If you want to fly Space-A to the United Kingdom, Royal Air Force (RAF) Mildenhall is your best bet. The base is located about 80 miles northeast of London, making it an equally great starting point for a relaxing tour of the English countryside or a busy week exploring the sites of London.
RAF Mildenhall is also a convenient gateway to the rest of Europe. With three international airports and the Eurostar train within a few hours’ drive, RAF Mildenhall is the perfect place to start your European vacation.
Ready to plan your trip? Here’s what you need to know!
If you are new to Space-A flying, read this Quickstart Guide to Space-A Flights first to get a basic understanding of how the process works.
1. There are several bases in the continental United States (CONUS) with regular flights to RAF Mildenhall, including locations that do not have many Space-A flights to other overseas destinations.
The CONUS locations with the most frequent flights to RAF Mildenhall are Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (New Jersey), MacDill Air Force Base (Florida), and Fairchild Air Force Base (Washington). McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas also flies to RAF Mildenhall a few times per month, which is notable because there are not may Space-A flights to Europe originating in the Midwest.
Ramstein Air Base in Germany also has frequent flights to RAF Mildenhall and is relatively easy to reach by flying Space-A. If you can get to Ramstein, it should be easy to hop to the U.K. or find a cheap commercial flight.
2. Passenger terminal staff handle the immigration process at RAF Mildenhall; Space-A passengers do not interact directly with U.K. border control officials.
When you land at RAF Mildenhall, passenger terminal staff collect your passport details and send them to the local border control force. You must wait in the terminal (usually 30 to 45 minutes) until the border control office faxes your U.K. entry stamps. Keep the stamps in your passport for the duration of your travel.
Note: U.S. passport-holders can stay in the U.K. for up to 6 months without a visa. The U.K. is not part of the Schengen Area, where U.S. passport-holders can only stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
3. RAF Mildenhall has one lodging facility.
The Gateway Inn on RAF Mildenhall is a 5-minute walk from the passenger terminal. They have 68 Temporary Lodging Facility (TLF) units and accept Space-A reservations up to 3 days in advance.
RAF Lakenheath, another U.S. Air Force base about 5 miles from RAF Mildenhall, also has rooms at Liberty Lodge. However, as of May 2018 Liberty Lodge was not accepting Space-A reservations until further notice. They are demolishing one of their buildings and have fewer rooms than usual.
The RAF Mildenhall AMC Gram has a list of off-base hotels with contact information. Note that Bird in Hand, listed on the AMC Gram and often recommended in the Space-A forums on Facebook, no longer functions as a hotel (it is only a pub).
4. Two taxi services have base access to RAF Mildenhall: M&L and Phoenix.
M&L Taxi has an office on RAF Mildenhall. Their DSN is 238-2984. Commercial line is 1638-712261.
Phoenix’s phone number is 1638-533060.
5. Access to the Exchange and Commissary is restricted by the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the U.S. and the U.K.
If you are a retiree or active duty stationed outside of the U.K., you are not authorized to use the Exchange or Commissary.