I gave up my complimentary upgrade to first class seat for a military young lady – and got cheers from the passengers on board. Not to be a hero, but just to say ‘thanks’ or to make someone’s day who is giving her life for our freedom.
Late one afternoon I was in a rush to my gate, I looked up to see a Dad with tears in his eyes hugging his 22 year old daughter in uniform. I was compelled to walk up, put my bberry away and ask – “is your daughter going overseas sir?” He replied with a glow across his face “ Why yes she is, thanks for asking….look at my daughter, I am so proud of her.” I replied, “you should be very proud of your daughter, she is a hero”. He shook my hand, the girl glanced at me and gave a nod.
I slowly walked up to the gate agent and scanned my boarding pass – ‘oh wow, I got upgraded to first class, how cool.’ The long jetway walk – I kept thinking – I am giving my seat to that girl in the military! So when I got to the plane, I quickly negotiated with the flight attendant to let me tell the girl in military uniform that she had been upgraded and give her my seat up front. The flight attendant was hesitant, but I insisted and she let me stand there and wait until the girl walked on board. I stepped to her and said ‘wow, you have been upgraded to seat 2B – this way and pointed to the front of the plane. Let me see your boarding pass (so I would know where to go sit in the back). And yes it was a center seat. Those who saw this in the few rows nearby, were all amazed and said “thank you for your kindness”.
About half way through the flight, an announcement came across “ Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor today to have a young lady in first class who is flying overseas for 6 month. She is in first class because one of our passengers was kind enough to give this brave young lady her 1st Class seat to show appreciation. Can we have show appreciate to the young lady for her service to our country.” The entire plane clapped and whooped it up! I am sure the girl was crying up front. Everyone around me gave me a handshake, pat on the back – - – Thank You – and gosh, wouldn’t it be cool if more people would recognize our military personnel with random acts of appreciation.