Upgrading military personnel by F/A's

 
Old May 8, 08, 2:28 am
  #31  
 
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Hate to be a downer, but....

Seated next to a marine captain on a flight transcon, I saw him refuse the upgrade to F. I asked him about it, and it turns out that "Da Rules" state that service members are not supposed to accept an upgrade to F, and it is quite likely that it was the servicemembers who got in trouble, and not the FA.

It's a BS rule, and I only heard it from the one source, but, if it's true, it could lend some credence to the OP's story.

THAT SAID:
I know that I, for one, would never narc on a military person for accepting an upgrade, and think that anyone who would needs to go ahead across the border, never to return. These men and women put their lives on the line to preserve our right to be jerks; people who disrespect that enough to begrudge them one of the few perqs of being military don't deserve to be here as citizen or tourist, IMHO.
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Old May 8, 08, 9:57 am
  #32  
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Originally Posted by iztok View Post
I thought one has to be on the same itinerary for upgrade?
I've never had a problem at the gate. I'm sure you need to be on the same itin for advance upgrades.

Originally Posted by flight62 View Post
It is the responsibility of the agents to place FF's in FC. They know who is on the list and should always call up any FF up who is seated in coach by the time the door closes. If after the door closes there is a seat, that tells me that no other FF's are on the list. That is the time that those generous f/a's upgrade our military men and women.
In posts above, "Hopefully though, the more to the story is not a FF becoming upset that someone in the military was upgraded first" and "In my eyes, it shouldn't matter if he was moved up over a preferred flier." - that is what I was referring to.

If the FF list is cleared and seats are open then yes, it's a non-issue and I fully agree with you, GW, and others on priorities.
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Old May 8, 08, 10:02 am
  #33  
 
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Gotcha~


Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
I've never had a problem at the gate. I'm sure you need to be on the same itin for advance upgrades.



In posts above, "Hopefully though, the more to the story is not a FF becoming upset that someone in the military was upgraded first" and "In my eyes, it shouldn't matter if he was moved up over a preferred flier." - that is what I was referring to.

If the FF list is cleared and seats are open then yes, it's a non-issue and I fully agree with you, GW, and others on priorities.
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Old May 8, 08, 2:18 pm
  #34  
 
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Personally I think it's a nice thing to do and I certainly appreciate it. But I don't think it should be done over someone who has status and has a right to the upgrade.

The big problem for me is - I can't take advantage of the free alcohol when in uniform.

Here's what the Joint Travel Regulation says...

10. UPGRADES ON OFFICIAL TRAVEL.

1. An employee may accept an upgrade to first class (or business class) on official travel in any of the following circumstances.

1. It is an on-the-spot upgrade that is generally available to the public (or at least to all Federal employees or all military members). Examples include an upgrade to a first class airline seat to remedy overcrowding in coach class, and an upgrade to a larger rental car due to a shortage of smaller cars or for customer relations purposes. JER para. 4-202a(1).

2. The upgrade results from a promotional offer that is realistically available to the general public (or to all Federal employees or all military members). For example: an upgrade to first class that is offered to anyone who opens a frequent flyer account. JER para. 4-202a(2). This includes vouchers or upgrade stickers which are sometimes provided through the Government contract travel office.

3. The upgrade is offered to anyone who accumulates enough frequent flyer miles to belong to a club or group (such as the Gold Card Club), even if some or all of the miles are from official travel. JER para. 4-202b. For example, an employee who flies 50,000 miles or more in a year on an airline can be a member of the airline’s Gold Card Club. If the airline gives all of its Gold Card Club members a free upgrade to first class and the employee earns a membership in the Club as a result of 50,000 miles of official travel, the employee may keep the first class upgrade. The upgrade is the property of the employee, who can do with it whatever he or she wants (e.g., use it for official travel, use it for personal travel, give it to his or her spouse, sell it, or donate it to charity).

2. However, no upgrade may be accepted if it is provided on the basis of the employee’s grade or position. JER para. 4-202a(1).
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Old May 8, 08, 2:51 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by ackpfft View Post
...2. However, no upgrade may be accepted if it is provided on the basis of the employee’s grade or position. JER para. 4-202a(1).
First, I am fully in support of upgrading "deserving individuals" to F if all qualified FFers have already been upgraded or refused the upgrade.

That said, the above quote might indicate that upgrades of military personnel solely on the basis of being military personnel in-uniform would be a violation of the US Government travel policies. Clearly, the upgrades are being given precisely because of the employee's position.
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Old May 8, 08, 4:10 pm
  #36  
 
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As someone who's often seated in FC, can I just go up to someone in uniform before boarding and say, "hey, can I interest you in swapping seats?" and show the person my FC ticket?

I don't want to insult the person (by assuming s/he is in coach) and don't want to get the person in trouble, but having lived in NYC on 9/11, I'm very grateful for our military!
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Old May 8, 08, 4:49 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by NYCommuter View Post
As someone who's often seated in FC, can I just go up to someone in uniform before boarding and say, "hey, can I interest you in swapping seats?" and show the person my FC ticket?
Yes, although explain it a little more so they won't be confused. (Some of them have never been in first before, and are a little nervous about it.)
I've done it a few times, and I usually walk up to the person before boarding and let them know that I appreciate their service to our country, and as a way of thanking them personally, I would like to give them my seat in first class, and take their seat in coach. Some are a little confused on how this would happen, since they have a ticket that says 23B, so I just explain that we switch boarding passes, and let them know that the FA's are OK with it. (Some think that they might get kicked out of F if they don't belong there.)

Then I mention the switch as I pass the FA for First, and they've always been pleased that I did it.
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Old May 8, 08, 4:56 pm
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by SANDIEGO View Post
Then I mention the switch as I pass the FA for First, and they've always been pleased that I did it.
I'm telling ya, you will make the day of almost every F/A if you tell them you are doing this. No matter what our views on the war are or what out political affiliation, we F/A's LOVE our military men and women!
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Old May 8, 08, 5:41 pm
  #39  
 
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I have to say, I am very pleasantly surprised by all of the positive posts here. Except for a very small minority, most of the posts agree with the idea of supporting the troops with upgrades. I say this because I personally have gotten into it several times in the past with some of the more "berkleyish" members of FT that would rather scold members of the military than show them any appreciation.

That said, I'd like to add that if you see a Marine flying in a tan digital camouflage uniform, they are most likely returning to or from a combat zone. Marines are not normally allowed to wear these uniforms in public except in a circumstance like that. I don't think the Army or other services follow this same rule, although that certainly doesn't mean they are not returning from combat.
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Old May 8, 08, 8:32 pm
  #40  
 
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I can chime in here...a little. I never really thought of going out of my way to u/g servicemen (women). This was until about 2 1/2 years ago. I was flying MSP-PHL. (NW) Guy behind me called the F/A and requested to give up his seat to a uniformed serviceman. The elite was gathering his stuff, as the serviceman came forward and thanked the guy over and over.

Overheard the serviceman say to the guy sitting next to him that he had a MIDDLE seat in the rear of the plane. That was about all.

Upon landing at PHL, it was requested via announcement that we all wait in our seats until the serviceman could deplane. I was right behind him, and when I turned the corner to the jetbridge, I saw the request. A herse was waiting at the bottom of the stairs, and they were off-loading a casket with full honor colors. I waited at the end of the jetbridge for an associate, and would say a good 1/2 of the people off the plane were shedding tears. The ceremony that took place was watched by most of the people on the plane from the window.

That evening, I picked up the stack of newspapers on my porch, and read in it how a person close to my town had been killed in Iraq, and he was to be laid to rest later the next day. Not sure if that was him, but it was touching!

From that point on...ANY time I see a uniformed servicemember, I ALWAYS give my F seat up. (usually purchased F) Traveling through ATL alot, I have seen MANY young, brave souls just returning, or heading overseas!
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Old May 8, 08, 9:15 pm
  #41  
 
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Great story! I had a similar story on a flight where the officer was escorting a young man on his way back to IND! It was heart wrenching, but it made me proud to see the high level of respect everyone had for our men and women in the military.




Originally Posted by PhillyPhlyer40 View Post
I can chime in here...a little. I never really thought of going out of my way to u/g servicemen (women). This was until about 2 1/2 years ago. I was flying MSP-PHL. (NW) Guy behind me called the F/A and requested to give up his seat to a uniformed serviceman. The elite was gathering his stuff, as the serviceman came forward and thanked the guy over and over.

Overheard the serviceman say to the guy sitting next to him that he had a MIDDLE seat in the rear of the plane. That was about all.

Upon landing at PHL, it was requested via announcement that we all wait in our seats until the serviceman could deplane. I was right behind him, and when I turned the corner to the jetbridge, I saw the request. A herse was waiting at the bottom of the stairs, and they were off-loading a casket with full honor colors. I waited at the end of the jetbridge for an associate, and would say a good 1/2 of the people off the plane were shedding tears. The ceremony that took place was watched by most of the people on the plane from the window.

That evening, I picked up the stack of newspapers on my porch, and read in it how a person close to my town had been killed in Iraq, and he was to be laid to rest later the next day. Not sure if that was him, but it was touching!

From that point on...ANY time I see a uniformed servicemember, I ALWAYS give my F seat up. (usually purchased F) Traveling through ATL alot, I have seen MANY young, brave souls just returning, or heading overseas!
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Old May 9, 08, 3:02 am
  #42  
 
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Great Thread

For the record, no one in the military flies in paid first. Upgrades at our expense are fine, but not in uniform. Services differ in policy as to traveling in uniform (Army always, Navy only if necessary). Most of us flying are not going anywhere near harm's way, at least not today.... but the few that are deserve every perk you can throw them. 6-15 months in that sandbox is a bear.

What always means the most to me is the simple thanks people offer as they pass in the airport, aisle or RCC.
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Old May 9, 08, 9:58 am
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by PhillyPhlyer40 View Post
Upon landing at PHL, it was requested via announcement that we all wait in our seats until the serviceman could deplane. I was right behind him, and when I turned the corner to the jetbridge, I saw the request. A herse was waiting at the bottom of the stairs, and they were off-loading a casket with full honor colors. I waited at the end of the jetbridge for an associate, and would say a good 1/2 of the people off the plane were shedding tears. The ceremony that took place was watched by most of the people on the plane from the window.
This no longer happens. I just read an article in Esquire, that mentioned a law has been passed that forbids airlines from transporting military caskets. The caskets have to be transported by military planes or contracted private planes.

http://www.esquire.com/features/thin...-carried-him-5

"After lodging a complaint with the Army and receiving help from California senator Barbara Boxer, the Holleys saw their son met by an honor guard instead. Still angry, they began a campaign to change the way all military dead would be delivered. California representative Duncan Hunter, then chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote legislation that eventually became known as the Holley Provision to the 2007 Defense Authorization Act. It directed that the bodies of fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines would no longer be booked passage on US Airways, Delta, Northwest, or Continental but would be flown on military or military-contracted flights and met by honor guards."
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Old May 9, 08, 3:59 pm
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by Lufthomie View Post
What if...
What if the the meal served for the upgraded service member was his last "good" meal? I served in the USMC and found the food to be not "top chef" caliber. Does anyone remember ham and Muthaf#%ers?

I dont mind.
Nobody ever ate the ham & Mutha's. The Vietnamese kids even refused to take them.
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Old May 9, 08, 4:14 pm
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by srodr View Post
I have to say, I am very pleasantly surprised by all of the positive posts here. Except for a very small minority, most of the posts agree with the idea of supporting the troops with upgrades. I say this because I personally have gotten into it several times in the past with some of the more "berkleyish" members of FT that would rather scold members of the military than show them any appreciation.

That said, I'd like to add that if you see a Marine flying in a tan digital camouflage uniform, they are most likely returning to or from a combat zone. Marines are not normally allowed to wear these uniforms in public except in a circumstance like that. I don't think the Army or other services follow this same rule, although that certainly doesn't mean they are not returning from combat.
I can just about guarantee that if you see a Marine traveling, regardless of uniform, he is either traveling to or coming home from a combat zone or has recently been in or will shortly be in a combat zone.
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