pilots and cabin crew.
All meals, soft drinks and in-flight entertainment are included in the ticket price.
However, all military flights are ‘dry’. Anyone attempting to check in for a flight under the influence of alcohol will be turned away.

What Is My Baggage Allowance?

Passengers are entitled to 27kgs of hold luggage and 9kgs hand baggage. If your luggage weighs more than this you may not be allowed to take it on board, or there may be an excess baggage charge.

If I Am Travelling To The FI, Which Is British, Why Do I Need To Take My Passport?

The Falkland Islands are 8000 miles from the UK and the aircraft may have to divert to another country due to weather conditions, or if the aircraft was to become unserviceable. It is also possible that a return flight might not be available and you may need to return on a commercial flight.  For that reason passengers without a valid UK passport will not be allowed to fly.

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Yes. You will need to have suitable travel insurance in place, including full medical repatriation cover for your trip to the FI. Medical facilities are limited on the FI and it may be necessary to medically evacuate you in the case of serious illness or injury. The current cost of medical evacuation is in excess of £30,000. It is therefore very important that you obtain worldwide travel insurance for the duration of your stay and it is advisable to extend the period of insurance for at least one week past your planned arrival back in the UK. This is because your aircraft may have to divert to another country on route back to the UK You MUST provide the SAMA office with details of your insurance before departure.

Towergate Wilsons can provide suitable single trip cover. You can apply for this Travel Insurance online, just visit http://www.towergatewilsons.co.uk/  

How Long Is The Journey And Is It Non Stop?

Your journey will be split into two legs. The first is from RAF Brize Norton to the Ascension Islands and will be approximately 8hrs in length. Following a stop to refuel and drop off or collect more passengers (approx 2hrs) you will travel for a further 7hrs to reach MPA.

How Do I Get To RAF Brize Norton?

There is a regular bus service from Oxford and Swindon Bus Stations to RAF Brize Norton. The responsibility and cost for getting to RAF Brize Norton lies with the passenger. RAF Brize Norton has its own website which offers travel information and travel directions.

What Do I Do When I Arrive At RAF Brize Norton?

You are to report to the Main Gate Guardroom and with your passport, book in and you will be directed to the Main Terminal Building Departure Lounge.

How Do I Get From MPA To Stanley & Stanley To MPA?

There are passenger transfers. A bus service exists to meet all flights. This service is available at a cost of £10.00 each way and will be booked by your accommodation on request. Once booked, failure to travel on the bus will still incur a £10.00 cost.

Passengers must contact Falkland Islands Tours and Travel [FITT] to request a transfer back to MPA. Tel No: (00 500) 21775

Will My Mobile Phone Work In The FI?

Some do and some do not. You can purchase a Cable & Wireless Sim Card in the FI to enable you to keep in contact with the UK.

Can I Take Food and Plants to the FI

There are strict importation rules for food stuff and plant materiel into the Falkland Islands.  Read the leaflet carefully and if in any doubt ASK before you arrive at Brize Norton.


Useful Contact Details

SAMA (82) Office email address for all enquiries: falklands.flights@sama82.org.uk  

SAMA (82) Office: 01495 741592

SAMA (82) Sponsor: (Emergencies Only - 07986 103035)

RAF Brize Norton Passenger Information Desk: Telephone 01993 896050 or Military Telephone 95461 6050

JABC Mount Pleasant: (00 500) 76434

The Gateway House Hotel: 01993 897320/897321 (24hrs)

Getting to and from RAF Brize Norton: http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton/flyinginfo/gettingtoandfromrafbrizenorton.cfm

Brize Norton Flight Information:  http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton/passengers/index.cfm

Price comparison website which may help you find travel insurance: http://www.moneysupermarket.com/

Route Planner: http://www.rac.co.uk/route-planner  

Car Rental

There is a range of car rental facilities available at RAF Brize Norton.

Vehicles should be pre-booked using the contact details given below to ensure availability (AVIS, Europcar and Hertz only provide vehicles for pre-arranged bookings – National and Brize Self Drive keep vehicles on-site for rental). Information on accepted payment methods and full rental terms should be obtained when making booking enquiries. Brize Self Drive can only provide one-way rental by pre-arrangement; telephone for further details.

National Car Rental Tel: 01993 846118

AVIS Car Rental Tel: 01865 727573 (Oxford Office) or 08445 445566 (24hrs)

Europcar Car Rental Tel: 0870 6075000 (24hrs)

Hertz Car Rental Tel: 0870 5996699 (24hrs)

Brize Self Drive Tel: 01993 867366

Transfers

Transfers to and from RAF Brize Norton, Oxford and Swindon Railway Stations and Heathrow Airport.

The following offer transfers to all passengers and have access to RAF Brize Norton for pick-ups and drop offs.

Charlie’s Taxis : 01993 845253 (also provides secure parking if no parking available in RAF Brize Norton - ring for details)

Excel Cars : 01993 775198

Advance bookings are recommended.