U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-29-2009, 12:04 PM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,306,906 times
Reputation: 1306

Advertisements

If you are planning a trip or have been on a trip that involves flying I have a couple of questions for you. Would you be or would you have been willing to give up your seat to an enlisted soldier if they were needing to get on your flight to ensure they got to their destination on time?

Lets say that a soldier was heading back to their command and ran into some delays with the flight they are supposed to get on and those delays would get them to their destination past the time they were to report for duty. Now lets say that there was another later flight out either by the same airline they are booked with or a whole nother airline that would still be able to get them to their destination in time, but that flight is booked and you are one of the passengers.

If the flight you are flying on asked if someone would be willing to give up their seat so this soldier could get on, would that someone be you?

What if the flight wasn't getting them back to their command but instead trying to get them home for a short visit with their family either before deployment or while on a short leave?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-29-2009, 03:43 PM
 
13,175 posts, read 20,823,128 times
Reputation: 35503
First of all, a disclaimer here: We fly out of Atlanta, which is a huge military hub. Almost every time we are at the airport we run into soldiers. If there are groups of them, you can be sure the other passengers in the terminals rise and give them a round of applause.

I would give up a first class upgrade to a soldier. I would be willing to give up a seat altogether, but only if they were headed home for leave, not if it was to keep them from being a few hours late to report for duty. I figure the military can easily check to see if a plane was delayed, so there would be no repercussions towards the soldier who was delayed. Maybe it would even keep one safe a few hours longer.

There is a USO lounge in Atlanta, so by having the soldiers wait for a flight, it just gives them more time to enjoy the USO services, and the wonderful volunteers who staff it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-29-2009, 04:04 PM
 
125 posts, read 444,027 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
I would be willing to give up a seat altogether, but only if they were headed home for leave, not if it was to keep them from being a few hours late to report for duty. I figure the military can easily check to see if a plane was delayed, so there would be no repercussions towards the soldier who was delayed. Maybe it would even keep one safe a few hours longer.
Not so actually. A member can get into quite a bit of trouble at the option of his/her command, especially if it can be proven that the member could have reasonably anticipated the issue. For example, a soldier is home on leave and only has one day left on his leave. His flight is supposed to leave the next day, and a big snowstorm is forecast for the next morning. That's not unavoidable, because there are options to get the soldier out of that area before the storm hits. Missing a flight due to oversleeping, traffic on the way to the airport, etc. isn't unavoidable either.

It may sound strict, but when you think about the fact that a soldier not returning from leave on time could prevent a group from deploying, could keep an expectant father overseas longer, etc., it becomes more important. Add in the fact that sometimes the flights that are needed to get to certain areas only depart once or twice weekly and planning becomes even more crucial.

All of that isn't to say that you should give up your seat though! I just wanted to share the real scoop, including the fact that soldiers are instructed in proper planning procedures.

When my husband travels on personal leave, he'll usually project an extra day's worth of leave at the end. He can always return early, and we've had extenuating circumstances that made us very thankful for that extra day.

While we're on the subject of USO, folks, if you're ever looking for a worthy charity to support, that's the one. You'd be amazed at the good things they can bring about. USO & Red Cross are the military member's best friends.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-29-2009, 07:08 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,645,060 times
Reputation: 13019
It depends on what the purpose of my trip was. A couple of weeks ago I was on a plane to attend a meeting worth a multi-million dollar contract for my employer. Had I not made the meeting, we would not have gotten the work--period. Because of the location I was flying to, there are very limited flights, so in that case, no, I wouldn't have given up my seat.

On the otherhand if I were flying to go shopping for a weekend, I'd certainly give up my seat. I've also used my miles to "pay" for a first class upgrade for a serviceman a few times.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-29-2009, 08:19 PM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,306,906 times
Reputation: 1306
It's nice to see that there are those who would be willing to give up a seat. I understand that in some situations it would not be possible to give up a seat on a flight, like if you were flying for an important business trip. But if it was for pleasure, I think offering to give up a seat would be very considerate and a great way to say thank-you to that soldier for their service.

To Annerk: How very kind of you to use your miles for upgrade tickets. I'm sure it meant a lot to those servicemen.

So here is another question?

Do you think that airlines should hold back a seat or two just in case some Soldier needs to board a plane in a hurry? If a soldier is in no need of a seat for a leaving flight then they could put on a stand-by passenger. There are very few airlines who don't overbook flights and I'm sure that there is a good chance that there would be someone on stand-by for a flight so airlines seats would not go empty.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-29-2009, 08:35 PM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,306,906 times
Reputation: 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by upthecreekgotapaddle View Post
Not so actually. A member can get into quite a bit of trouble at the option of his/her command, especially if it can be proven that the member could have reasonably anticipated the issue. For example, a soldier is home on leave and only has one day left on his leave. His flight is supposed to leave the next day, and a big snowstorm is forecast for the next morning. That's not unavoidable, because there are options to get the soldier out of that area before the storm hits. Missing a flight due to oversleeping, traffic on the way to the airport, etc. isn't unavoidable either.

It may sound strict, but when you think about the fact that a soldier not returning from leave on time could prevent a group from deploying, could keep an expectant father overseas longer, etc., it becomes more important. Add in the fact that sometimes the flights that are needed to get to certain areas only depart once or twice weekly and planning becomes even more crucial.

All of that isn't to say that you should give up your seat though! I just wanted to share the real scoop, including the fact that soldiers are instructed in proper planning procedures.

When my husband travels on personal leave, he'll usually project an extra day's worth of leave at the end. He can always return early, and we've had extenuating circumstances that made us very thankful for that extra day.

While we're on the subject of USO, folks, if you're ever looking for a worthy charity to support, that's the one. You'd be amazed at the good things they can bring about. USO & Red Cross are the military member's best friends.
I know and understand that soldiers are instructed on proper planning procedures, but sometimes things happen that can cause a longer delay than a day or two and when a soldier only has a limited amount of leave time to visit family they have not seen or will not be seeing in a long while they want to squeeze as much time in as possible into their visits. Like you said, sometimes it's imparitive that a soldier gets back by a certain time, (i.e. unit deployments) but sometimes even with proper planning procedures and giving an extra day for traveling things can and have happened that delay flights much longer than that extra day. So the sooner they can get back once things are back up and running the better. In a lot of cases it's crucial that they be on the first flight leaving to their desitination so as to not cause delays for their unit as a whole.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-30-2009, 09:10 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,645,060 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoquilter View Post
Do you think that airlines should hold back a seat or two just in case some Soldier needs to board a plane in a hurry? If a soldier is in no need of a seat for a leaving flight then they could put on a stand-by passenger. There are very few airlines who don't overbook flights and I'm sure that there is a good chance that there would be someone on stand-by for a flight so airlines seats would not go empty.
No, seats are their only real revenue source, and they should never hold back a seat for any specific group, be it soldiers, people rushing to the sides of dying relatives, or business travelers. The airlines are struggling enough as it is. I'd say that over half the flights I was on last year had empty seats.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-30-2009, 07:31 PM
 
14,267 posts, read 24,025,211 times
Reputation: 20101
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoquilter View Post
Lets say that a soldier was heading back to their command and ran into some delays with the flight they are supposed to get on and those delays would get them to their destination past the time they were to report for duty. Now lets say that there was another later flight out either by the same airline they are booked with or a whole nother airline that would still be able to get them to their destination in time, but that flight is booked and you are one of the passengers.
How often does this really occur?

I think that most airlines would find a way to get the soldier on the flight.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-30-2009, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
4,836 posts, read 10,200,079 times
Reputation: 2512
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoquilter View Post
If you are planning a trip or have been on a trip that involves flying I have a couple of questions for you. Would you be or would you have been willing to give up your seat to an enlisted soldier if they were needing to get on your flight to ensure they got to their destination on time?

Lets say that a soldier was heading back to their command and ran into some delays with the flight they are supposed to get on and those delays would get them to their destination past the time they were to report for duty. Now lets say that there was another later flight out either by the same airline they are booked with or a whole nother airline that would still be able to get them to their destination in time, but that flight is booked and you are one of the passengers.

If the flight you are flying on asked if someone would be willing to give up their seat so this soldier could get on, would that someone be you?

What if the flight wasn't getting them back to their command but instead trying to get them home for a short visit with their family either before deployment or while on a short leave?
I depends on my schedule and what alternatives the airline can give me. If I am flying home and there is a flight in a few hours or if I am flying somehwere I getting there the next morning would be fine then yes I would. Of course I would expect the airline to give me some money for a ticket at another time and if out of town a free hotel room. If I just have to wait a few more hours to fly the same destination and time is not important I would do it.

But if lets say I am visiting my brother in LA for the weekend leaving on Friday Morning and the next flight leaves at 4pm or the next day then no I would not be able too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-30-2009, 08:41 PM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,306,906 times
Reputation: 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
How often does this really occur?

I think that most airlines would find a way to get the soldier on the flight.
I've heard of this happening to several young soldiers, and I bet that it happens more often than we think. I've also heard of young soldiers having to fly on stand by because they didn't get approval for leave time soon enough to make reservations ahead of time or book several weeks/months ahead. So they have to wait and hope that someone does not make their flight so that they can fly.

As far as most airlines finding a way to get a soldier on a flight there isn't a whole lot that they can do. The only thing that the airline that they are booked with will do, will see if there is an empty seat on their next flight to the soldier's destination or put them on stand-by in case someone does not show up for the next flight if that flight is booked full. They can't or won't ask to see if another passenger would be willing to give up their seat.

As far as other airlines go, not many will allow a soldier to take an empty seat on their flight if they have an empty seat or even allow them to wait on stand by if they have a ticket on another airline. They can have a seat on their flight if they wish to purchase a ticket from them. Like young soldiers have that kind of money to purchase yet another ticket. I do not know if this is because they won't or don't get some sort of reimbursement from the original airline the soldier booked with. If that's the case then that should be changed somehow.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top