Virgin Australia acknowledgement of veterans

By vbarberini | Nov 05, 2018, 11:28 AM
What are people’s views on the plan by VA to make US style announcements of veterans onboard their aircraft? While I have the deepest respect for veterans I can’t help being a little uneasy about it. I can imagine it feeling awkward for both Australian veterans and passengers. In fact I’ve heard a few veterans on radio saying they’d be a bit embarrassed. It just doesn’t seem to be the ‘Australian way’ of doing things. Also, I wonder if having a VA crew member touting for applause doesn’t undermine the dignity of our veterans. What do others think of this plan?
Poll: Should VA make announcements of veterans onboard?
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Christopher Fetherston

By xtfer | Nov 05, 2018, 11:36 AM
It's lip service.
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By Dredgy | Nov 05, 2018, 12:01 PM
It’s lip service, and it’s awkward. I absolutely hate travelling in the US where everywhere you go you have to thank veterans, it feels like you’re being - for want of a better word - conditioned. My grandfather would have hated everything about it,


I’m not one for saying “I’ll never fly with x again”, but to avoid 30 seconds of awkwardness, I will likely actively avoid Virgin.

Last edited by Dredgy at Nov 05, 2018, 12.02 PM.
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By GBRGB | Nov 05, 2018, 12:20 PM
It will certainly add to the priority boarding lane queue here in Townsville where half the population are serving or have served. Overall It doesn’t bother me, I was fourth generation in the ADF and my son is fifth and if they offer it as a perk for priority boarding etc then I don’t have an issue but I think the announcement is over the top and not required. I would however highlight one point that has been overlooked, Dept of Defence always advise any current serving member to never identify themselves as such when travelling, for obvious reasons, so a welcome SGT ??, and thanks for your service from the cabin crew is not ideal.
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By aklrunway | Nov 05, 2018, 12:24 PM
I agree with the comments here - awkward. I agree with Qantas' stance on it all
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By Dan22 | Nov 05, 2018, 12:24 PM
I think it helps promote respect for people who put their lives up to protect the country. But so do police etc. I’m indifferent about it there’s pros and cons. But there’s so much negativity surrounding this already - if you are in service and don’t want to be acknowledged then don’t, I think it’s just trying to establish a small token of appreciation which personally I think we should be doing more for defence personnel. I don’t think VA have anything to gain by doing this. I don’t mean this in a personal attack, but if the thought of acknowledging service men and women repulses you to actively avoid Virgin you may wish to reconsider your priorities in life!
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By kimshep | Nov 05, 2018, 12:32 PM
The poll would have been of more value had a 'Neutral' option been included. There are many who are undecided on the matter, some who may see pro's and con's, as well as those who simply don't care.
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By gardermoen | Nov 05, 2018, 12:37 PM
As Australians, I don't think this sort of lip service is warranted nor expected. It seems really awkward. I mean, if VA was a government run airline, then I'd kind of get it, but its not even that.
One could argue further about this cause, should supermarkets do the same for veterans (express queue, discount), what about at restaurants, other service providers?? Can of worms right here...
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By Brassy | Nov 05, 2018, 01:41 PM
Semi retraction/apology just posted on VA social media. Further consultation forthcoming....
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By tommygun | Nov 05, 2018, 01:41 PM
The real point is not that it's awkward for the rest of us but that it's awkward for the veterans. Many (most?) of them in Australia/NZ neither seek nor want this sort of recognition. I am grateful for their service, as we all should be. Let's leave it at for their sake.
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By Lmpf1963 | Nov 05, 2018, 03:14 PM
I approve the priority boarding. Not sure about the announcement
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By aggie57 | Nov 05, 2018, 03:15 PM
Do US airlines really do this? I fly US domestic regularly and the only thing I can recall is priority boarding for active military in uniform. Maybe there are some other not so visible benefits provided?
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By Dredgy | Nov 05, 2018, 03:22 PM
Do US airlines really do this? I fly US domestic regularly and the only thing I can recall is priority boarding for active military in uniform. Maybe there are some other not so visible benefits provided?

Yes. Round of applause and everything - though mileage may vary. While it's fine to respect veterans of course, the Americans make it like some sort of cult.
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By David | Nov 05, 2018, 03:25 PM
FWIW, we've now published an article on this with its own poll, at https://www.ausbt.com.au/should-qantas-virgin-acknowledge-members-of-australia-s-armed-forces
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By LatteLaptopLoon | Nov 05, 2018, 03:27 PM
I’m sure the poor guys would feel embarrassed from all this attention. Give an airfare discount if you really cared Virgin.
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By David | Nov 05, 2018, 03:35 PM
My own 2c – and this is my personal view, not that of Australian Business Traveller – is that I like the US airline custom of an announcement thanking members of the defence forces for their service, and I have no problem with them being offered priority boarding, although they're free not to take advantage of it – and I suspect most Aussie defence force members won't, because from what I'm told (including by some serving members) is that this isn't in their nature. But I disagree with the idea of being asked on board to applaud our servicemen and servicewomen, as I don't believe this is part of the Aussie 'social DNA'.
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