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Thread: Virgin allowing priority boarding for veterans

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    Member formerly known as : Lplates Glenda's Avatar
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    Virgin allowing priority boarding for veterans

    Now I'm all in favour of honouring our vets and making sure they get the support they need but I'm not sure about this latest Virgin plan to give them priority boarding and apparently even salute them when boarding.

    When flying I would much prefer to be one of the last to board and one of the first to get off.
    Glenda


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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    Boarding first gives you first crack at the overhead luggage. And you will just get off depending on row number. I have been on planes where the captain asked everyone to remain seated to allow a group needing to make a connection get off. Never works. Everybody just stands up and disembarks as per normal.


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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    A pointless gesture by Virgin. I heard Q is about to do the same. It has the potential for high farce , and possibly
    sow seeds of resentment. It's probably just a kneejerk reaction to some of the worst stories we hear about the plight
    of some veterans. Some inane corporate idea that they hope will give them kudos in the travelling/wider public.

    As you say, Glenda, other, more relevant means of support for veterans (and other groups for that matter) would
    be more useful.
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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    If I were a veteran, I think I would prefer a discount and anonymity. I have seen veterans boarding aircraft in the USA and the crowd response is really nice. Different culture though.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    A pointless gesture by Virgin. I heard Q is about to do the same. It has the potential for high farce , and possibly
    sow seeds of resentment. It's probably just a kneejerk reaction to some of the worst stories we hear about the plight
    of some veterans. Some inane corporate idea that they hope will give them kudos in the travelling/wider public.

    As you say, Glenda, other, more relevant means of support for veterans (and other groups for that matter) would
    be more useful.
    Qantas have said NO. There reasoning is after Veterans..what about Police/Fire/Ambulance, then surgeons and doctors. Or what about those who travel all the time and are loyal to an airline? Or FIFO workers who use airlines a LOT. As Qantas have stated, if you start this, at what group of people do you stop it?

    I can see Virgin's idea, but perhaps they should limit to special occasions, Ie a day or two around ANZAC DAY and Remembrance Day, rather than all year.
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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    If I were a veteran (and happily I'm not) this sort of Americanized fuss would strongly encourage me to get a train instead.

    If paying homage to veterans is so important give them some money. I'm sure they'd all appreciate that.

    And yeah, not just ex-soldiers. There are lots of people who dedicate themselves, and sometimes risk their lives, for the country and for other people. If you're not giving the same recognition to them then it just looks like you're glorifying the military and glorifying war.

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    In the US you often here the call for priority boarding for military in uniform. I am surprised with the uproar for this. It is not like Virgin are saying veterans have priority boarding or we will give you a discount - it is simply a gesture of respect for our veterans who have served their country. For those who would rather not take advantage of priority boarding and want to stay anonymous - simply stay seated until the other rows are called - it is no big deal, Virgin are not going to call out your name. As for priority boarding - other passengers don't know if you are business / first class, frequent flyer or some other reason your are classed as priority boarding passenger.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    The way it was presented on the news it was going to be a big deal thing.

    How do you know it will not be?

    Why single that group out of those who serve the country?

    It comes over like being Virgin-centric.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 05-11-2018 at 7:11pm.

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    Member formerly known as : Lplates
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    Apparently the feedback from veterans has not been positive and Virgin seems to be reconsidering until they actually talk to the groups their plan will be affecting. Pity they didn't do that first.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Massive own goal.
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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    The way it was presented on the news it was going to be a big deal thing.

    How do you know it will not be?

    Why single that group out of those who serve the country?

    It comes over like being Virgin-centric.
    Sure I believe everything I read and hear in the news / FB / Instagram.....

    Like I said a big hoo ha about nothing - I believe it was a gesture by Virgin to give some respect to those veterans who had fought for our country. Priority boarding is stamped on your ticket - you don't need to take advantage of it. Personally myself I jump at the opportunity when ever presented.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian500au View Post
    Sure I believe everything I read and hear in the news / FB / Instagram.....

    Like I said a big hoo ha about nothing - I believe it was a gesture by Virgin to give some respect to those veterans who had fought for our country. Priority boarding is stamped on your ticket - you don't need to take advantage of it. Personally myself I jump at the opportunity when ever presented.
    But there is more to this story than just priority boarding.
    Before the plane takes off the traveling veteran will be publicly acknowledged on the plane. I know one ex-serviceman that would prefer this not to happen as it reminds him of things he'd rather not be reminded about. He won't be asking for priority boarding if this is the case.
    He also reckons the $500 000 recently given to the Australian War Memorial for upgrades would be better spent looking after soldiers that were involved in wars we've been involved with since Vietnam.

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    But there is more to this story than just priority boarding.
    Before the plane takes off the traveling veteran will be publicly acknowledged on the plane. I know one ex-serviceman that would prefer this not to happen as it reminds him of things he'd rather not be reminded about. He won't be asking for priority boarding if this is the case.
    He also reckons the $500 000 recently given to the Australian War Memorial for upgrades would be better spent looking after soldiers that were involved in wars we've been involved with since Vietnam.
    Mark I will agree if the veteran is publicly acknowledged (embarrassed) then this is unnecessary - I would be interested to read the fine print associated with this.

    From my point of view our solders / veterans should be respected in every way we can.

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    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    I agree with MarkL's mate. I would cringe at the thought of being singled out for boarding. The Gov side of things, they took part of our Super and wont give it back, but they donated 10 mil to Indonesia the same week our bid got knocked back in parliament.
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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Interesting argument.
    First, there is no doubt veterans should be acknowledged and some additional assistance given as part of that acknowledgement. What form should that take ???
    One would have thought some courtesy and dignity by first asking the veterans what is being proposed for them and get their view though the major representative veterans Associations. Mongo is not at all sure this step took place.
    Secondly, the card giving veterans some assistance with daily living expenses is an excellent idea and posses none of the awkward problems Virgin has created. Mongo is not embarrasses to use his seniors card and neither should the veterans to use their special card.
    Thirdly, giving priority boarding is not unreasonable. As has been said above, veterans can take or leave this offer with anonymity by simply not taking it up when boarding is announced.
    Where Mongo draws the sensibility line is the almost forced on-board acknowledgement. When Mongo heard this he just cringed for the veterans. This can be a very undignified and embarrassing thing to most if not all veterans. If you want to respect veterans - ask them what they want and not just force on them what they may not want.

    Qantas, had to carefully and sensitively get around this overall bad precedent that Virgin has tried to set. Mongo would not be surprised if Virgin backtracks to some degree over the coming weeks. As Australians, we have our own values. We do not need to mindlessly follow what is done elsewhere in the world unless we think it is a good thing. Mongo thinks this is what Qantas in fact has done on our behalf (including, of course, the veterans). Although in Mongo saying this, he hopes Qantas had the time and good sense to consult with the Veterans Association beforehand and Mongo would like to think Qantas will consider priority boarding should the veteran(s) wish to take it up.

    Mongo is not a veteran and does not have the right to speak for them but he does defend their right to be consulted and have a say in how they may be publicly treated
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongo View Post
    Qantas, had to carefully and sensitively get around this overall bad precedent that Virgin has tried to set.
    And Qantas did this after the Minister for Veterans' Affairs strongly suggested they follow Virgins idea.

  17. #17
    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    And Qantas did this after the Minister for Veterans' Affairs strongly suggested they follow Virgins idea.
    Thanks for this information Mark. It comes as an enormous surprise to Mongo. Mongo has to wonder if the Minister really is the person who represents the verterans' views or was he or she just trying to look like a "popular" politician. Mongo would much rather trust the verterans' associations themselves short of being able to ask the veterans direct. The whole business has been done in a bit of a shabby manner. This is very unfortunate as some of the elements are well intentioned and useful.

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    Member Liney's Avatar
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    As someone who would be classed as a "Veteran", I think it's a very bad idea. Whilst the American culture has a positive response to their veterans, I was regularly told that I should play down the fact I was in uniform and not wear anything that indicated a military status.

    I'll admit that was not Australia, and back in the days when there were a bunch of nasty people who were keen to cause injury (and get the publicity for doing harm) to military personnel. Nowadays there is still the potential for military personnel to be targeted, so being asked to step forwards in the view of the whole aircraft before boarding is now a good idea from a security perspective.
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