There is indeed a difference between policies and doing what is right. And there are those who just don’t understand the difference.
On a flight from Portland, Oregon to Charlotte, North Carolina First Sergeant Albert Marle asked a flight attendant if he could hang up his uniform jacket to keep it from getting wrinkled. What followed has outraged many and led to a growing chorus of people calling for U.S. Airways to issue at minimum an apology to this decorated soldier.
The flight attendant flat-out refused his request, said the service was available only to first class passengers, and according to passengers she even yelled at the decorated Army Ranger as well as other outraged passengers who objected or tried to switch seats with Sgt. Marle so that he could simply hang up his jacket.
“When he asked if he could hang his coat up to keep from getting wrinkled, he had a chest full of medals- many deployments. All she had to say was, ‘Yes,’” said Cliff Autrey, who was on the flight from Portland, Oregon, and who says he is considering switching to a frequent flyer club of another airline after the incident.
In the end, a first class passenger took the Ranger’s jacket and hung it up behind his seat with his own clothing despite the protestations and yelling of the Flight Attendant. It’s nice to know that if U.S. Airways is not willing to show our professional warriors the respect they deserve there are still those in society who will stand up and do so. A big thank you to those who stood up for him and we thank and appreciate First Sgt. Marle for his service to our country even if U.S. Airways doesn’t.
This flight attendant showed an incredible lack of professionalism and turned what could have been an easy and positive gesture of goodwill and respect into one that will undoubtedly cost her employer business and reputation as the story of this incident spreads. Members of the military deserve our respect and perhaps stories like this help us to remember that and keep it in the forefront of our minds.