I am not sure whether this happens on all airlines or only a selected few of them. Or even whether this is simply an ad hoc, special gesture of hospitality by the crew of a particular flight.
It happened just the other day…
I am used to flying first class. No, not because I pay the pricey fares for that cabin (I’m too cheap for that) but because I am a too-frequent flier. Being a top-tier loyal customer does have it’s benefits. So, more often than not, I find myself upgraded to first class, which I must admit is a nice perk to have after too much business travel takes its toll on me.
Well, on that particular flight, a young kid who was in the military came in a few minutes before take off and sat across the aisle from me. He had a wide-eyed look that said, what am I doing here?
The airline (or that flight crew) had given him a complimentary upgrade to say thank you for his service to the country.
It was obvious he enjoyed the flight, the food, the drinks and just being in first class. It’s easy to get blase about things sometimes, so it’s good to have someone pull you out of the apathy.
Right before he left, this young soldier stopped and thanked the flight attendant profusely. He said it had been a “mind blowing” experience. Now, how nice is that?
Never let it be said that a gesture of kindness and thoughtfulness, even a small one, cannot be meaningful to someone!
The airlines upgrade people like me for one simple, cold reason. It’s business. Frequent fliers are its most profitable customers therefore it pays to be really nice to us so we stay loyal to them.
On the other hand, the airlines don’t gain much of anything except a thank you when they take the time to think about and implement a small but meaningful practice to show their appreciation for military serviceman. There’s something that feels extra special about that. For all the brickbats that these airlines get thrown at them, it’s good to find something that calls for a vote of appreciation instead.