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

 

The pilgrimage scheme has the objective of getting as many individual medal holders and some close dependents back to the Falkland Islands as transport and accommodation will allow. There is no practical solution for visits to South Georgia or the South Sandwich Islands.

The scheme runs on the basis that the MoD is keen to use up spare capacity in their flights to the Falkland Islands on a concessionary fare basis. Clearly, highest priority for the use of these flights are for essential purposes of MoD business and the security of the islands. You may be aware that at times the aircraft flies with empty seats and for a very good reason. Where additional cargos are required, the all-up weight of the aircraft is controlled by carrying fewer passengers. Further, the aircraft must carry sufficient fuel to reach a reliable diversion airfield should the Mount Pleasant facility become unusable. This means that the management of the flights is complex and prone to last minute adjustments.

 

 It is important that the process of application, selection, and travel, is used to best effect, giving remedial and therapeutic priorities. These cases need a helping hand to achieve a visit that may be judged to help those who suffer from PTSD or stress. Such applicants often require extra encouragement with their application, strengthening in their resolve to face their demons and the easing of the pathway towards achieving their visit.

It is also important to share out the opportunity to visit the islands for the purpose of remembrance. Regular repeat visits are discouraged except by group leaders who offer a well-planned, well managed programme of experiences to match the requirements of their group members. SAMA 82 will be looking for evidence of such planning and reports on the success or otherwise of the group system. So far, the number of willing pilgrims always exceeds the available flights, and many have experienced last minute disappointment.

There are also limits to the available accommodation and it is important to keep Liberty Lodge as well-used as possible. In the light of all of this, please give a thought for those who have never visited before, and those whose mental plight may be eased by such a major step as visiting the islands.

 

 You must have full worldwide travel, medical and repatriation insurance which also covers you for emergency medical treatment in another country, ie Chile, that cannot be obtained in the FI and it also covers all pre-existing medical conditions you may have.  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. It is the individual’s responsibility to ensure that the correct travel/medical insurance is in place

 

You cannot apply for a SAMA 82 concessionary flight more than 6 months prior to departure date.

Your passport MUST BE VALID FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS AFTER YOUR PLANNED RETURN DATE. If it does not meet this criteria you must renew your passport before applying for a flight. 

You will receive an automatic acknowledgement on submission of the online application.

Please note that your flight confirmation may only be issued 1 week prior to your flight date. This will be sent out by email in the form of a Passenger Information Itinerary and will confirm the flight and act as your ticket.  

 

If you wish to travel with a member of your family/partner, you will need to book their full fare paying seat via the Falkland Island Government Office (FIGO) in London.   It would also be prudent to mention that they are flying with a Veteran who has applied for a Concessionary Flight. 

For ease, the FIGO’s details are as follows: Email: travel@falklands.gov.fk, Tel No: 020 7222 2542.  Please note, you are not able to apply for a flight via the FIGO until 6 months prior to the departure date.

 Your journey will be split into two legs.  The first is from RAF Brize Norton to Ascension Island. Following a stop to refuel and drop off or collect more passengers (approx 2hrs) you will travel to reach the Falklands.

Departure location Check in day and time Departure day and time Arrive location Arrival day and time (local time)
Brize Norton
Sunday evening
Monday 0110hrs
Mount Pleasant
Monday 1600hrs

Flight times given are approximate. Accurate flight times will be on the flight ticket and displaying on Brize Norton passenger information.

  • Southbound – Brize Norton to Stanley
  • Departure  (UK time) 0110 Monday (check in Sunday) –             Arrival  1600 Monday (FI time)
  • Departure  (UK time) 0110 Thursday (check in Wednesday) –    Arrival  1600 Thursday (FI time)
  • Northbound – Stanley to Brize Norton
  • Departure  (FI time) 1040 Tuesday  –     Arrival  0900 Wednesday (UK time)
  • Departure  (FI time) 1040 Friday –           Arrival 0900 Saturday (UK time)

IMPORTANT – You must access the departure check in times on Brize Norton passenger page and contact Brize Norton Passenger Information Line 01993 895337, to check for any flight changes prior to making your way to Brize Norton, as SAMA 82 are not informed of any delays or cancellations. https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/stations/raf-brize-norton/passenger-information/

Cost of a concessionary flight is £268.

This is payable at Brize Norton via card payment on check in.   

Baggage allowance – Concessionary Passengers are entitled to 20kgs of hold luggage and 9kgs hand baggage (this is less than the baggage allowance of full paying passengers). 

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.

The MoD cannot accept excess baggage at check-in, all passengers MUST request excess baggage with SAMA 82 prior to your departure date. This request will need to be approved by the MoD before departure, so please put your request in with enough time for the MoD to respond to avoid disappointment. 

Carriage of food and plant stuff into the FI – There are strict importation rules for food stuff and plant material into the Falkland Islands.  SAMA 82 will provide a list of prohibited items on flight confirmation.

If you are disabled or have difficulty walking and require a wheelchair, please indicate this on the SAMA 82 concessionary flight application form AND please ask for assistance at the Information Desk or Check-In Desk 1.  

Parking information will be forwarded from the SAMA82 office around one month prior to travel. 

The nearest railway stations to RAF Brize Norton are Oxford and Swindon.

Visit https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/   

Your passport MUST BE VALID FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS AFTER YOUR PLANNED RETURN DATE. If it does not meet this criteria you must renew your passport before applying for a flight.  

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.

The flight is operated by the RAF but just like a civilian long haul flight. 

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. RAF Brize Norton is a smoke and vape free station. 

All applications for flights to the FI must have a ‘Confirmed Accommodation Address’ before submitting the Flight Application to the SAMA (82) Office. The hosts name, contact telephone number and email address must be entered on section 3 of the Application Form. 

Applicants can stay at accommodation of their choice and are responsible for booking their own accommodation. The Sponsor will not make these arrangements on your behalf. 

For information and to book accommodation at Liberty Lodge please visit https://libertylodgefi.com/

For details of Accommodation other than Liberty Lodge please visit https://www.falklandislands.com/accommodation

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

A bus service exists to meet all flights. 

This service is available at a cost of £10 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 Tour and Travel [FITT] to request a transfer back to MPA.  Tele No: (00 500) 21775

You should complete an immigration form 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. 

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

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.

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. 

Mobile Phone access 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. 

For all enquiries and further information contact the SAMA 82 office directly.

  • SAMA (82) email address for all enquiries: conflight@sama82.org.uk
  • SAMA (82) Office: 01495 741592 Open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 10am to 1pm
  • SAMA (82) Sponsor: (Emergencies Only 07568 132979)

YOU CAN ONLY APPLY FOR A CONCESSIONARY FLIGHT BETWEEN 1 AND 6 MONTHS BEFORE DEPARTURE.

Your passport MUST BE VALID FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS AFTER YOUR PLANNED RETURN DATE. If it does not meet this criteria you must renew your passport before applying for a flight. 

Please ensure that you have read the Concessionary Flight Eligibility and Requirements section prior to completing and application.