Virgin Airlines Plan To Honour Australian War Veterans

Lester Mason
November 7, 2018

Other parts of Morrison's scheme involve things like lapel pins and a benefits card entitling veterans to discounts at participating businesses, but Virgin Australia's announcement that it would be giving veterans priority boarding, as well as acknowledging them in in-flight announcements, was met with less enthusiasm.

"I would not dream of walking on to an aircraft ahead of the other passengers as a veteran", Ms McGregor said on Twitter and called for more money to be spent on suicide prevention and health care.

"I think if the company wants to acknowledge our service that is good, but it is the motivation that worries me", he said. "It was a gesture genuinely done to pay respects to those who have served our country", Virgin Australia said.

Veterans would receive priority boarding on the airline and would be recognised by airline staff on the plane.

While the proposed initiative was welcomed by a number of government ministers, it drew criticism from groups such as the Australia Defence Association (ADA).

In an interview with ABC radio Melbourne, Mr James questioned if the policy would create an issue where individuals with similarly valued careers (such as ambulance drivers and police) would also need to be added to a "queue of such announcements".

Veterans, punters and other airlines alike seem to be united on the fact that actually, this airline policy is pretty cringeworthy and embarrassing.

"I would be embarrassed because, as a person who has served in the defence force, you don't do it for accolades. we don't have to be acclaimed", he said.

"And so we find it hard to single out a particular group as part of the boarding process".

Virgin Australia is due to hold its annual general meeting in Brisbane on Thursday.

Defence Industry Minister Steve Ciobo said it "would be terrific" if Qantas matched Virgin's pledge, although Veterans Affairs minister Darren Chester allowed that "Australians, by nature, tend to keep their light under a bushel".

"A spokesperson for Qantas said the airline had the "utmost respect for current and former defence force personnel" and special announcements were made on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day".

"We're conscious that we carry a lot of exceptional people every day, including veterans, police, paramedics, nurses, firefighters and others, and so we find it hard to single out a particular group as part of the boarding process".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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