West Point Parents Club of AlaskaWP Crest

Travel & Holidays

Flight Information

It is often easier for you to make the flight reservations than it is for the plebe, as they have precious little time for this sort of thing. Allow at least two hours for the cadet to get from West Point to Newark, LaGuardia or Kennedy and about one hour to Hudson Valley International Airport in Newark.  Buses from GMK Travel run between the airports and West Point and round trip or one-way tickets need to be purchased at West Point usually at Grant Hall. Sales schedules for the bus tickets will be posted for the cadets on-line.

Most cadets fly out of Newark instead of LaGuardia or Kennedy to avoid having to go through New York City and all of its traffic.  Flying out of LaGuardia may be significantly cheaper. Bottom line is to check costs from all airports. New York Hudson Valley International Airport (formerly Stewart) in Newburgh also offers fairly good connections to Anchorage airport; the flight rates are sometimes surprisingly lower than into a NYC airport but it is serviced by fewer airlines.

Should your cadet get to the airport early and was scheduled on a later flight, they usually can be wait-listed on the next flight out and may get on the earlier flight with no trouble.

Remind your cadet to always have his or her TAC Officer's phone number with them so they can call in the case of a delayed return.

frequent flyer membership for your candidate may also be worthwhile. Get a frequent flyer membership with the various airlines that they will likely use. Reservations at the time and day your son or daughter needs are not always available with the same airline all the time.

First time you see your cadet after R-Day

Expect to see a changed person - - weight loss may have occurred. Also if your cadet comes home, be ready to adjust. If they are coming home the first time you see them they may want to visit with friends, go out, or just sleep. Let your cadet set the gauge this time. This is their first break away from West Point and although you have a long list of questions, they may need quiet time. Also, be prepared for a "let down" feeling after seeing them off at the airport.

Labor Day

We live so far from the Academy that your cadet may not choose to take a pass for Labor Day to come home. They may take it and go home with a friend or they may save it till later in the year when you will be able to visit. In Alaska we have to be especially careful that our cadets get back to post on time when they come home. This will usually mean that they will lose nearly a full day of leave but the alternative – being late – is not an option so coming all the way home on short holidays may not be the best choice for our cadets. In the past, the Superintendent has granted this pass. Check with your cadet after the term begins or watch for the latest update in our August newsletter. These frequent changes in policy are another reason for joining the Alaska Parent’s Club and keeping in touch with the Academy through the various web sites that were listed earlier.
Your cadet may tell you very little about what is going on. They are so focused on life at the Academy that other details slip through the cracks. You will need to have other sources of information to be informed.


Cadets are released at the end of their duty (after last class) on Wednesday around noon and are due back at 7:00 PM on Sunday. This is the heaviest travel weekend of the year - get airline tickets in July for your cadet. Thanksgiving is a Superintendent's leave; he grants this leave and it is not a charged pass to the cadets. Check with your cadet before making final arrangements. Policies do change and your cadet MUST know the current policy. Transportation to airports is by bus. Cadets can purchase "round trip" bus tickets IN ADVANCE to travel to and from airports in the area of West Point. Cadets should buy these tickets early (a schedule will be posted). It is a good idea to schedule flights FROM West Point LATE in the day and BACK to West Point EARLY in the day.


Begins after last TEE (Term-End Exam) and/or duty

To plan for Christmas leave, ask your cadet for their final exam schedule and details regarding dismissal from duties and time for reporting back so flight arrangements can be made. Your cadet needs to call you as soon as this schedule is released, usually sometime in mid-October. Getting the exam schedule in enough time to get cheap airfare can be a problem. Historically, plebe exams are over on the day before the last exam day which is usually Thursday of exam week, but your cadet's situation may be different.

Remember to have your son bring full dress uniform, and your daughter, dress mess, home if you and they are planning to attend the All Academy Ball over the break. Do not be surprised if your cadet is reluctant to bring their uniform home. Many of them are just tired of wearing it and want to be a civilian for a short time. However, if you are planning on going to the Ball, their uniform is mandatory.

Good Christmas gifts include CD players, CD's and money. Stereos are usually allowed in rooms after Christmas. Excellent buys are available to cadets at the Cadet Store for these items.

The hardest farewell often comes when your plebe returns to West Point after the Christmas leave. The time spent at home was so much fun, and the freedom felt good. It is tough to go back to the regimentation and all the "gray", including the weather.


            Depending on their performance, cadets may take a 3-4 day pass over Presidents' weekend. Often ski trips in New England or other off post trips are planned. This will help to break up the Gloom Period.


Plebes are given time off along with all of the rest of the Corps for Spring Break. Make reservations in advance to get the best airfares and travel times. It will be a good time for you and your cadet to reflect on the experiences at West Point and relax a bit. Some cadets may even want to travel. Just be sure to have travel arrangements to have your cadet back by the necessary times.

Summer Leave - May

Your plebe will be given approximately 3 weeks off following graduation. They may choose to come home or you may choose to use this time for a family vacation. In either case, the plebe will know both exactly when they will be able to leave after graduation as well as when then must report back West Point for CFT.

| Site Map | Contact Us | ©2006 West Point Parents Club of Alaska