What do you think of Virgin Australia's new policy on veterans?

The topic defines it all. Let the comments take care of rest.

Poll Options Thu, 06/12/2018 - 09:52

  • 286
    I do not like the idea
  • 68
    I do not care
  • 28
    It is embarrassing
  • 14
    It is the right thing
  • 13
    It is a good idea in principle

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Comments

  • +16 votes

    I don't get why people say it's embarrassing. If you're a vet and don't want it, just don't ask for it. I don't think they're proactively tracking them down to board them first.

  • +3 votes

    Strange move when first class boards whenever they want and last is best. Usually it's babies in pushers first.

    • +3 votes

      But first class have their own luggage compartment and dont need to fight over space like in econ? Less people per sqr metre too in 1st class?

      In econ, those putting their bags first gets the space, and possibly crushed items if others squeeze in their stuff

  • +29 votes

    It's just that an actual discount on the fare would be more useful.

    It just smacks of tokenism and a marketing ploy at the moment. When in the US, I found it very weird when every flight they would announce that statement saying they were proid of their veterans

    • +7 votes

      True, give them an actual discount, or give them at least something free which would normally cost (maybe extra baggage or free meal onboard, free extras onboard IFE fees waved etc).
      Also, if 1st class can board anytime as suggested above, then allow veterans to board anytime would be nicer IMO.

    • +11 votes

      Considering the USA starts most of the wars, they should acknowledge their military personnel as people like Trump received 5 draft deferments

  • +17 votes

    Eh, personally I agree with QANTAS's stance on it. Though, if you are going to give the veterans something, then priority boarding seems like a half-assed way to do it. Why not a discounted fare, or free alcoholic drinks on board?

    • -3 votes

      What did Qantas offer?

      • +36 votes

        They didn't offer anything. I was referring to their response on this topic:

        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 difficult to single out a particular group as part of the boarding process.

            • +13 votes

              @Ponka:

              But it also costs Virgin nothing to do it and seems like they are looking for publicity.

              Bingo. Virgin doesn't care because only a handful of vets will actually take advantage of this and expect a salute. It's a cynical ploy to co-opt 'patriotism.' It makes my skin crawl that American kids have to recite the pledge of allegiance every day, and players have to stand 'for the troops' at every game, or risk getting shamed for being 'Un-American' when they don't.

      • +5 votes

        What did Qantas offer?

        Same sex couples can board before anyone else

    • +16 votes

      Now that I think about it, it reminds me of all the "Oh we give thanks to the [blah blah blah] people who are the traditional owners of this land… etc" spiel that's trotted out at every ceremony or event these days.

    • -16 votes

      Why not a discounted fare, or free alcoholic drinks on board?

      You mean actually losing money instead of just inconveniencing their other passengers by boarding war criminals first?

  • +16 votes

    A stand up applause for veterans boarding the plane? Really? Yeah nah this isn't America where we think everyone military are literal gods. Would be embarrassing and can be more damaging to peoples' health.

  • +10 votes

    It feels like an American policy in an Australian country.

    Which is controversial in itself..I mean this is a nice gesture but just worried what else might follow.

    • -4 votes

      It is possible that it would not have been identical to the US System.
      For boarding Virgin might have announced "Business Class, Gold Status Frequent Flyers, and Veterans may board at their leisure. All other passengers please remain seated and wait for an announcement"

    • +7 votes

      Our culture is honestly about 50-70% American anyway. Before you get all up in arms about this - who here hasn't watched an episode of US telly? Or buy US brands (made in China)? Or use American social media platforms? Or regurgitate US-derived memes?

      • +17 votes

        I shouldn't have to explain why going full American is not a good idea.. it is the tiny differences that make Australia still an ok place to be.

        I am with you on the U.S. influence thing.. I wouldn't be adverse to more U.S. cuisine down here :)

        • +1 vote

          Oh yeah - plenty to be concerned about in regards to adopting American culture wholecloth, but having (token/PR-based) gestures of appreciation for veterans isn't exactly I'd bat an eye at. Not when we already have US shows on our TVs, US jeans in our shops, US tech in our homes, etc.

          I wouldn't be adverse to more U.S. cuisine down here :)

          OMG US-STYLE BBQs ARE AMAZING.

        • +7 votes

          You never go full American…

        •  

          Taco Bell just opened up here. You should see the line up out the door, and the drive-thru is grid-locking the streets. Mexican - mmm, great US cuisine.

        •  

          Channel 10 was recently bought off by American company, its going to be more trump whitely washed media from here, no escape :(

          • -1 vote

            @KozieSeller: dont worry, ABC is leaning ever more to the left, so much so that their office is now a backup Leaning Tower of Pisa

            • +2 votes

              @payton: Yeah, that is what the right wing ALWAYS says about the ABC but the facts don't agree with it. The ABC is only left wing when you compare it to the Commercial stations such as the ones Murdoch owns - and they have their own agendas for being Right wing.

              •  

                @try2bhelpful: I'll give you an example then. My opinion is that its just straying further, further away from being a dead centre journalism

                eg this article - how to pick a doormat boyfriend who have no independent bones in his body. /double facepalm on this one

                QUOTED:

                *But I'm dating someone who isn't Aboriginal, I dread other types of conversations because our whole relationship depends on how they pan out

                For me, they're things like:

                Does he celebrate Australia Day? Now this is a sensitive subject as I do not, and never have celebrated this day.
                Black face — does he think it's harmless?
                Tony Abbott as special envoy on Indigenous affairs? Thoughts?
                And what about the closure of remote communities?
                Expecting him to have all the right answers is unrealistic. But you can tell when someone means well and when they don't.

                And if he doesn't agree with all my views, INSTANT BREAK UP!

                •  

                  @payton: A bad-faith, dishonest summation to be so selective. At least those who load the linked page will get the whole context and tone.

                  What you copy-pasted proves nothing anyway.

                  • -1 vote

                    @Speckled Jim: Dishonest? How so?
                    I didn't paint her as someone she is not.
                    She is so ideologically driven that her criteria for a boyfriend isn't 'must genuinely love me', but 'must not say/think anything I consider racist, even unintentionally', The extremism shown there sounded a bit like 'must have 100% pure aryan blood'.

                    Do others worry that their new dude might be unintentionally a little bit racist?

                    What if they only like me because I LOOK black, and not because I AM black?

                    Why is this even a question for her? Who cares? Someone likes you for who you are, end of story. Why overcomplicate things?

                    Remember that, my black women — you're special!

                    The whole article reeks of Black Lives Matter bs

              •  

                @try2bhelpful: I should explain ..
                one gripe I have with the left is just how divisive they can be, and the issues they raised are usually 'storm in a teacup' scenario
                some of them are obviously nice, decent people and there's nothing wrong with that.
                and the right wing aren't all multimillionaires who wants the poor to stay as such and die off thru overwork

                •  

                  @payton: I don't think the divisiveness and "storm in a tea cup" scenario is the domain of the left only. Have a look at the "issues" the shock jocks raise and they are usually overblown or a reaction to their "outrage of the day". They are well known for their "cash for comment" leanings. At least with the "left wing media" their opinions are not, generally, bought and paid for.

                  I agree with your comment on the right wing; a lot of them are poor people who are easily influenced. They tend to be the most "problematic" as they actually believe what they are being told. The educated are more likely to be sceptical

                  You only have to look at what Trump is doing in America to see the danger of the rigth. He has setup an environment where, even if he is on camera saying something, he claims that it is biased or "Fake News" to actually show it. You don't need to report both sides of the equation when one side is not reality; especially if it incites people to violence. It is like the American states where they are trying to teach both Evolution and Creation. One is based in Scientific fact and the other is a "faith" based concept. There is a great comment on religions - "they can't all be right, but they can all be wrong".

                  There is unbalanced left wing reporting out there, but it is not the ABC.

                  •  

                    @try2bhelpful:

                    I agree with your comment on the right wing; a lot of them are poor people who are easily influenced

                    I was actually implying there are decent people on both sides, and its not a simple: right wing good, left bad or vice versa :)
                    I would agree that that lack of education and being 'too easily influenced' are unfortunate traits

                    • +3 votes

                      @payton: I don't think it is a dichotomy either; but there is a misconception the ABC is left wing because of the general level of reporting in Australia; which is unbalanced by Fox and Murdoch. I also get really annoyed at the ludicrous left wing posters I see in Fitzroy advocating violence against police personnel, etc. Blindness is not restricted to either side; it is just the right wing tends to have a higher influence at the pointy end.

                      The problem is the people with the money frequently call the tune and the ABC has been very effective at highlighting undue influence and deals for mates. The Government attacks them for bias rather than dealing with the issues; this has been true of both sides of Government.

                      The board should be appointed by a panel seperate to the Government of the day. The fact that board members were being contacted directly by Government members is apalling. The fact they were being listened to, and pressure exerted, is even more apalling.

                  •  

                    @try2bhelpful:

                    There is unbalanced left wing reporting out there, but it is not the ABC.

                    Nor is it the (US) PBS news. Gritty, realistic, no histrionics, no gimmicks.
                    And we get it on SBS!

        •  

          Sickening jingoism is America's stock in trade. We don't need or want it here.

          Can highly processed fast food really be called "cuisine"? :-)

    • +1 vote

      Which is controversial in itself.

      Have you failed to notice that Australia slavishly follows the USA into every illegal conflict they carry out?

  • +22 votes

    It's dumb.

    Here, board an airplane two minutes early.
    Oh what? You want better mental health support? Get stuffed.

    • +2 votes

      I know I say this every time, but "better mental health support" isn't as easy as saying it or even throwing money at it.

      • +2 votes

        No one said that it was easy.
        Who said that?

        • +2 votes

          Then don't use it to criticize something which is easier like allowing them priority boarding?

          You might as well tell off someone giving a homeless person spare change by going:

          Here, have a few dollars.
          Oh what? You want the homeless problem solved? Get stuffed.

          • +10 votes

            @HighAndDry: Come on. Sure it's easier but it's just a publicity stunt.

            Better support is hard, but actually achieves something.

            This BS does nothing to actually help anyone in any meaningful way.

    •  

      Board early while we wait for the last few people who are late to board and we search for them

  • +27 votes

    We are not a military centric nation and I don't think we should be. As much as I respect military service men/woman I hold just as much respect for people like doctors/nurses and first responders.

    The military is big business in the states, that's why they promote it in practically every sport event.

    • +6 votes

      Currently the ADF are assisting ISIS and Al Quaeda

      Got a source on that?

      • +11 votes

        It's basically true. In the Syrian Civil War, the two main sides are the Syrian Government, and the Free Syria Army (if they're still called that). The FSA is basically a collection of various rebel groups, many of which are directly linked to, if not actually a sub-unit of, ISIS and Al-Qaeda. The US-led Coalition is still pro-FSA, which means supplying them with weapons, munitions, supplies, etc. Even aside from that, seeing it's a two-horse race, the US attacking Syrian Govt positions directly helps the FSA and their ISIS/Al-Qaeda buddies.

        Good summaries:

        https://arretsurinfo.ch/there-is-no-fsa-there-is-only-al-qae...

        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-...

        • +2 votes

          It's not as simple as 'two sides'. A bit of a power vacuum and you get all sorts of groups popping up to take advantage. There's at least 6 groups of varying moral grey areas before you even get to the US and Russia. The ADF have pretty strict engagement rules, we have turned down missions the US would go through with. Personally, I'd be much happier we're with the US questioning their mission than sitting back and leaving them to conduct it however they would alone.

          • +1 vote

            @Bargs: There are far more than 2 distinct groups fighting in Syria, definitely. But in the end, if the Syrian government doesn't win, the next most powerful factions are all aligned more or less with ISIS or Al-Qaeda - and so they'll be the ones to fill any power vacuum.

            And I don't think the ADF should be there at all - but international geopolitics is nothing if not give-and-take. We help out the US in its international excursions in the Middle East and elsewhere, the US backs us up when/if we run into trouble with say, China or other countries in our backyard, etc.

            • -1 vote

              @HighAndDry: I think the aligned with ISIS and Al-Qaeda is a not a whole lot more than Russian propaganda. The only real thing the Syrian government has over those two is that they're willing to let the Russians base their Navy out of Syria. Definitely, there's a good chunk of ISIS in Syria, whether those are 'on the same side' as the FSA seems to depend on which propaganda you believe.

              • +1 vote

                @Bargs: I mean, international law is pretty clear on the situation - Russian forces are there at the invitation of the internationally recognized government of Syria. The US-led coalition isn't.

                And re ISIS/Al-Qaeda? They're the only remaining, non-defunct anti-Syrian Govt force there. There just isn't any non-ISIS/Al-Qaeda anti-Syrian Govt groups remaining in Syria anymore. They effectively comprise the entirety of the FSA.

    • +13 votes

      The Australian military goes where the Australian government tells them to. Pretty important principle of modern democracies is that the military is subject to civilian command and control. And guess what else happens in a democracy? Oh right, the government is voted in by the people.

      I don't agree with the US' stance in the Middle East, and I don't agree with Australia's support of said stance. But I'm sure as hell not going to put the blame on soldiers carrying out their orders that the people we as a country voted into government are handing them.

      I don't see you doing much about it other than whining about "lib-lab voters" online. Get off your bum if you want to be taken seriously when criticising others who're actually risking their lives.

      • -1 vote

        "I was just following orders"

        That excuse didn't work for the Nazi soldiers…

        • +5 votes

          Ah yes, providing indirect support for one side in a multi-faceted civil war against armed combatants or professional soldiers is now the same as rounding up and executing unarmed Jews in gas chambers.

          I think you've reached the pinnacle of false analogies with this one.

        • +4 votes

          And there's Godwin's law.

          If Australian soldiers were involved in anything of the sort we'd all be appalled. Fortunately for everyone, they're doing nothing of the sort. I assume you're just as outraged at the people that fought the Nazi soldiers?

          Short of actually committing war crimes, ADF personnel have to do what they're ordered to. They don't get a say in it because their lives and other people's lives depend on a quick response.

        •  

          Actually, for the soldiers it did, otherwise you would have much of the male former Axis country populations in jail after the war. The 'I was following orders' excuse didn't work for those giving out the commands who had some power to ignore them.

      • +1 vote

        Soldiers decide to do that job.

        • +1 vote

          Sure, and a good Samaritan can decide to dive into flood waters to save a kid.

          I don't see why the conscious choice to make a sacrifice lessens that sacrifice.

    • +3 votes

      The ADF also spend a lot of their time doing humanitarian work around the world.
      But you probably can't see that from on top of your high horse

  • +9 votes

    Please include the policy in op.

  •  

    This happens a fair bit in America.

  • +2 votes

    A good topic - however I think you'll see from yesterday's papers that Virgin have already decided to reconsider the policy, which means that there's no way it will be implemented.

  • +2 votes

    Well what is it? I could go Google it, but I lack the interest. If it was summarised here in the OP I'd read it.

  •  

    My question is - Is there a Veteran group or Union that is requesting this? I'm sure many veterans have differing opinions on this.
    If it wasn't demanded, perhaps it doesn't need to be discussed in a polarizing way.
    I don't like to see people being vilified for something they didn't even demand.

    • -1 vote

      I doubt very much that the RSL would have requested this. They already have their hands full with severe internal ructions.
      I think that it is part of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's roll out of a new scheme inviting big business to offer discounts to Australian veterans. I know that this is not a 'discount' but that is my belief.

  • +4 votes

    It is an interesting idea however I would have to side with Qantas. Servicemen/woman are just another cog in a machine along with fireries/police/Ambos etc… They all do great work for their local communities/country but having priority boarding is not something I think would help them in any way. Recognition of their service? It's a nice gesture but not needed or required.

  • +2 votes

    I'd bet that most Australian vets would find it embarrassing.

  • +1 vote

    Don't forget this was a policy that was pushed by Scott Morrison and the Coalition supported it. Without actually consulting any actual veterans.

  •  

    pointless pr exercise. there are many "hero's" on every flight. plus if i were a vet i wouldnt want the "look at me" attention

  • +5 votes

    I actually put ambos and firies ahead of vets. Sure vets put tneir lives on the line but in the scheme of things they're justs pawns in the global war machine ran by weapons manufacturers. Very few wars in recent history have been about protecting freedoms and all the other pseudo patriotic crap that govts spruke. It's a shame because most vets have genuinely made sacrifices for non existent causes.

  • +4 votes

    I don't like the idea.

    Warmongering is bad. Every war Australia has been involved in for the last 65 years has been due to warmongering. We haven't started it but we've jumped in and helped warmongering countries (mostly the USoA).

    Anti-soldier sentiment in the Vietnam War was harsh because the draft was a thing but it was effective. The combination punch of a high death rate of US/AU soldiers and a significant portion of the public targeting the returning soldiers as monsters was effective.

    Is it not nice? Sure. Is it nicer than killing people in other countries for vague reasons? Yes.

    Celebrating veterans as heroes who deserve better treatment than the rest of us is a solid sign of facsism. It's just airline boarding, it's token, but it's an idea that gets implanted in the culture: soldiers deserve more than the rest of us. That's the core that feeds fascism.

  • +7 votes

    Veterans should be treated with respect, dignity, and entitled to a safe and comfortable flight.

    So should every other passenger.

  •  

    I think some of the people here are missing the point. It says veterans, not war veterans and even then not all war veterans/roles in the ADF are combat roles. Generalising uniform personel and associating them to war/killing is wrong. Those that aren't sure if the term "veteran" can wiki it.

    • +1 vote

      Previously veteran was assigned to personnel that had deployed in a war-like operation or theatre. This was recently amended to have the “status” on a members first day of service (recruit training).

  •  

    This is beyond judging a book by its cover… This is judging a book by the BuzzFeed article about it.

    Until there's information on exactly what Virgin plans to do, who is the media to assume they're going to bring in a dancing clown to publicly announce who the veteran is?

    To explain this better:
    American airliners announce "now boarding group X, millitaey passengers, ex military passengers", etc. It's typically the second group to board following business passengers. I've seen no information in any media article indicating that what Virgin is planning to do is any different to this, yet such articles still push the idea that veterans will be publicly identified by this.

    •  

      If it is announced these are military, and ex military, personnel and people walk onboard then they are identified, as such, even if they aren’t named.