Friday, January 6, 2012

Discounts for The Military Family



Today I received this in my email from the wife of a Canadian soldier and was asked if would share this on my blog.  A lot of people consider the military family the invisible rank and a lot of the times we forget the sacrifice that loved ones of our soldiers give up while their loved ones are on deployment.

I recently traveled home during christmas with my three small children (under 6),while my Canadian husband is deployed for the 6th time in 7 years (this time with the USAF for 6 months). I was shocked to hear that United Airlines would not recognize our Military ID and deployment orders as being a part of the military. I was told that unless my husband was with me that my family was not classed as military. I was so disappointed in the lack of regard they hold for military families. 

As much as the member themselves serve, so do the families. The mothers, fathers and/or partners that hold families together to support those deployed. Most of the time we are without family support as we are posted far from our families. Military families for year after year do this with pride so that others can enjoy their freedom. I cannot believe that a large airline company would treat any deployed military family in the way that they did with us. 

I thought you might be able to help bring some attention to this issue for the Airlines to support all military personal, including those who wear the "Invisible Uniform" Cheers,


HERE IS UNITED AIRLINES RESPONSE :

Dear *********** :
I am sorry you continue to be disappointed with United.

I regret that my colleague was not clear with our Military baggage policy. Active U.S. Military and their accompanying dependents on personal travel are allowed 3 bags up to 70lbs/32kg with a maximum dimension of 62 linear inches. As you're husband was not traveling with you the general domestic baggage policy applies.

We recognize you have a choice of airlines, and we thank you for choosing to fly with United on this occasion.

We wish you the best with all of your future travel.
 Sincerely,
 Michelle ****
Customer Care
United Airlines



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Since posting this article I have also received the following from soldiers and their families:

.I was recently making a booking with Disney for our family and they confirmed me with the military rate...When I called to add something to the vacation they informed me that we could not receive the military rate...even though my husband did two tours and was injured on his second tour...I told her that we all fight together...didn't matter it cost us almost double sad but true

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my unit from Alaska is deployed we got our two weeks of leave in October to go see family and friends. well one of my buddies was got to the airport and the line was long. when he got to the counter they told him sorry we cant check your baggage its to close to boarding time. well instead of making a way to get his baggage to his destination on another flight the next day or something they told him he can call and book another flight for 1300 more dollars! that's outrageous this man is going to serve your country for a year and you wont put his bags on another flight so he can go see his mother! i was beyond disturbed when i heard this. 

anyways thats my horror story with airlines and military. but i have also had good ones i sat down to lunch with a buddy of mine before we parted )both military) and when the check came we were told dont worry about it the couple over there said thank you for your service. it was very nice and thats not counting the endless amounts of beers people have bought me :) thank you for all your support!

--------------------------------------------------------th-------
I have been on both sides....a serving member and a military spouse. Military families are not nearly respected enough. For instance, Via Rail Canada offers a discount to military members, and to their families as long as they are traveling together. But if the military member is not traveling with you? Forget it. I would argue that in some ways the family at home has a harder time than the serving member. The serving member has a clear mandate and focus, the remaining family members have to do everything without an integral part of the family, and often have to do it without a support network. When I took my kids to meet my husband in the states while on his LTA, lots of people were happy to congratulate him and offer him a beer. The rest of us were ignored and/or forgotten.



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This blog was originally posted as a story about how a military family was mistreated by an Airlines in the US and I've shared the other updates I've received but have removed the names and personal information.  I think all military families should receive military discounts regardless of if their loved one is with them or not. 




30 comments:

  1. Really!!!! Why am I not Shocked by this, its called the almighty dollar!! Our men and women are giving everything to their country, why cant you give them the recognition they deserve and help to bring them together when ever possible, families need to be together!!!

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  2. Military families should be recognized and respected as well as should our military men and women.....
    The disregard and lack of respect this country has allowed for it's new standard shows a steady decline in this country's morals. We used to all be able to hold our heads high and had respect for others and knew we also would have respect!!!!!

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  3. what a sad story, that is terrible. She is so right when she mentioned how the military families wear the invisible uniform. They deserve just as much recogination. So Thank you! Thank you for all those moments missed with your families while your loved one was fighting for my family's freedom. Thank you for dealing with your scared child asking you when Mommy/Daddy is going to be home because they miss them so much and don't want them to go to Heaven. I Thank you for believing our Counrty is worth the challenges, delayed return homes, vacations cut short or postponed once again. For bringing your baby into the world alone while your partner is fighting for Canada and missing out of what is such a joyoius event that both of you should be sharing together. I Thank all the children who had to grow up a little sooner then wanted by trying to make the parent who stayed home life easier by tring to fill that missing parent's shoes. Thank you

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  4. I have two sons that were deployed to Iraq!! The airlines would not acknowlegde thier families as military either!!! Its sad they dont, these families are left sometimes with no one by thier side and a flight home could give them so much strength!!!

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  5. United Airlines' behaviour is disgraceful. If you support the military, don't support United/Continental. There are plenty of other airlines out there, and we can certainly fly with someone else and boycott United.

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  6. in response to via rail and other services! i am visually impaired (not blind) but classified as legally blind. because i am a cnib (Canadian national institute for the blind) card holder i get special privileges. such as i can have a guest travel free with me where ever i want on via rail, and air flights. i travel free with public transit and get cheap tickets to major sporting events (front row seating).

    it saddens me to hear that so many of our heroes and the their families are denied the services i am and truthfully i don't deserve or need them. im grateful don't get me wrong but all military family deserve the same services and way way more for all they have done for us.

    rest in peace Cpl. Nick Bulger you are loved and missed by many!

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  7. I just returned from my honeymoon to Orlando - Continental Airlines out of Vancouver allowed us to use the military offer with no problem but once we were in the States we got bounced around agents from both Continental and United only to finally be told the offer was only for US troops and the agents in Vancouver broke the rules. Disney was much more direct - while we thank you for your service, we only offer our discounts to US service personnel. With the new CF Appreciation site linking to many of the US military offers I think we are going to run into more and more of these issues.

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  8. I am retired USAF and retired United Airlines. I understand some of their fee rules are unfair but would like to explain that it is security rules that require you and your bags to fly on the same flight. But rebooking at a cost of $1300 is a slap in the face. Shame on United.

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  9. As a spouse and former civilian worker for the British Forces both at home and overseas I find this disgusting. Whether I travelled with spouse or alone my military id was enough to get my military discount and have them honour it no matter if that was on a plane ride between the UK and Germany or on a Ferry Crossing We need to treat our military families with more respect in this country as other mentioned they wear the invisible uniform and some times find it harder when their spouse or partner is on deployment and need those trips home a little more often to see other loved ones and get a break from always being under pressure so lets give a big thanks to all the Military wifes husbands and kids while there loved ones are serving and protecting us all THANK YOU does not seem enough

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  10. I can't believe these comanys. I am with the boycott on all these comanys that don't reconize both service members and families. It don't matter if you are from Canada. HELLO PEOPLE WE ARE FIGHTING TOGEATHER IN THE SAME BATTLE! My husband is a 100% American disable Vet. We live in Oklahoma and I must Thank Oklahoma for the many things that they do for us. Some of the things is we are tax excemt. This last Memoral Day many of our Restrants gave FREE MEALS TO BOTH SERVICE MEMBER AND THEIR FAMILIES. ACTIVE AND NON ACTIVE. We went to Applebe's and they didn't even ask for our ID's. We got our meal free. There was not too long of a wait either. But while we where waiting we got the chanse to Thank are now current Men and Women Thank You for their service. As you might have guess we do live in a Military Town. And yes you will get more Thank You's from the people then you will get from these big comanys. Ruther it be buying you a drink or food or just a nice Thank You. I myself would like to tell all past, present, Service Person and their families a BIG THANK YOU! EVEN THE ONE'S FIGHTING RIGHT ALONG SIDE OF US!

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  11. It is sad, but very true. Even retired military dont get the treatment they deserve and they, along with their families have given 20+ years of their lives to our Country. The one airline that I and our family have always received great discounts and Free food for purchase is on Delta, if we show our military ID. Granted there are times that I don't show it. There are a lot of families that dont show their ID's... why? Because we along with the service members do what we do because we love our Country and everyone that calls it home. The families give up just as much as the one active duty and that is fighting for our freedom. Respect them and honor them. If it weren't for the families left behind, they wouldn't be able to do the job they do and help keep us all safe and secure. Thank them and their families.

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  12. My son is in Kuwait now for a six month deployment (his second) he missed Christmas and will miss severial other holidays untill his return. He has two little ones, one 4 & one 5 months old. Its very hard on his wife and family and i know they would love to be able to fly from fort hood, Texas home to see family in New Jersey but they simply can not afford the air fair. So they are stuck alone a long way from family and friends. It make me sick that greed runs so deep in this country! I will not fly any of the big air lines as long as they continue there un patriatic pratices and for me just dam un American policies.

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  13. It is so very sad how the world is today :( The airlines are all about the money though I'm glad for the little they do do for the our heros and others. But it's not just the airlines, look around you 80% of people are only worried about themselves! Whatever happened to the days when people helped each other? Neighbors got together to help raise a barn etc...Our active military should have the respect and amenities as any VIP would get. Not to mention their pay! THANK YOU to all of you who serve! God Bless..

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  14. Let's find out what airline companies support our military families and give them our support by posting and acknowledge them by name. Shame on United Airlines and any other that engage in such humiliating actions. How much better for them to promote themselves by helping instead of hurting our military family. I wonder what the dollar cost of their advertising is? Would be great promotion to just step over the greed line and do something for real. Eck, corporations cannot be allowed to keep personhood, they have no morals, no compassion, no sense of the good of humanity on which they depend to support them. A corporation can never serve in war, never go to jail, etc. Keep up the good work-thank a soldier- together we will prevail for the good of the people of our great Country.

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  15. The airlines will offer discounts as long as it fits in with their PR efforts. They appear to be far from patriotic. Perhaps the civilian families should wear fatigues so they could look the part and thereby fulfill the airline advertising missions.

    The airlines are all about fees and money. Granted, they are in precarious financial shape but so much of that is their own doing. But, they deserve the boycotts.

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  16. While my husband was deployed, I took my boys to Sea World San Antonio. I asked for the military discount (free entrance) and was asked if my husband was with us. I explained he was deployed. The young lady explained that we could only receive the tickets if the military member was with us.
    When I spoke with my husband I told him what had happened & he sent an email to corporate. They offered to reimburse us if I still had the receipt. The only thing we suggested was to educate the employee.
    Thank you soldiers & families who proudly serve. Hooah!

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  17. I'm not surprised by this, because when my Marine son had to fly out of Orlando,Fl returning back to his base on leave. My son had asked one of the ticket agents, some man if his mom could show her id and go to the zone to see him off. The man was rude, said are you going to war?? My son told him, next time I will fly another airline. I have two sons in the Marines, and when people show such a total lack of respect for our military, It absolutely Sickens me!!! United obviously could care less!

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  18. A friend of mine was shopping with his semi-paralyzed Army Veteran Brother, who earned a Purple Heart. They were in Loews. When they were at the check out they asked for the Military discount. The young lady at the register said they don't give one. My friend explained that he was a Vietnam Vet and had a Purple Heart.. She said she did not know what a Purple Heart was. They asked for the Mananger. He too said they don't give a Militay discount. They told the Manager the Home Depot gives it. The Manager rudely said "well, we don't".. My friend and his brother went to Home Depot and will never shop in Loews again...

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  19. My son is active duty military (Army - HOOAH!). I took him and my two grandkids to a country punkin' patch around Halloween. Since a lot of places do have military discounts I asked the lady if they did (I was going to pay whatever the cost but thought I'd ask). She was an older lady (probably 60-ish). She said no and was a little snotty about it so I said, "Oh you don't?" and this was her EXACT response, "NO, I'm not in the military and neither are the people that own this place!". I went ahead and paid to go in because I didn't want my grandkids to be disappointed but I will NEVER visit their establishment again. Not because they don't offer a discount but because she was so nasty about it!!!

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  20. I reposed and left my comment on facebook that is so all may see not just us go and see and if you agree do the same if you can't find it contact me and I'll direct you there CEOs
    make the decisions is my comment

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  21. I am a widow of a veteran of 26 years and 9 months and 3 deployments. The last deployment he was injured and that resulted in his death at age 46. I too have been treated wrongfully by people because I am not the service member. I went to Hawaii with my three sons a few months after their dad had passed away as a refuge as you will to be able to have some special time together to try to heal from loosing my husband and their dad. He gave his life for this country and its citizens to have freedom and the airlines cannot give a discount to us or check our bags for free because he wasn't with us. We had to give him up to this country but cannot get a couple bags checked for free. On the other hand we did receive a very big discount at our hotel, which is a Hilton owned hotel and they are always good to do that for us. There are also some department stores near home that give discounts to us and some other places. The airlines are the worst that I have noticed. Families give a lot and it is like someone else said the service member is in the mission along with their other service members that are there as a unit and help each other. The families are at home and usually it is a spouse and one or two children that are left to go at it all alone and they are scared and worried for their loved one that is away serving and have to take up the slack on the household duties while that important part of their family is gone. It is devastating and very difficult. Then if the service member is injuried or passes away it is like the spouse and children don't even matter. WE just gave up the one very important part of our family. I wish others really knew just what it is like for military families and what we go through and give up so they can have a better life. You know what else we also share with the service member our love for our country and our duty to our country and just wish our country for do the same for us.

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  23. COME ON... They have their military ID. The actual soldier has to be traveling with them?! What happens when the actual soldier has to be away fighting for the airline's right to say something so stupid? The military family fights just as hard as the actual soldier during deployment.. they fight to keep the family together, to keep a roof over their heads, to keep the bills paid, to keep food on the table, the person left at home fights to do the job alone that would normally be done with his/her partner if they weren't on a battlefield somewhere. If these airlines want to honor a soldier, try honoring their families too. Especially since they can't always be together. They could make it a little easier for them to do this at times.
    And what's this? The discounts & specials are only good if you're an American soldier but we'll use your services to fight. That's BS too. No matter where they're from, they're all soldiers, THEY'RE ALL HEROES & THEY ALL DESERVE RESPECT & HONOR. The airlines & these tourist places make millions. Giving soldiers & their families discounts & even freebies isn't gonna hurt them. That's the least they can do, afterall the soldiers are giving their lives!

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  24. My husband and I traveled with United Airlines right after Christmas. We had to get in the line "oversized baggage" because my husband was carrying a snowboard. He was dressed in uniform, his ACU'S. There was a lane that was labeled "military" but yet no one was there to assist anyone. Only one clerk was available for this "oversized" line. The average wait time to check in baggage was over an hour. We asked if we could go ahead in line and they said "No" We had to wait like everyone else in line, despite the fact that my husband was dressed in his uniform. The clerk got irritated because we kept asking other airline personnel if there was any way we could get ahead as we were about to miss our flight standing in line and no one was at the military counter. The only clerk who had her line open and was helping people, got so frustrated by other airline personnel asking her if we could get ahead, that she ended up yelling at everyone in line telling all of us basically we all had to be patient and wait in line. She was so rude and disrespectful to my husband and all the other people waiting in this oversized baggage line.

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  25. I am not military - but my half brother, several relatives and many friends are. I would like to thank all of the past and presently serving in the US and Canadian military and their families THANK YOU! I think it is terrible how the airlines and other businesses treated the people mentioned in the other comments. When ever I see someone in uniform and it would not be disruptive or inconvenient for them to do so, I tell them THANK YOU and shake their hand when I can. It is be something that everyone should be doing. Come on people they are giving their lives to keep us safe and free. Their families suffer waiting at home not knowing if they will ever see their loved military person again. We ALL need to at the VERY LEAST tell them "Thank You". As far as what can be done about these companies that are being disrespectful, we should be posting these comments on THEIR websites and sending them letters and emails not just posting it on here. We need to let EVERYONE know how they are treating our military members and their families. We should be sending these stories to ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX/CNN etc. to get this in the news - companies hate getting bad publicity and on a national network all the more. I appreciate all the military members and their families more than anyone will truly know. I could go on and on about what I think we should be doing to help them and their families out, but that would fill a book. So I will conclude with THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. May God keep you and your families safe and bring you home to them alive and well and help those who do not.

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  26. I am the wife of an Army veteran who served 12 months in Afghanistan and 15 months in Iraq, the daughter of a retired Air Force TSgt, and the sister of an active duty Air Force SSgt who hasn't been home for Christmas in more than a decade. That said, I would never expect a military discount anywhere for myself, because I am not in the military. Yes, it would be wonderful if businesses that offer military discounts, especially for travel, would also extend the same discount for family members, but I am not aware of a single business that does. Getting angry because a business that does not advertise a discount for family members did not give you one is ridiculous. Why not instead be grateful for the many businesses that do offer discounts for service members instead of complaining that there are businesses that don't? I do understand the sacrifices made by family members of military personnel, but I would never say that my service and sacrifice are the same as those who are actually deployed. Come on, people, don't be so entitled!

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