Flying First Class

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by John41057, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. John41057

    John41057 Member

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    Hi
    I have a question, are cadets in uniform permitted to fly first class? I have lots of credit card miles and wish to treat my DS for the holiday. He mentioned he was told that military in uniform are not allowed to be in first class. Does anyone know if this is true?
    Regards
    John
     
  2. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    In the Air Force it is not permitted to fly first class in uniform.
     
  3. Proud mom 2016

    Proud mom 2016 Member

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    5. Air Force personnel may not wear their military uniforms when using frequent flyer miles
    to upgrade to business or first class. Thus, even when an upgrade to business or first class
    accommodations is legitimate, military personnel should avoid wearing the uniform to
    avoid the public perception of the misuse of government travel resources, which generates
    unnecessary complaints.

    From AFI that I found here
     
  4. aseanag

    aseanag Eagle2013

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    Is this a new rule? USAFA cadets have been upgraded to first class by the airlines for years.
     
  5. ParkMom

    ParkMom Member

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    Thanks Proud mom 2016 and LFry94, but of course, the answer to one question leads to another. My DS was bumped to first class almost every trip he took while a Doolie and required to fly in uniform. In fact, it made my heart swell how well he was treated while flying. How should that be (been) handled?
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The way he should handle any favor or gift he can't accept, "appreciate the offer but I can't accept.". It's all about perception... Which is a very powerful thing.
     
  7. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Dumber than dirt policy made by some overly risk adverse staff weenies, if you ask me.

    Exactly how many escort officers are updated to first class? Usually ALL OF THEM. You think the public minds a guy in full dress uniform is sitting in 1st Class because of that? You think most of the public minds if the airline wants to show a little patriotism and upgrade a young cadet traveling on ther plane that day? And make no mistake, the public isn't that stupid to see some 18-20 year old kid in uniform and think 'Well, there is another senior military guy wasting my tax payer dollars living the high life in 1st Class!" (Besides, almost all senior military leaders are smart enough to travel in civvies on a commercial carrier; I've yet to travel with ONE who wore his / her uniform on a commercial flight). And if there is someone in the public that is that stupid and decides to complain, a standard response by those taking the complaint should be:"Well, we'll gladly note that you take exception if a airline wants to show a little appreciation to these young men and women for their service to our country." Instead, there is wringing of hands over "perception".


    Like I said, a dumb policy all in the name of risk aversion.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Actually.... I think some in the public might have an issue with it. Heck, I know some in uniform who have an issue with it. I went to the wedding of a Navy lieutenant (USNR). He was upgraded to first class. And wouldn't you know, some active duty members weren't exactly impressed that a reservist was upgraded (it was assumed he was in uniform... but I don't really know).

    I think the only time I flew in uniform was as a cadet, and that was generally on Southwest Airlines (where we're ALL first class!). It was much easier to ditch the shirt-stays and fly in civies (which also allowed me to relax... although in Baltimore I recently saw a very sloppy recent USNA grad sprawled out in uniform in the nice comfy chairs, fast asleep.... now THAT screemed professionalism).

    Whether we like it or not, the military and its members are judged. If they're in uniform, it's already a free flight, but it's safe to say that there are probably individuals (maybe someone flying on their furlough day) that don't appreciate hearing about the federal government's spending issues while also watching someone fly first class (it's also safe to assume they don't immediately assume someone was given an upgrade.)

    This is what goes with defending the public's trust. You get a free flight, but that means you don't also get a free flight in a super fun first class, or a reservation at the huge honeymoon suite! :biggrin:
     
  9. mjm

    mjm Member

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    Many, Many moons ago when I was a flight attendant for Delta Airlines ( which employs a high percentage of former military pilots) we would always move men and women in uniform to first class if there was plenty of space available. The pilots would always come out and talk to them and no one on the plane gave them a difficult time . I guess things have changed a lot since then !!
     
  10. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    Just a question, how could they differentiate between him being a reservist or on active duty? I don't remember anything in the Marine Corps that made that distinction, then again, it was a long time ago.
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    You might follow that up with, what is ANYONE doing traveling in uniform for a wedding, but even more so, what is a reservist doing traveling in uniform when he's not drilling, and is only going to a private event.

    Of course, I have no idea if he was traveling in uniform... maybe they asked "do we have any service members traveling with us today" or maybe his ID card (does the ID have active v. reserves? I would think so, but I can't remember).
     
  12. aseanag

    aseanag Eagle2013

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    All USAFA C4C travel in uniform.
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    The truth is; it is a stupid rule about upgrading to 1st class if you're in uniform. It's also stupid that so much of the public have such "STUPID" perceptions.

    As for the original poster; the answer is simple. Let your C4C, whose traveling in uniform, fly with the rest of the commoners in coach. Then next year, when he doesn't have to wear his uniform when traveling, use your miles to let him fly 1st class later.

    But if it was me; depending on the rules of the miles; instead of upgrading to 1st class, I'd use that for additional trips. Either him coming home or y'all going out to see him. Multiple visits always outweights less visits in 1st class.
     
  14. Wishful

    Wishful Parent

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    Providing a positive image?

    I firmly believe that the sight of a serviceman or woman in uniform seated in-between the cockpit and the rest of the passengers would provide a calming effect on civilians and be a deterrent to the bad-guys. Here in NYC, we are reminded that terrorists are always testing, watching, making dry runs, etc. "We have to be right every day, they have to only once" is the mantra. People should just line up and thank the uniformed member for their service.
     
  15. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Right, so do 4/c cadets at USCGA... I was responding to the comment about the Navy reserve LT.
     
  16. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    NYC used to give uniform service members free rides on the subway. That ended about 7 years ago. Amrtrak would refuse to take my ticket, saying "save that for another trip... it's good for a year."
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    The terrorists aren't stupid. I don't think a military person in uniform is any deterrent at all on an airplane. The terrorist know that except for possibly an "Air Marshall", no one on that flight has a gun. And I really doubt that they are intimidated by the traditional 18 year old cadet in a uniform. Even if they didn't know what a cadet was, they know what an 18 year old is.

    The whole issue could be resolved if the airlines simply had a notice/sign at their ticket counter or at the gate that said:

    "If seating is available, United Airlines (Insert airline) will upgrade military members to 1st class seating at no additional charge. This is a token of United Airline's appreciation to the men and women who serve our country".

    Something like that would disspell all perceptions the ignorant may have about the government wasting money on first class flights.
     
  18. Wishful

    Wishful Parent

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    I agree
     
  19. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Oh...that explains it.
     
  20. ParkMom

    ParkMom Member

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    I think everyone is on board with the simple 'thank you' that the airlines offer when bumping a uniformed service member up to first class. The same goes for the 'early' boarding, free checked bags and other perks that usually involve a charge.

    My question, in regards to the AFI proudmom 2016 found, are (were) our C4C's in the wrong accepting the free upgrade?
     

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