Thanksgiving 2017

Hello!!

Does anyone know when leave begins for Thanksgiving weekend?

Does it start in Wed. Nov 22nd at 0700 because I also heard that bases on Midshipmen's academic schedule they possibly may be released on the days prior possibly as early as the 18th.

DH and I are trying to schedule flights for holiday get together.

Thanks for any help!
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
A current Mid can correct me... Thanksgiving is usually an early release on Wed. They have traditionally done a compressed schedule and finis up around 12-1 PM that day. Will defer to a current Mid to make a recommendation on when to make a flight no earlier than. They have to be back Sunday. Will leave it to a Mid to confirm the current rules for flights to land no later than (I believe USNA has some rules around this). I do not believe Plebes are eligible for Operations Information which would allow a Plebe early release for Thanksgiving.

The only way to 100% confirm times is to wait for the academic schedule for next year to be released. If you can book Southwest highly recommend as it allows free changes so if 1 of the million scenarios that could impact things come up, the impact is smaller.
 

BDHuff09

5-Year Member
Hello!!

Does anyone know when leave begins for Thanksgiving weekend?

Does it start in Wed. Nov 22nd at 0700 because I also heard that bases on Midshipmen's academic schedule they possibly may be released on the days prior possibly as early as the 18th.

DH and I are trying to schedule flights for holiday get together.

Thanks for any help!
Leave begins at the conclusion of your last military obligation (LMO) on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (in this case Nov. 22). They usually say "no earlier than" (NET) 0700 so that if you didn't have class that day you couldn't leave on Tuesday. However, as a plebe there is a 100% chance that you will have at least some classes on Wednesday.
The day before Thanksgiving is an early schedule day so that means classes start at 0655 and go uninterrupted until the end of 6th period at 1245. So, if your plebe had a 6th period class, he would have to wait until 1245 to leave USNA, but if his last class of the day was 4th period, he or she would be good to go at 1045.

A word to the wise: USNA is a zoo on early release days because everybody is trying to leave at once. If your plebe can't leave tilll 1245 then I'd hold of on scheduling a flight before 1500 or maybe 1600 so be safe.

On the back end, everybody's supposed to be back on Sunday at 2000. I think there might be a rule about your flight is supposed to land at least two hours before EOL, but as long as you're back on time I don't think anybody stresses out too much. People are pretty understanding of flight delays. Generally leave about 30-45 mins depending on the time of day to get from USNA to BWI and much longer to Reagan.

As NavyHoops said, If you are on OPINFO where you go around and sell the Academy at local high schools in your area, then you could be home as early as the friday before Thanksgiving. However, there is 0% chance that this will be given to a plebe, for several reasons.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
All still true as of last year. They usually get all class periods done by midday, by starting early. Given long lines and security at BWI, and travel time to IAD or DCA on day before Thanksgiving, err on the side of caution.

And - dependent on when leave expires on Sunday, flights must be scheduled to land x hours before leave ends, to allow for delays. I have seen that vary from 6 to midnight on Sunday. I think the "land by" time is 4 hours - the policy will be published, but it's way early. Your plebe will be responsible for knowing.

There will a new Commandant.

As always, just because something happened one way last year, does not mean it will be the same this year.
 

ktnatalk

Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.
Given long lines and security at BWI, and travel time to IAD or DCA on day before Thanksgiving, err on the side of caution.
Can't stress this enough. Try not to stress your Mids and their sponsors on those busiest travel days!

Also, have them enter their DoDID number from the back of their ID card as the Known Traveler Number into the frequent flyer programs of the airlines they fly with. It may give them that "TSA Precheck" logo on their boarding passes which could save an hour or more on certain travel days. It's free for them!
 

Dadof2

Member
I would just caution the OP that it is going to be tough to plan too far ahead. Plebe year was fairly predictable for us in terms of time off and ability to make travel plans, but after that Mids can get pretty involved in various things (sports, ECA's, military training, etc.) that can change plans. Since Plebe year for our DD it's been almost impossible to predict and plan for trips home. Missed weddings, holidays, family trips and the like are, unfortunately, part of the deal they have signed up for.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
One of the "best practices" along the way, it seems, is to transition your mid or cadet to making their own travel plans, developing skills in planning ahead, looking for the best deals through comparative analysis, allowing for contingencies, understanding how to budget for travel - all necessary adult and especially military world traveler skills.

There are a couple of things that get ingrained in Navy/military folk, emphasized from the get-go and deepened over the years:
- fear of losing CAC card, or not having it on your person, more and more professionally embarrassing as time goes on
- Missing Ship's Movement, the actual and punishable act of not being where you are supposed to be when your unit goes somewhere, or in general, being late or not in the right place.
- not being in the right uniform

The seeds are sown early, and the roots only get bigger with time. These are great motivators for mids and cadets to step up and plan their own travel when they are ready to take responsibility.
 
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THS

5-Year Member
DS has not been home to celebrate Thanksgiving the last 2 years - the airfare cost is too high for really just 3 days and the potential for delays not worth the stress. He has been welcomed into the homes of mid buddies that live close to USNA for the Thanksgiving break and spent most of the time sleeping and playing video games - so a trip home probably would not have been worth the $ or stress. He has already forewarned us he may not come home for Christmas break this year (gulp, tears) and while we will miss his company, we've encouraged him to take advantage of opportunities to travel and have fun.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
I think there might be a rule about your flight is supposed to land at least two hours before EOL, but as long as you're back on time I don't think anybody stresses out too much. People are pretty understanding of flight delays. Generally leave about 30-45 mins depending on the time of day to get from USNA to BWI and much longer to Reagan.
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Don't count on that .... leave plenty of time to get back. (I was an hour late coming back Thanksgiving of Plebe Year; saved only by the fact that I had left at midnight Saturday for what should have been an 7 hour drive, and was traveling with a First Class and several upperclass. We broke down in NYC in the middle of the night, and by the time we arranged a rescue, traffic on the East Coast was horrible. I didn't get fried, but you can bet I was stressed !)
 
And I know it has been mentioned on here before, but Southwest has been our best bet for travel plans for DS simply because of the option of making changes. I scheduled his Thanksgiving and winter break flights fairly early but then changed them somewhat multiple times as either he knew his schedule better or I found a better price (I think the December flights actually fell at least $150). The flights out on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving were expensive-he ended up flying out a few hours later than he could have but it saved us several hundred dollars.
And now that his plebe year is nearing a close, he is making his own travel arrangements which I agree is a good practice to get into. Trying to figure out the travel plans for blocks when he doesn't know for sure where he will be was too much for the control freak in me :)
 

Brawny77

Member
My plebe really wanted the three days at home. I paid way more for that flight than any other before or since. But we really had a nice thanksgiving. He got out a bit past noon and I put him on a 5:30 flight. His sponsor family took him to the airport.
 
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NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
As someone who stood 15 days restriction for being late due to a late flight... I can attest to the rules! Hahaha. It's a good laugh now.

As a basketball player and then off to active duty I did not make it home for Thanksgiving for 10 straight years. We always traveled for a tournament somewhere and then 'earned our dinner' generally miserable practice and then I was stationed so far away it wasn't worth. Usually volunteered for duty the day before it so I could have a solid 10 days at xmas if not deployed. Welcome to the military!
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
One other option. If your mid doesn't have time to get home for a meaningful amount of time, consider flying to Annapolis/DC and spending a few days with your mid there. I realize this might not be financial viable for many, but YOU can book well in advance and travel on days other than Wed/Sun, so you might be able to get cheap(er) tickets. And hotels outside of DTA/downtown DC can be affordable/good deals.

And, remember, even if you don't get to see your mid at T-giving, winter break is only a few weeks later and you'll have plenty of time then.
 

BDHuff09

5-Year Member
Don't count on that .... leave plenty of time to get back. (I was an hour late coming back Thanksgiving of Plebe Year; saved only by the fact that I had left at midnight Saturday for what should have been an 7 hour drive, and was traveling with a First Class and several upperclass. We broke down in NYC in the middle of the night, and by the time we arranged a rescue, traffic on the East Coast was horrible. I didn't get fried, but you can bet I was stressed !)
You're right, it's always best to air on the side of caution. I only said that because it's been my experience that they have not fried people for showing up late (due to traffic/delayed flights) while I have been at the Academy. This may very well just be in my company/battalion.

Speaking to those who may not be able to get their midshipmen home for Thanksgiving, The Academy always gets offers from local families (not necessarily sponsors) who volunteer to host a midshipman for Thanksgiving day so that they may enjoy a home cooked meal off the yard.
 
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