Are you having trouble getting access to the discounts on DoD’s American Forces Travel site?
An additional 16 million veterans are now eligible to use the Defense Department’s discount travel site, under an expansion announced July 16 by DoD and Priceline, which operates the platform at no cost to DoD.
Those eligible can find discounts of 40 to 60 percent off popular hotels, flights, car rentals, travel packages and cruise brands, according to DoD and Priceline officials. There are more than 1 million hotel deals at more than 71,000 destinations around the world, for example.
All honorably discharged veterans are eligible to use the leisure travel site, which was launched in 2019 for active-duty, Reserve and Guard members, retired, and their family members, and certain others. This expansion increases the number of eligible people to about 22 million.
Some veterans have contacted Military Times to report they aren’t able to access the website, and don’t have options for further assistance.
Here’s what DoD and Priceline officials told Military Times in response to our questions.
If you’ve entered your correct information at this website https://www.americanforcestravel.com, and you’re not allowed access, here’s what you do.
Are you an honorably discharged veteran? Have you been successfully authenticated through Vet Verify — received an email confirming your approval and/or successfully created an online account at one of the military exchanges? Those online exchanges are Shopmyexchange.com; mynavyexchange.com; mymcx.com; and shopcgx.com. If you have been successfully verified through the online exchange, go to the American Forces Travel Facebook page: Facebook.com/AFTMWR and send a private message for assistance.
If you haven’t received an approval email from Vet Verify, or haven’t been able to successfully create an account at one of the military exchanges in the past, go to Vetverify.org and go through the authentication process at the site. While this verifies veterans for purposes of shopping at the online exchanges, it also will verify you for the purposes of the DoD discount travel site.
For active duty, Reserve and Guard members, civilians and disabled veterans:
Call the Defense Manpower Data Center at 800-727-3677, and ask to confirm your Social Security number, all characters of your last name, and date of birth. Ask to confirm that all your details have the MWR flag.
If the information you provide to DMDC matches what is on file, and you still can’t get authenticated, go to the American Forces Travel Facebook page: Facebook.com/AFTMWR and send a private message for assistance.
Customers — veterans and others —with more questions should contact customer service at 800-727-3677, officials said.
Be prepared to wait. This is the same phone number as the DMDC line. This reporter waited for 58 minutes on hold after calling at 4:09 p.m. Aug. 4.
The automated system asked callers not to leave any personal identifiable information on a message or request for callback. But there was never an opportunity given to leave a message or request a callback.
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.