Passengers on board a U.S. Airways flight from Portland, Oregon to Charlotte, North Carolina Thursday said a flight attendant refused to hang up a decorated American war hero's coat because he wasn't seated in first-class.
When some of the first-class passengers offered to trade seats with First Sergeant Albert Marle, the flight attendant said no, passengers told WSOC-TV. Another flight attendant later took Marle's coat to hang it up.
But even that didn't stop several people from expressing their frustration on Twitter:
According to my flight attendant you have a policy to not hang the dress coats of Army Rangers not seated in first class. #antiusair
@USAirways is it really in your policy to disrespect brave men such as Sergeant Marle? Flight attendant Ava of US 1930 from PDX to CLT.— Laura Kirby (@LauraKirby76) October 9, 2014
And Montel Williams expressed his shock:
Katie Cody, a spokeswoman for American Airlines/U.S. Airways provided the following statement to TheBlaze:
"We apologize for the situation and are reviewing it internally. We have a long and proud history of serving our military members and we hold them in the highest regard."
Cody said the airline has been working to obtain Marle's contact information to reach out to him personally. But because Marle made his reservation through a third-party website such efforts have thus far been unsuccessful. Marle has not contacted the airline, Cody said.
U.S. Airways also responded to some of the tweets:
@captpat48 We apologize for the situation and are internally reviewing. We hold everyone serving our country in the highest regard.— US Airways (@USAirways) October 10, 2014
@montel_williams We sincerely appreciate your concern, Montel. We honor our nation's military members and are internally reviewing.— US Airways (@USAirways) October 10, 2014
Military officials at Fort Bragg said Marle is ranger qualified, pathfinder qualified, air assault qualified, special forces trained and "most likely" in a special forces unit, WSOC-TV reported.
UPDATE: American Airlines/US Airways responded again Saturday. The statement read in part:
"To be sure, we simply did not get this one right. We will always try to do better and work hard to align our core values – especially as they relate to the commitment we have to our men and women in uniform – with the experience our customers have on our planes every day."
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