Tags: US Airways | Army Ranger

First Class Blunder: Airline Slammed for Treatment of Veteran

By    |   Monday, 13 Oct 2014 12:28 PM

U.S. Airways is facing an onslaught of angry emails and a public relations nightmare after one of its flight attendants refused to hang the jacket of a highly decorated Special Forces Army veteran in a closet to keep it from getting wrinkled, because he wasn't flying first class.

Now, U.S. Airways' embarrassment has gone viral.

Over one million furious viewers contacted the Facebook page of WSOC-TV, Charlotte, North Carolina, and the station's reporter Jenna Deery received 3,500 Twitter messages after the station covered the story of First Sgt. Albert Marle, who asked a flight attendant to hang his jacket, heavy with decorations, in a flight closet, and was refused.

Story continues below video.

Airline passenger Brian Kirby, who witnessed the incident, told the station: "Her response wasn't that there's not space in the coat closet or 'I've hung too many jackets up.' It was just simply, 'Our airline policy says I'm not going to do it, so I'm not going to do it.'

"I was really appalled at not only the way she looked at him but the way she spoke to him in an angry type of attitude."

U.S. Airways released an initial statement, "We apologize for the situation and are reviewing the incident internally. We have a long and proud history of serving our military members and hold the men and women who serve our country in the highest regard."

Capt. Jim Palmersheim, managing director of veterans initiatives at American Airlines, which owns U.S. Airways, felt it necessary to go further, commenting to Breitbart News, "With regard to the experience on Flight1930 (from Portland, Oregon, to Charlotte, North Carolina), I must say, we did not get this one right.

"But we are certainly doing everything we can to support those who serve. We want people to know that Sgt. Marle's experience is not indicative of the things that we do. On a personal level, I'm embarrassed."

Sgt. Marle is one of the Army's best — his jacket carries a Ranger patch, a Pathfinder patch, a combat infantryman's badge, airborne and Special Forces insignia — and he humbly shrugged off the flight attendant's mistreatment. Annoyed passengers in first class offered to give their seats to Sgt. Marle but he declined and returned quietly to his own seat, the TV station noted.

"He was more than willing to take his seat. He was not going to make an issue of it. It was us in first class that made an issue out of it," Kirby told the station.

 "It's important that somebody stands up and says this is not correct. It needs to be fixed."
Captain Palmersheim, an Army veteran whose son also is a former Army pilot, told Breitbart News. "That jacket should have been hung up."

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U.S. Airways is facing an onslaught of angry emails and a public relations nightmare after one of its flight attendants refused to hang the jacket of a highly decorated Special Forces Army veteran in a closet to keep it from getting wrinkled, because he wasn't flying first class.
US Airways, Army Ranger
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2014-28-13
Monday, 13 Oct 2014 12:28 PM
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