It is being reported that a US Airways flight attendant would not let a decorated US Army Ranger hang up his dress coat to prevent it from becoming creased during flight because he was not in first class. Several first class passengers complained and offered to trade seats with the soldier, but the stewardess would not allow it. She reportedly even yelled at them when they asked for another stewardess. One of the passengers then took to social media to publicize the event and there is now an investigation underway. He claims that there was no lack of space to hang the coat.
I really hate this sort of petty vindictiveness. It would have hurt nothing to hang the guy’s coat, but now it will cost the airlines a lot of bad publicity. Being a small business owner I can sympathize. You often have employees who make boneheaded, or even enraging decisions. The only consolation is that people who are sticklers for rules like that have to lead very miserable lives if the only pleasure they get is from sticking it to other people.
But if I were the first class passenger on this flight I think I could have come up with a simple solution. I would have handed the soldier $20 to rent his jacket for the duration of the flight. Then I would have demanded the stewardess hang MY jacket. Once the flight was over I would have handed the jacket back along with thanks for his allowing me the honor of holding his coat for him, and tell him to spend the money on something for someone he loves.
Small business guys like myself get good at finding ways around the petty officials who populate the various fiefdoms which vex us. As Liam Neeson says, “I have a particular set of skills…”