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USFreak May 7, 08 2:13 pm

Upgrading military personnel by F/A's
So I was reading a thread on another board and I just have a question:

Is it against policy for F/A's to upgrade military personnel in uniform once on board? This thread I was reading was implying that a US F/A was suspended for 12 days for moving 4 military personnel into the 4 remaining open seats in F. If this is true, that makes me absolutely sick and I hope that F/A fights it. I would also like to implore our fellow FT'ers with a companion upgrade to see that our returning soliders are treated to a seat upfront for the sacrifices they have given. I would also ask that our fellow FT'ers go the extra mile to give up his/her F seat in a sold out F section to an individual returning home from active duty. Whether it be 30 mins or 2 hours, I think those of us not in the military can tough it in cattle. If these guys can do it in a tank for 18 months, we wont wither away in coach!

Sorry for the rant but I just got angry reading if what happened to this F/A is indeed true......

Jumpgate May 7, 08 2:19 pm

This has happened on 3 separate occasions. Twice, the aircraft door closed, and the FA went back into coach and moved up someone in uniform. The third time I actually commented to an FA that there's an empty seat in F across the aisle from me, and that I noticed a woman in Army gear walk back into coach. The FA smiled and went and brought her up.

I think this is commendable. If the seat's going to go out empty, why not? What's the harm?

If an FA was really suspended for this I think that's terrible. Perhaps there's more to the story? Did the FA move the person up instead of a preferred flyer?

USFreak May 7, 08 2:27 pm

In my eyes, it shouldn't matter if he was moved up over a preferred flier.....if that is the case, i'd throw the jacka** off the sorry having 3 members of my family serving in Iraq at one point, this should be a no brainer.....give it to the military guy/gal

USPhilly May 7, 08 2:28 pm

I certainly hope there's more to this story that we're not hearing. If not, this is an absolute disgrace. Hopefully though, the more to the story is not a FF becoming upset that someone in the military was upgraded first.

As a side note I think I remember hearing somewhere that military members are not supposed to travel in uniform if it's avoidable to avoid preferential treatment. I also think I remember they're not supposed to ask F if flying in Y ets. Not 100% sure on these though.

jbh64 May 7, 08 2:38 pm

I've seen it happen a number of times this year and never heard anyone do anything other than thank the individual for their service. I can't imagine someone being suspended for this and it surely would have been headline material.

flight62 May 7, 08 4:22 pm

We crew members love our military men and women, however there are those unfortunates that insist on being jerks and turning f/a's in for such decisions. I for one spoil them and most are very kind and gracious. For the life of me I can't see why anyone would be so difficult about this.:confused:

GalleyWench May 7, 08 4:40 pm

I can't imagine they were suspended just for upgrading them, unless someone did complain. I will always upgrade servicemen and women if I have the seats. The only time I have had FF's complain was when someone already seated in FC gave up there seat for the person in uniform and took their seat in Y. And that has only happened a couple of times, most of the time people are happy to leave the situation alone. I will usually only upgrade them after the flight has been closed out and the door is closed, at that point everyone that should have been upgraded would have been.
Would love to hear the entire story on this one and BTW, upgrading servicemen and women is not against company procedure at all! :)

iztok May 7, 08 4:49 pm

Originally Posted by GalleyWench (Post 9691782)
The only time I have had FF's complain was when someone already seated in FC gave up there seat for the person in uniform and took their seat in Y.

I guess that complaining FF was mentally sick.

Nicksta May 7, 08 5:02 pm

Last year I was flying PHL - NAS and once the door was closed, the F/As spoke briefly with each other and went back and retrieved a young guy from coach to sit in F. Not sure if its policy, but it made my day seeing how excited the kid was to be sitting up front.

ArizonaGuy May 7, 08 5:04 pm

Ok, I'll play devil's advocate.

Does traveling in uniform automatically mean the person is en route to or from a combat zone? How does one know that it's not simply service man or woman traveling on official business? Say from DC to San Diego? Seattle to Los Angeles? Honolulu to the mainland? Okinawa to the US?

I'm not sure where I stand on the idea of giving members of the military a free upgrade. I can see both sides of the argument here. While I do lean heavily towards giving the upgrade to the military personnel (especially if it would otherwise go empty), I do acknowledge that serving in the allegedly all volunteer military (nevermind the policies that amount to a back door draft, a topic for OMNI) should not entitle a person to freebies over others who are entitled to such freebies following the established guidelines.

And so I'll probably get flamed for this.. I'll survive.

PhxITGeek May 7, 08 5:12 pm

Flaming is not necessary, I believe the post is clear and sad.

I have no relatives in the military nor do I know anyone in the military and frankly I do not care if they clean toilets. The seat goes to the solder.

iztok May 7, 08 5:15 pm

I agree with AZ guy. I have no problem when there is empty seat or if someone gives out their seat. As far as I am concerned I would give up my seat if knowing service man is returning from combat duty (or heading to it). But I wouldn't do that for desk clerk wearing uniform.

mbevery May 7, 08 5:29 pm

I have seen military personnel upgraded into empty seats on numerous occasions, it is the right thing to do.

I have never considered giving up my FC seat to a soldier BUT...

I did give up a coach seat so a stand-by soldier on leave could get on the flight. He was so excited to be going home I did think he would have cared if they put him in the John for the whole flight. BTW... Two other FF's did they same thing so two other soldiers could get home. The next flight was in 4 hours, those 4 hours meant a lot more to them than us.

USPhilly May 7, 08 5:43 pm

Originally Posted by iztok (Post 9691935)
I agree with AZ guy. I have no problem when there is empty seat or if someone gives out their seat. As far as I am concerned I would give up my seat if knowing service man is returning from combat duty (or heading to it). But I wouldn't do that for desk clerk wearing uniform.

I guess this varies based on war-time vs. peace-time but I would assume, given the current state of our military, almost everyone in the military at this point has either seen a tour in Iraq/Afghanastan or will very soon. IMO even a desk clerk who is going to or has spent time away from friends and family with limited contact deserves as much as we can give. Of course, YMMV (and no, I've never served)

ArizonaGuy May 7, 08 5:48 pm

In such situations, this is clearly a judgement call on the individual who gives up his or her seat for the military member. It seems morally right to do so if it's a soldier, sailor, airman or marine in a combat zone en route to or from.

And while in current times it's highly likely the military people we encounter are headed to or from such duty stations, it's not obvious. It could easily be personnel returning to duty at a domestic base. Maybe someone returning home from 6 weeks of Air Force basic training. Does this person deserve to be moved to first class - whether there's qualified elites around or not?

And then what about in times of peace when we are not as engaged in armed conflict around the world in such numbers? Is there a cutoff on grade and rank? Do E-7's or O-4's and above get the same treatment? Should an Admiral be moved up? (Do flag officers even fly in Y?)

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