Memo To U.S. Airways Employees: The Coast Guard Is Part Of The Military

The United States Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security rather than the Department of Defense. This distinction probably wasn’t what a U.S. Airways employee had in mind when refusing to waive Jennifer’s baggage fees, though. Jennifer was returning to her station from a trip to visit family, but the employee insisted that she had to pay a baggage fee like civilians do, because the Coast Guard isn’t part of the military. A manager agreed, but they were both wrong. Jennifer didn’t need to pay to check her bags, and members of the Coast Guard have served in just about every war in American history. They certainly are part of the military.

Jennifer writes:

I had a flight booked home today through US Airways. I am a member of the US Coast Guard and was returning to my station from visiting family. While doing the self check in at the kiosk, I got to baggage and clicked the button for military. It said to see an attendant so that the baggage fee could be waived. So I found an attendant. She took my military ID and then told me I was not military. She said “You’re Coast Guard. If you were military, you’re ID would say
‘Military.’ Yours says ‘Uniformed Services.'”

I explained to her that was inaccurate and that the CG is a branch of the military (all IDs say Uniformed Services). She insisted it is not and told me “the services are Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines”. She then went to speak to a manager. She said the manager also said it’s not and she then picked up the phone to call someone about it. I told her I had the baggage fee waived on my flight at the beginning of the trip and she said “Well whoever did that for you was wrong and you should have paid for your checked baggage.”

I started to feel offended that she’s telling me I’m not in the military and explained this to her, she continued to be rude and insist the CG was not military. I said “I can’t tell you what your policy says for baggage fees, but I can tell you the CG is a branch of the military and if CG is not included, you need to change what your policy says to reflect that the free checked bag is not for ALL military.”

In the end, whoever she called on the phone told her she was “not sure” and she would have to look it up, but to go ahead and waive my baggage fee for now. The woman did so with obvious resentment towards it. I cannot believe how rude she was.

It is the first time I have ever felt offended by how I was treated. I proudly serve my country as an active duty member of the Coast Guard.

Well, we thank you for your service, Jennifer, and will pass along this link that you sent to any airline personnel who happen to be reading this site.

Not all of the Uniformed Services are part of the Armed Forces, but the opposite is true.


Edit Your Comment

  1. tuxman2 says:

    If traveling as a civilian, why not pay as a civilian? Uniformed Services or Military should not get preferential treatment. Your paycheck is your compensation. I do not agree that any further compensation is warranted.

    • spartan says:

      If they promised her the fees would be waived and she relied on that information when she booked her ticket she is most certainly entitled to have UselessAirways honor their commitment.

      That said, unless she is extremely destitute, she might have been better off laying the money out and reaping the rewards that an embarrassed airline had to supply to save face after the fact.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Ummm… she was travelling as a military member returning to her duty station. What is your problem?

      • Nogard13 says:

        Returning to station doesn’t mean on official orders. She was visiting her family, which tells me she was on leave, not orders. All airlines waive the fees for members of the armed services who are traveling on official orders (trust me, I was Active Duty for 10 years). When I traveled on my own, I paid my baggage fees. Every. Single. Time.

        • dirtyblueshirt says:

          Then you’re being gypped. Every time I flew, orders or not, my baggage fees were waived. I never once asked for it, it was just given at the counter; no questions asked.

          • mclabop says:

            Then you got a courtesy, same as I’ve received most time I travel while not on orders. The only time US based (domestic in the US) airlines are required to waive fees is for personnel traveling under orders.

            I never expect the courtesy when traveling on leave, and when I do receive it, I make sure to thank the attendant profusely. When one feels entitled to a courtesy, one has ceased to see the value of what is being offered.

        • rytis says:

          next time, fly Southwest. Bags fly free – Military or not.

    • JollySith says:

      Active duty, returning to station. These are both in the summary.

    • bnceo says:

      She was returning to her station. It’s not like she was a vet of the CG and was trying to dodge a fee. She was going back to work for the CG after taking leave. So baggage fee waiver should apply.

      Traveling as a civilian means not being active duty and just traveling on your own from your home to another place, not a duty station.

      • Captain Spock says:

        Exactly. She is not given an choice where she is posted. Thus she is required to pay her airfare when she travels from base to home, and the return trip. This is why Military members are given preferential treatment.

        • short_texas says:

          It is preferential treatment. Lots of people are not given a choice about where they are required to travel for work but airline companies do not waive the fees for them. They may be reimbursed by their own company for the costs but the airline company doesn’t waive their fees.

          I hate that serving in the military is mainly thought of as the only way that a person can serve their country and all members of the military are given preferential treatment in society. The person chose a career path, they are compensated for it with pay and tons of various benefits, so why do they need any further help.

          I served three terms as an AmeriCorps member, two years building houses for low income families and one year tutoring kids at underfunded public schools. I got $832 a month in pay and an education award for which I had to pay taxes. I feel that I have served my country but never once were my baggage fees waived when traveling as an AmeriCorps member, nor would I want them to be since that was the job I had chosen to take at the time. I knew the compensation and benefits going into it, so why should I expect or receive anything more.

          • RandomHookup says:

            I understand where you are coming from, but there are some big differences about the military that can make their service a little higher on the scale (I’m a veteran myself). I do think that the military can capture the lion’s share of the attention (though I don’t think that cops, for example, should try to grab military discounts as the potential sacrifices are different).

            * You can’t quit the job and you can’t turn down an assignment somewhere else.
            * Even though your contract has an end date, the government can extend it unilaterally for an indefinite time.
            * You give up a great deal of your rights in joining the military.
            * You have agreed to put yourself in harm’s way, even if it’s not the specific job you signed up for.

            • ARP3 says:

              But to play Devil’s advocate to all in this thread, that’s all in the agreement that you signed. Same with the pay rates, etc. According to the “just world” tea party, you should not get preferential treatment because you knew what you were signing up for.

              Private business should be able to charge what they want, if they want for baggage fees. In this case, they decided they wanted to charge. If she doesn’t like it, she should get another job or fly another airline.

              /Libertarian Rant

              • Difdi says:

                AmeriCorps isn’t a silent partner and part-owner of the planes either.

                You say you’re a libertarian? Why do you object to a private business doing business the way its shareholders, board and executives decide to? They have private property rights too, after all.

                A business owner can’t give a discount to a business partner or shareholder? How would you enforce that? The only way I could see working would make the government bigger, by at least one new regulatory agency, and that agency would probably stick its fingers into all businesses, including small businesses. Goodbye employee discounts!

              • Banished to the Corner says:

                However, your argument is invalid in this case, as US Airlines company policy is to waive the baggage fee for active duty military personnel. It doesn’t say it will only waive them when going from one duty station to another duty station. It says all travel by active duty military personnel.
                The OPs point was US Airlines attempted to exclude the Coast Guard from their own corporate policy. If they want to do that, they should say: we waive baggage fees for all active duty Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine personnel.

              • JollySith says:

                This is a case of private businesses charging what they want. As far as I can tell the checked baggage fee being waved is a company policy not a mandate or law. The issue here is the poor training of their employees, and the overall attitude of the staff.

          • crashfrog says:

            The deferential treatment is part of their compensation. It’s a way of socializing the costs of keeping a standing military. “Private army”-type paramilitary contractors – Blackwater, etc – make about six times the salary of a soldier to do roughly the same work, so that should give you an idea of what the real market value of armed forces personel actually is. We’re getting these men and women at a significant discount, largely as an act of altruism on their part. An act of altruism that you personally benefit from by forestalling the likelihood of a draft during a time of war.

            I dunno, I think a $25 baggage coupon is ok. The military isn’t just a place where you do a job and collect a paycheck; it’s a place where you do an incredibly difficult job in exchange for about a sixth of what you’re actually worth and the thanks of a grateful nation. (Some maybe a little more grateful than others.)

            • RandomHookup says:

              Having run an Army reception station, I don’t think “altruism” is the most likely reason men & women enlist (though some are pulled by a higher calling). They do it for slightly selfish reasons – to grow up, see more of the world, get a college education, have a steady job with good benefits, to pay off their college loans, to prove something to mom or dad or themselves, to toughen up, to learn a new skill…

          • dolemite says:

            ” travel for work but airline companies do not waive the fees for them. ” Well, I guess they should find another job then. Military members sort of have to serve out their terms with no choice in the matter. Also, people that fly for a living probably make 2-3x more than military personnel. Also, I’d assume your place of employment would be compensating you for tickets and baggage fees. If not, I’d find another job as well.

          • SBR249 says:

            It’s preferential treatment but so what? That’s part of the understood societal benefit that comes with serving in the military along with other advantages and also disadvantages. Your job doesn’t include that because society has decided that it doesn’t need that respect/deference based on the benefits and costs that already comes with the job. Tough…

            • Difdi says:

              That and a few bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

              They don’t get preferential treatment from the airlines because they’re special. They get preferential treatment from their business partner, because the military subsidizes commercial aircraft, with the understanding that members of the military will be treated well and that if the military really needs a 747 to airlift a company or two NOW, there will be one available.

          • physics2010 says:

            When you subsidize the cost of every US aircraft you tend to be able to make certain demands.

          • SDr6 says:

            How many people died at AmeriCorps? Just asking because a lot of my fellow Marines didn’t make it back alive.

          • CaptainBill22 says:

            The members of our armed forces CG, Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force volunteer their time and energy to defend us. They absolutely deserve to get discounts.

            • JJFIII says:

              VOLUNTEER? Are you insane? Volunteers do not get paid. They offered their services and the government pays them. They actually do get FREE medical care, and housing if they want. If you do not like the pay, DONT SIGN UP

              • Asthmatic says:

                Actually JJFIII, are you insane? Do you think that the military is forcing people to join? No. They’re VOLUNTEERING, to join, potentially losing their life like so many others have, for the safe of your ignorant freedom. The “free” medical care you speak of, is spotty at best. There are few hospitals on active duty stations, we now have “clinics”. You get a chance at having your problems solved, but more than likely have to live with whatever is bothering you, if you wish to continue to serve. Military members don’t ask for discounts, but if people offer them out of respect for the service they provide, you shouldn’t think you’re better than them for it.

              • Gandski says:

                It would be a refreshing change if people would check their facts before spouting out about something they don’t have a clue about. I was active duty for 23 year. Healthcare is NOT free and hasn’t been for many years. Base housing is also NOT free. At my last station RENT for on base housing was just over $1000 a month. Free my butt. The airline came up with the policy, not her. If they don’t want to offer the free checked bags, that’s completely fine.

          • ken41b says:

            Don’t get me wrong I think Americorps is a great organization my daughter did 2years with them but it is not the same as putting on a uniform and possibly laying you life on the line. And as for the ton of benefits, those benefits do not put food on the table or help pay for your kids education for which I am very thankful to Americorps for helping with.

          • lionpaul says:

            The discount comes from the airline, not taxpayers. They offer discounts to the military for the positive advertising it provides. If a private company wants to give you a gift, why not take it?

      • mclabop says:

        This is not true, if that were true, then the government (meaning the tax payer) would be picking up the fee every time someone went on leave.

        When you fill out a leave chit, you explicitly acknowledge that you have sufficient funds to cover all expenses regarding your travel to be able to return to your home station.

        When on leave, no agency has to extend any benefits to you. Only when traveling on orders.

        It is nice when they extend the courtesy. Most attendants don’t ask for orders, just an ID card. They are actually required to verify the orders prior to waiving any fees.

    • elangomatt says:

      AFAIK, this no baggage fee thing isn’t any kind of law or anything that is being subsidized by the government. It is a way of thanking them for their service and encouraging them to fly on the airline. There are a lot of places that give military discounts. If companies are going to give military discounts, they really need to know about all of the branches of the military.

      • Pre-Existing Condition says:

        In addition… The DoD is a huge customer of the airlines and it’s not all that uncommon for businesses to give employees of large account holders a discount.

        I work for a small business that does a lot of business with Enterprise and AT&T. Both of those companies give discounts and other perks to us.

        • Hartwig says:

          This is true, not only that but the DoD often buys the tickets no one else will. These being ones which the date of travel can be changed at any time or cancelled. It is in the airlines best interests to make the customer happy in this case.

    • edman007 says:

      The military tickets are at a negoiated rate, and the military gets special treatment on airlines, mostly because they have an agreement that requires military to use US airlines and in the event of war the military and just go ahead and take commercial planes.

      Anyways, it’s negoiated under a federal contract, and violating the terms on the contract can mean big sanctions, in the extreme they can drop the airline which would result in millions of dollars of lost revenue. With that said they don’t require that airlines actually give military free bags, but US Airways states clearly on their site that they do, thus it could easily be said that not honoring it is a bait and switch against the federal goverment, again with severe punishment.

      With that said, probably nothing will happen, the OP just puts it on their travel voucher and the goverment pays it, it’s a lot of hoops to jump through to get that money back and I doubt the travel person in the command wants to deal with that, if they do they probably just report it and they will get a refund (airlines don’t want to be mean to such a large customer).

      • RandomHookup says:

        The OP was on leave, or so it appears, not traveling under orders. She would have to pay the fees herself. Otherwise, she could have shown her travel orders which would generally clear up the “military” thing.

        • demeteloaf says:

          Looks like a number of airlines now have a policy of free checked bags for active duty military traveling on personal flights. That’s what it looks like OP was using here.

          And i’m pretty sure that’s somewhat new. I don’t remember seeing those policies before.

        • DaleSwanson says:

          You still get orders when going on leave. Also government civilians can get orders. Although I’m sure they are worded differently, however, requiring a random airport checkin agent to read them and determine if they apply to a service memeber or civilian isn’t realisitc. Luckily they have IDs.

          • RandomHookup says:

            Unless something’s changed in the last few years, the government doesn’t issue you orders for a basic leave (that’s a huge administrative burden). You have forms, but they aren’t considered “orders”.

            • DaleSwanson says:

              I remember getting leave orders when I went on leave from Japan back to CONUS, but I can’t remember if I got orders for leave when I was stationed in CONUS. So, I’ll assume you are right. Still it was just an example of the fact that having orders != official travel.

              • RandomHookup says:

                That sounds like a special situation, but in almost all cases, you don’t get orders to go on ordinary leave.

                • Asthmatic says:

                  You always have orders for leave. Leave is a requested status, and unless approved by your supervisor and the base you are stationed at, you do not go. Its not an admin burden when you have a web based platform to request your leave, the admins go in, click approve or deny, and you print your friggen orders. Amazing.

            • sprybuzzard says:

              I also had orders for leave when I left Japan to the US for a week, but I don’t recall having them while leaving Barksdale on leave, so it’s probably something with leaving overseas on leave.

        • Difdi says:

          She wasn’t traveling under orders?

          So there would be no legal penalty for her if she simply didn’t show up at her post when her leave ended?

          She was at the end of her leave and returning to her post. If that’s not under orders, then orders do not exist.

          • RandomHookup says:

            Another semantic tap dance.

            She voluntarily left her duty location to have a personal trip (probably on leave). She has a standing order to be at work at a certain time and location. If she doesn’t show up, she is AWOL or she has to use more leave until she can get to the duty station.

            She was not ordered to travel by the military which is what “traveling under orders” is.

        • Asthmatic says:

          RnadomHookup, just so you know, leave is a status for military members. You’re still on active duty orders, even if you’re on leave status. I can understand how you not being in the military would be confused by this. The OP might have been having a moment of frustration and forgotten about her paperwork for leave authorization, thinking that her ID would be enough.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        OP is not upset about the baggage fee. OP is upset because the scumbag UA employees told her she’s not a member of the “Real” military. Like she’s playing dress-up in the yard or some shit.

    • cspschofield says:

      If their paycheck is their compensation, we need to pony up a lot more cash. Seriously, the military has been granted a lot of perks in lieu of better pay for a long, long time. Maybe it shouldn’t be like that, but it is. If you don’t want to give the military ‘preferential’ treatment, then you need to change the system first, THEN insist that their pay is their compensation.

    • Gravitational Eddy says:

      I regret to inform you that your observance of “civilian” vs “military” is wrong. Once you are sworn into any branch of military, you will become “active” duty and you will remain “active” duty until the end of your enlistment. You don’t get a choice to be otherwise. You remain in the service of your country until they hand you that DOD214 form.
      You may not have to travel in the uniform, but you still have to wear it….
      I’d like to see the government adopt the policy of providing FREE travel for ALL active duty members, no matter where they are or where they are going. Call it a perk, for the obvious reason that you are our nations first and foremost representatives when the bullets start flying. For that you should be able to travel unlimited on the governments dime.

      • Riley says:

        That already exists. It’s called Space-A travel. When I lived in Germany I flew back to the US quite often, for free.

        And if you are going to give service members anything, make it more money.

    • Gravitational Eddy says:

      I regret to inform you that your observance of “civilian” vs “military” is wrong. Once you are sworn into any branch of military, you will become “active” duty and you will remain “active” duty until the end of your enlistment. You don’t get a choice to be otherwise. You remain in the service of your country until they hand you that DOD214 form.
      You may not have to travel in the uniform, but you still have to wear it….
      I’d like to see the government adopt the policy of providing FREE travel for ALL active duty members, no matter where they are or where they are going. Call it a perk, for the obvious reason that you are our nations first and foremost representatives when the bullets start flying. For that you should be able to travel unlimited on the governments dime.

      • RandomHookup says:

        For a group of folks that have 30 days vacation a year (plus available weekends), that’s a pretty expensive perk for Uncle Sam to pick up. I could see some GIs heading off from Fort Benning to Rio on the weekends.

        • MarkVII says:

          I spent five years in the Navy, and beg to disagree.

          The military’s 30 days of leave doesn’t work like civilian vacation days. If you want a three day weekend, a civilian takes one vacation day. A military person has to use three leave days in order to be off a “duty” status. Similarly, if you were going on a week’s vacation, a military person would use nine leave days to have the week and associated weekends off.

          Also, I couldn’t begin to tell you how many days during weekends I was “on duty” and had to stay aboard my ship 24×7. If I was lucky, I had an entire weekend (Friday evening through Sunday) off every fourth weekend.

          Our tempo of operations frequently kept us from taking leave, because there was simply too much going on. It was not unusual for a person to lose leave days at the end of the fiscal year because they’d maxed out the amount they could carry over.

          Never mind that military personnel don’t get paid enough to fly to Rio for a weekend, but that’s another issue….

          LT, USN

          • RandomHookup says:

            I’m a military veteran myself (6.5 years active duty), so I know exactly how the leave system works.

            I’ve seen how military act when they have some vacation, driving 1000 miles on a 3 day weekend is one example. If the military had free unlimited flights, there would be troops at the airport to fly wherever they could for a day (hell, I would do the same — lunch in Paris? Sure.) Sure, troops can afford to fly to Rio if they don’t have to pay for the tickets. Fly down on Friday night, hit the beaches for a few hours and dance all night. Schlep back to the airport on Sunday morning on no sleep and then sleep on the flight. Trips don’t have to be expensive if you don’t pay for hotels or flights.

            I just don’t think it’s an affordable benefit that the government should pay for. Space-A travel? No problem. But not government paid for commercial flights to anywhere.

            • RandomHookup says:

              Yeah, there’s a lot of time when you really can’t take leave, but there is also time when people can. The military is a big place and that’s a lot of different sets of circumstances.

          • LadyTL says:

            Just as a head up, those in minimum wage jobs in retail and food service are in the same position vacation wise. If I want a specific three days off whenever and in whatever order, I have to request those specific days off and yes weekends are especially included in that since most retail and food service business is on the weekends. Oh and getting a full week off? Hope I still have a job after that or at least that my hours won’t be cut to the bone because of it.

            Yeah and awful pay too.

        • JF says:

          Every military installation I have ever been attached to has travel limits for their personnel on liberty. Even if you are paying for it you can’t hop on a plane and go somewhere for a weekend. You have to be available for duty recall even if on liberty (think 9/11 or Pearl Harbor where there needs to be a swift and immediate recall).

          • RandomHookup says:

            Depends on the nature of your unit, but I never had that requirement. I could travel as far away as I wanted, knowing I could be in trouble if I didn’t get back as required. The military is a big, diverse place and there are lots of different situations.

            • RvLeshrac says:

              “knowing I could be in trouble if I didn’t get back as required” sounds a lot like a travel limit to me.

        • Riley says:

          Space-A travel

      • Riley says:

        I can’t feed my family with free travel. Pass.

      • newfenoix says:

        Thanks for pointing that out. While in military intelligence (please, I’ve heard all the jokes) I was in civilian clothes many times while on duty but I was still in the Army and was still a Warrant Officer.

    • Difdi says:

      It’s not unusual for the U.S. military to move people around on commercial airliners. The airlines have a deal with the U.S. government that helps pay for their planes, without which you would see a lot fewer large wide-body jets and a lot more small, narrow ones at airports.

      The airlines benefit from the deal by not having to pay full price for planes. The military benefits by having those planes be reserve transportation assets that can be activated in times of war for military airlift, and by getting discounts and fee waivers when buying tickets to move personnel around.

      Why do you object to a corporation keeping its promises?

    • MeowMaximus says:

      Bullpuckey! Our military deserve the preferential treatment since they risk their lives for us. You sir are a curmudgeon.

    • Speedstr says:

      “Your paycheck is your compensation” ???

      Not as a member of the Armed Services. When you look at the civilian counter-parts (most, though not all) military service members are quite underpaid compared to their civilian counter-parts. Especially in technically skilled jobs.

      • cecilias3411 says:

        AGREED! Why do you think the military offers such large sign-on bonuses to doctors and lawyers who join the JAG and Nurse Corps? As active duty providers, they make 1/3 of what they could make in the civilian sector. No worries, though. Sleep soundly tonight in your home while thousands of men and women sleep in harms way to make sure you wakeup in one piece tomorrow…

    • McNuggz says:

      Because it’s the airlines policy that military personal get baggage fees waived.. regardless of their reason of travel.

    • newfenoix says:

      As a vet I will say that you are an idiot.

    • newfenoix says:


    • Santas Little Helper says:

      Really dude? Glad things in your world are so cut and dry. Serving in the military is not about getting a pay check. It’s about a whole lot more than that, and we the remaining citizenry should be grateful for their service. This includes companies who do business here in this country and enjoy the protection from these great people.

      If I had a company you can damn well bet I would give preferential treatment to all military personnel.

      • dirtyblueshirt says:

        Thank you. I am grateful for living in a time where we have had people fight for servicemembers to be recognized as heroes. I do not envy the position our parents (and for me specifically my father) were put into when returning from duty during the Vietnam era. Those people were jeered, beaten, and spit on simply because they did as they were told to by their government (remembering they were subject to a draft). They came home and vowed ‘never again’. As a former service member (and now disabled veteran at only 30) I am humbled at the generosity many people and places show to the men and women of the military.

    • frodolives35 says:

      You are correct every company who advertises a discount for certain groups should be able to say SCREW YOU whenever a smart ass employee gets it wrong. Sorry no senior discount for you. Oh wait no AAA discount today. We know we use kids eat for free to lure you in but now you have to pay even if you waited an hour for your seat. What you want to fly home guess we have you over a barrel no discount for you.

    • itchyfish says:

      Tuxman2 – you sir are apparently an uneducated individual about the military. How appalling it is to those of us that have served (currently active or previously active) in the United States Coast Guard to help protect your freedoms (speech being one of them) for you, seem to have no interest of the sacrifice that has been given to deserve something so small in return. Whether those service men and women are on vacation or not, they fully deserve to have their bagage fees waived. Furthermore, when they are on vacation, they certainly are not in a ‘civilian’ status, they are still in an ‘active duty’ status and can be recalled at a moments notice to help protect this country should there be a need. Maybe you should find out your facts before you post anything about the military and what their entitlements are or are not. Those serving the Armed Forces are not serving their country for the paycheck, they do it because they voluntarily want to protect this wonderful country that people like you feel entitled to something that you probably didn’t earn.

    • ken41b says:

      You obviously have never served because if you have you would know that the sacrefices we make are not covered by the paycheck. But that is fine because we don’t do the job we do for the paycheck we do it for a higher calling love of country

    • NC COASTIE MOM says:

      You are an idiot. A paycheck is compensation for serving our country? For giving a life so that you can live? You are an idiot.

      Military personnel make very little money, and many do count on those discounts when planning a vacation, and usually their vacations are on the way to a new duty station or back home to see family – don’t think of luxury cruises or mountain retreats, because they rarely have time or funds for that. I guess we can all be glad you do not decide these rules.

      Ya damn idiot.

    • Seamus8 says:

      There is actually a good reason, beyond preferential treatment (though I think that’s good enough considering they are forced to travel while the overwhelming majority of other workers are not), to waive baggage fees.
      Under most situations, a person can get by with a carry-on and personal bag, military personnel do not have this option many times. They are forced to travel with military gear on many occasions. Sometimes their travel branch (DFAS) allows for compensation and sometimes (especially with reservists) it does not.

    • clider says:

      I have never posted on here before and registered just so I could respond to The comments about her pay being enough

      Is so obvious hat those comments came from people who have never served. To say the pay is enough is about the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a while. Do you even know what an enlisted person makes? It’s nothing. A waitress makes more and doesn’t risk putting their lives at risk. Sure, you get medical, but you get that at most jobs nowadays anyways. What other terrific benefits do you get? Nothing.

      Servicemen and women deserve a helluvalot more than free baggage checking and I think those of you that think it is glamorous deserve to spend six months in service as an E1.

    • Nobody Owes You says:

      I just checked US Airways baggage policies. This is what it says are waived:

      Unaccompanied minors (with US Airways unaccompanied minor paid assistance); Passengers traveling to/from Brazil; Active U.S. military with ID and dependents traveling with them on orders (1st through 4th bags up to 100 lbs/45 kg each free of charge)

      Confirmed First Class and Envoy passengers

      Active U.S. military with ID on PERSONAL TRAVEL (capitalization mine)

      That’s their policy. She is active duty US military. They include travel on orders and personal travel. The real issue is that the clerk doesn’t know her job. If US Airways policy was that is was only for those on orders, I would agree that she should have to pay. It doesn’t, and US Airways needs to retrain their staff to create a consistent customer experience.

    • coldproduct says:

      tuxman2, how many years did you spend in the military? When I was a coastie for several years (>6yrs) my paychecks never totalled more than $600.00 a month. Sure they fed us and gave us a bed, but to say that no further compensation is warranted is a bit shallow (pardon the coast guard pun).

    • gspasian says:

      Oh, That’s just because your a liberal. Now, if your job at McDonald’s required you to go overseas to work, McDonald’s would pay for your airfare, wouldn’t they, or at least get you a discount? Secondly, it’s just baggage fees. It’s only fair since these guys risk there lives and don’t get a very big paycheck for it anyway.

    • lionpaul says:

      The discount comes from the airline, not taxpayers. They offer discounts to the military for the positive advertising it provides. If a private company wants to give you a gift, why wouldn’t you take it? The airline gets the good press for providing the discount either way, only fair that they have to pay for it by actually giving away the discounts.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Airline policy is that members of the military don’t pay baggage fees. Period. The policy doesn’t say anything about whether or not you’re traveling on official orders.

      Just says military.

      You done being a child about this?

  2. spartan says:

    USAirways is not known gate agents who know how to think. While they will try to squeeze money out of a Coast Guardsman like Jennifer at one check-in counter, Elsewhere in the airport they are probably waiving the fees for people affiliated with the Salvation Army Confederate Air Force, Old Navy, Marineland, and the Michigan Militia.

    • Overman says:

      I was a member of the Marineland corps. Great job and place to work until it was bought by
      HBJ. They sold off all the animals without telling the trainers, shut the park,
      and built a golf course.
      Good times….

    • jenolen2161 says:

      +1 to you. I should have saved my Old Navy staff shirt then…

  3. Captain Spock says:

    I am kinda offended by this. My Grandfather served in the Coast Guard from 1941 – 1945 in Hawaii and he always considered himself a proud veteran of the service.

    • bnceo says:

      You shouldn’t be offended. Your grandfather has that right.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        You should be personally offended every single time and honorably-serving member of any branch of the armed services is screwed over by some idiot.

    • RandomHookup says:

      It was a little more straightforward during World War 2. The Coast Guard operates under the Department of the Navy during wartime. It has been under the Dept. of Treasury and then the Dept. of Transportation during peacetime. Now, it’s under the Dept. of Homeland Security.

      It’s not under the Dept. of Defense which is always going to cause some confusion.

      • Pre-Existing Condition says:

        Do they get a 214 upon discharge, like the other branches do?

      • Difdi says:

        The Coast Guard was the result of merging two services, only one of which was military (the other was originally a branch of the customs service). They’re military now, but most of their traditions actually come by way of their non-military roots.

        They also exist in an odd legal niche, since that merging gives them duties other branches of the military can’t legally perform (posse commitatus, to name one such restriction the Coast Guard is partially exempt from).

    • Emperor Norton I says:

      During WWII, control of the Coast Guard was transferred from the Treasury Dept. to the Navy Dept.
      It went back to Treasury after the war, so technically he was in the Navy.

      • SharkD says:

        No, technically, he was in the Coast Guard.

        Much the same way as a Marine is not “technically” in the Navy.

        • newfenoix says:

          The Coast Guard is a military service. The Marine Corps IS NOT part of the Navy. It is a separate service that operates under the control of the Department of the Navy.

  4. Velifer says:

    “It is the first time I have ever felt offended by how I was treated.”

    Hang out with Navy petty officers out beyond the 3 mile limit, Coastie.

    • Gravitational Eddy says:

      hit the refresh on the ol’ brain there, Velifer. Hasn’t been a three mile limit for, oh maybe 20+ years now. It’s 200 miles if I remember correctly.
      Something to do with natural fishery resources and commercial fishing operations.
      Plus, it’s easier to grab all that sunken gold when the government discovers you have found it.

      • Velifer says:

        Three miles. “Coast” Guard. Get it?
        Military jokes aren’t renowned for factual or historical accuracy.

        • Riley says:

          I got it.

          I also love when people throw wikipedia up as a reference.

          • Velifer says:

            I was gonna give him a break. Eddy was probably a Marine.

            • Gravitational Eddy says:

              boo on you both. I served in the shallow water navy for 4 years, mostly on blackhulls. And there was the year spent in Japan on a Loran station.
              And then Mike Rowe called to ask me if a bouy tender was a “dirty job”.
              That’s one of my favorite episodes, by the way.

          • Difdi says:

            Except that barring edit wars and controversial topics, Wikipedia is usually pretty accurate. At least they cite their sources and those sources can be independently verified.

            Granted, only a fool relies on an editable consensus-driven site, but outright falsehoods are rare, and it makes a good starting point for research.

            And since only a fool expects the person he is arguing with on the internet to do several years of original research in order to answer every single question on a blog, Wikipedia is about as good a reference as you can reasonably expect most of the time.

        • newfenoix says:

          Yes, I got it too.

    • houstonspace says:

      When I was in the Coast Guard we regularly went out past 3 miles. One time we chased an unregistered fishing boat halfway to Hawaii. This type of stuff goes on all the time. A lot of the cutters go all over the world. The idea of the CG being a ‘puddle jumping’ service is a myth.

  5. Lt. Coke says:

    It’s amazing how often people forget this is 2012. Did anyone consider the possibility of, you know, looking it up? Two minutes tops to find someone with an internet-capable phone to ask Google.

  6. MPD01605 says:

    What would they do about the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and NOAA Commissioned Corps?

    • MPD01605 says:

      (While this sounds like a stupid question given the linked articles above and the distinction between “Armed forces” and “Noncombatant uniformed services”, I’m assuming they also have USUS IDs but could be wrong.)

    • njari says:

      As an active duty U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officer, my experience has been that the vast majority of businesses extend the same courtesies to our officers as they to do for our military counterparts. I have always had my bag fees waived when traveling on official orders, although I have never requested a bag check fee waiver when traveling on leave.

      And as a point of clarification, we have the same “military” identification cards that other service members are issued, we have the same uniforms, rank structure, same pay, and same benefits. Howerver, we are a “uniformed” service, but not usually considered “military” except in certain scenarios (for certain tax determinations, and we can be fully militarized in times of war). I believe that all of the above likely applies to NOAA Corps officers as well.

    • newfenoix says:

      They are “uniformed services” but not armed or military services.

      • robby_d1 says:

        The coast guard is a armed service.

      • deadbirds says:

        My husband is active duty CG, he most certainly is armed & military. He has been shot at & used force to protect our coasts from dangerous drug smugglers. He has also directly saved dozens of US citizens from death. He can also be sent away @ a moments notice to serve in a war zone. So I consider that military.

  7. Mr. Spy says:

    Remember folks, Judge Judy will laugh you out of court when you provide paternity testing done out of a van.

  8. kathygnome says:

    In our increasingly militaristic and nationalist society, the only type of service that counts is one that can be used offensively.

    • crashfrog says:

      As opposed to being used commercially, like the Coast Guard?

    • cspschofield says:

      If you think this society is at some kind of militaristic and/or Nationalistic peak, you REALLY need to read more history. And develop some kind of sense of proportion.

      I’d let it slide, but my patience with this particular brand of blithe fatuity wore out during the Bush administration when all kinds of dim bulbs were calling Bush a Nazi. As a Frenchman once said, if you accuse somebody of being a Nazi and you are not dead one minute later, you have been refuted.

      • dolemite says:

        I wouldn’t say it’s at it’s peak, but it sure keeps chugging along (ahem, Iraq, Afghanistan). And our current government’s power since 9/11 has grown at a speed and scope that would make the top of anyone’s list. Our government now claims it can detain American citizens without right to trial, execute them without trial, tap their phones, emails without warrants simply by granting itself the ability to label a citizen a terrorist without proof.

        • cspschofield says:

          Or government is out of control – no question – and has been for a while. But it isn’t exactly militaristic or nationalistic. More bureaucratic, frankly. Or spooky, in the CIA sense.

          And what gets me is that, to be blunt, the government had claimed almost all of the powers that it has exercised in the War on Terror long before – mostly in the War on Drugs – and many of the people who are all upset about their use in the War on Terror simply couldn’t give a damn before. I’m not saying the government SHOULD have a lot of these powers, I’m just saying that the cvast majority of them are nothing new, and some of us were concerned long before the camel pesterers committed mass architectural criticism in Manhattan.

          • dolemite says:

            Oh don’t get me started on the “War on Drugs.” So now we have the “War on Terror” that grants our government basically unlimited powers until it is won (can’t be won, ever), AND the “War on Drugs”, which is basically a scam to protect corporate interests in several industries while also providing fodder for our privatized prison system.

            • cspschofield says:

              The War on Terror could be won – as much as any wars ever are, anyway – if we were cold enough to do it. Gunboat diplomacy is amoral and frequently messy, but it is also reasonably cheap and it usually works. If every time a bunch of disgruntled idiots took to attacking U.S. citizens to make political points, we told the countries they infest “Deal with these jerks or we will deal with YOU” (and made it clear that we meant it), the problem would rapidly recede into the background of international affaires.

              We won’t, mind. But we COULD.

  9. TravistyRobertoson says:

    The CG is not part of the 3 branches of the military, yes 3. Army, Air Force, and Navy. The Marines are a department of the Navy.

    The CG is part of the Department of Homeland Security. I am not trying to say they do not or have not served their country, but facts are fact.

    • NeverLetMeDown2 says:

      Wrong. It’s explicitly a branch of the military. See below.

    • MPD01605 says:

      The “military” is never defined. It is considered the “armed forces”. And in US Law:
      “The term “armed forces” means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.”
      And the Coast Guard can be transferred from DHS to DoD at any time.
      And as defined in US law (14 USC § 1):
      “The Coast Guard as established 28 January 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times. The Coast Guard shall be a service in the Department of Homeland Security, except when operating as a service in the Navy.”

    • RandomHookup says:

      We can get caught in semantics, but the Coast Guard is not part of the Department of Defense, however they are considered part of the military service. Members of the Coast Guard are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, are paid on the military pay tables, receive exactly the same ID as the other military branches, are eligible for VA benefits, receive the same DD Form 214 as the others and are credited with their USCG service when they enter other military branches. Sounds like pretty much the same thing to me…

      Now, USAirways can elect not to extend the free baggage benefit to the Coast Guard if they want, but they would need to be very specific in the offerings. Not that it would be a smart thing to do…

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      You are wrong. If you said they weren’t part of the DoD you would be right.

      Here is the relevant law (started at Wikipedia, but their sources are so much more authoritative).

    • Revanche says:

      More specifically, the Marince Corps is NOT a part of the Navy. It is a branch of the Department of the Navy, as is the Navy itself is also a branch:

      Department of the Navy
      – United States Navy
      – United States Marine Corps
      – United States Coast Guard (when so designated)

    • Difdi says:

      So they walk on water instead of riding in ships? Duly noted.


    • newfenoix says:

      Hey ding dong, the Coast Guard IS a military service.

  10. NeverLetMeDown2 says:

    It’s a branch of the military. It’s black letter law. The fact that it’s slotted under the Heimatsicherheitsamt (Homeland Security sounds so much better in German) doesn’t change that:

    The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times. The Coast Guard shall be a service in the Department of Homeland Security, except when operating as a service in the Navy.

  11. dpeters11 says:

    The Coast Guard is a bit of an unusual branch, since they do interact with civilians more than the other branches. Military duties, law enforcement duties, search and rescue etc.

    Certainly doesn’t mean they aren’t part of the military, but it is more of a hybrid in actual duties.

  12. SharkD says:

    Military ≠ Armed Forces ≠ Uniformed Services

    The United States Coast Guard is not a military service, as defined by 10 USC § 101 (a)(8), except in times of war, when it is transferred to the authority of the Secretary of the Navy.

    The Coast Guard, like the Navy, Army and Air Force, is one of the armed services, regardless of whether the U.S. is at war.

    Like the three military service branches, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, it is a uniformed service of the United States.

    Regardless of what political catch-phrases are thrown around, the United States is not at war and neither the Congress nor the President have not transferred the Commandant of the Coast Guard from DHS to the Office of the Secretary of the Navy.

    The last time the USCG served under SecNav was World War II — the last time the U.S. formally declared war. (Individual USCG units serving in Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and OIF were temporarily assigned to Navy commands.)

    • SharkD says:

      That said, US Airways should clarify their policy to simply include all Uniformed Services (or Armed Services, if they’ve got a beef with the USPHS/NOAA) in their ‘free checked bags’ policy.

      And, though DD Form 2 (Geneva Convention) IDs do read “Armed Forces of the United States” the Common Access Card IDs say “Uniformed Services” and then specify the department/service branch.

    • NeverLetMeDown2 says:

      “The United States Coast Guard is not a military service, as defined by 10 USC § 101 (a)(8), except in times of war, when it is transferred to the authority of the Secretary of the Navy.”

      Not true. The statute is crystal clear:

      The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States [b]at all times.[/b] The Coast Guard shall be a service in the Department of Homeland Security, except when operating as a service in the Navy.

      • NeverLetMeDown2 says:

        Blah, HTML idiocity on my part.

        “The United States Coast Guard is not a military service, as defined by 10 USC § 101 (a)(8), except in times of war, when it is transferred to the authority of the Secretary of the Navy.”

        Not true. The statute is crystal clear:

        The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times. The Coast Guard shall be a service in the Department of Homeland Security, except when operating as a service in the Navy.

        • SharkD says:

          Title 10 says it isn’t. Title 14 says it is.

          I say we let them jello-wrestle in the U.S. Botanical Gardens, to decide who’s right.

          • NeverLetMeDown2 says:

            Title 10 refers to military _departments_, not military services. The Coast Guard isn’t a military _department_, but it is a military service.

            That being said, I see your jello wrestling in the Botanical Gardens, and raise you hot oil wrestling in the Smithsonian.

  13. sqeelar says:

    This is the same US Airways that has huge billboards advertising their flights to Tel Aviv, yet go all 9/11 when an Orthodox Jew tries to pray on one of their planes.

    Obviously US Airways invented interplanetary travel (from earth to planet USAirways) but never told anyone.

    • JonBoy470 says:

      Why on God’s green earth would you fly a US-flag carrier to anywhere in the Eastern Hemisphere?! If you’re going to Israel, El Al is the only way to fly… Managing to make being an airline bad-ass since 1948…

      • NeverLetMeDown2 says:

        Israel is the one place in the Eastern Hemisphere I _would_ fly a US-flagged carrier to. Better seats, better food, better frequent flyer program. For anyplace that has Emirates as an option, definitely go that route.

  14. teamplur says:

    I’m looking at my military ID right now (Marine Corps) and it says :
    Uniformed Services
    Marine Corps.

    It doesn’t say military on here anywhere on the front. (I’d have to log out to see the back >_< )

    • newfenoix says:

      My Army ID was marked the same way. If you really want to get very technical with it, the only “military” service is the Army but that definition went out years ago except when used in the proper name of West Point; The United States Military Academy. It really doesn’t matter but those of us that served and those that are still serving know what the Coast Guard is.

  15. Hagetaka says:

    Really these employees were doing the Coastie a favor. Every Coastie I ever worked with had a persecution/inferiority complex about their service, much of it hard-earned (less respect, wayyyyyyyy less budget, higher average ops tempo), and all these kind US Airways employees were doing was feeding it.

    The derail over whether military deserves discounts is pointless. The company offers that discount, and two ignorant employees denied it to someone, showing a lack of common sense and a severe lack of PR awareness. Nothing gets press quicker than crapping on someone in uniform nowadays.

  16. soj4life says:

    Another example of the failure of the education in this country.

  17. loki95662 says:

    When did this change? When I was in the military, got out in 91′, the Coast Guard was under the Dept of Transportation unless during a time of war when they would then fall under the Dept of Defense.

    • loki95662 says:

      Before the Puddle Pirates start jumping on my case I am not questioning whether or not they are considered a part of the military because they are and yes I use the term Puddle Pirate with affection. Ex Submariner.

    • demeteloaf says:

      It changed in 2002, when the department of homeland security was established.

  18. VHSer says:

    I don’t get why someone in the military wouldn’t have to pay a fee that the rest of us do. They’re no better than anybody else.

    • newfenoix says:

      Did you or would you ever put on the uniform and go into the “valley of the shadow?” If not then shut up.

    • Vegetius says:

      If you have to ask the question, you wouldn’t understand the answer.

    • Westy1NC says:

      Military members don’t “have” to because it’s American Airline’s policy. The Coast Guard IS military. It’s not mandated by any higher power. They offer it to all military members and should honor it as such.

      this is their policy:

      The following passengers will be allowed a 1st and/or 2nd checked bag at no additional charge provided it falls within the size and weight limitations. These free checked bag allowances apply on flights operated by American Airlines, American Eagle, and AmericanConnection®. On codeshare flights operated by other carriers, the baggage allowance and charges of the operating carrier apply.

      For customers traveling to or from destinations in Brazil and Asia
      Customers who purchase full-fare tickets in Economy Class
      Customers who purchase Business or First Class tickets
      Active U.S. Military personnel traveling on orders or personal travel
      Active U.S. Military dependents traveling on orders
      American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum®, AAdvantage Platinum® or AAdvantage Gold® members
      Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K, MVP Gold and MVP members
      oneworld Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby members
      Customers flying on the same reservation as an American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Gold member or oneworld Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby member regardless of frequent flier status or fare type (not applicable to group bookings)
      First and Business Class MileSAAver® Awards
      First, Business and Economy Class AAnytime® Awards
      First and Business Class upgrades confirmed prior to check in

    • FloggingMolly says:

      I don’t get why senior citizens get cheap coffee either. Let’s start a riot.

    • NC COASTIE MOM says:

      Seriously? Lawd another idiot.

    • deadbirds says:

      yes, they are. if you don’t get that then you are probably much too entitled to ever understand.

  19. mcgyver210 says:

    The Draft isn’t active yet under the current dictatorship so when you sign up for Military you know or should know what you are signing up for. As Military it isn’t like it was many years ago when our Military were for the large part not appreciated especially the ones Forced into service.

    Now they receive many benefits for their service that they are also paid for so as far as Im concerned all these benefits are also taxable income same as civilians pay taxes on their benefits.

    As for LEOs they also get many benefits for a Job they chose so everything I wrote above goes for them also

    There are many professions that for some reason think they deserve preferential treatment doesn’t mean they do though. Everyone in some way chooses their career path.

    I am not saying we shouldn’t appreciate the “Job” they do but it shouldn’t be forgotten for many years many people joined up in peacetime for the benefits with no thought of actually having to actually serve in a combat capacity. Now the Military IMO enticed them with sensationalized propaganda but that is their fault for thinking they would receive something for very little.

  20. Press1forDialTone says:

    You should have asked to speak with a man.
    He would know immediately that the coast guard is
    part of the military and would have waived your fee
    and reported those two bimbos who were probably
    talking to each other and doing their nails during the
    training that would have taught them that the CG is part
    of the military.

    I would find out who the boss is of those two bags of water
    and see that they learn from this experience.

    • Westy1NC says:

      I don’t know where this took place, but the further away from the coast you get the less people know about the coast guard. I was serving in the USCG in the mid 80’s and went to a multi-service school at Ft Benjamin Harris in Indiana for a couple of months. it amazed me to see how many people around town had no idea the Coast Guard was full time, much less military. they thought is was some sort of weekend gig that required you to have a regular 9-5 Monday through Friday. this argument no longer surprises me but I still shake my head when I hear it.

  21. Seadogchief says:

    I understand exactly how she feels. I am a veteran of the US Coast Guard and my husband just retired after serving 30 in the Coast Guard. It is a slap in the face when people spout things they know nothing about.They sure weren’t saying anything when we scambled to save people after Katrina, were they? As for the man who said you are traveling as a civilian pay as one, well, it is an exteremly small thing that helps out more than you will ever know. We put our lives on the line just as the other branches do. It is insulting and uncalled for. We fly a lot and will not be flying US Airways. Afterall, they are not an airline. Be proud Jennifer. Just laugh at the idiots later. Maybe, if this glorified clerk finds herself in 30 ft. Seas, on a sinking boat, she will call the Army. Let her see how fast they come!

    • shufflemoomin says:

      How often did you put your life in danger in active service? How many times in a single shift does a police officer come into dangerous confrontation? Outside of a war, how many people in the coast guard are killed? How many police offers or firemen are killed each day? Exactly. Get over yourself.

  22. Westy1NC says:

    This is offered to them by free will and company policy of American Airlines. They get this from American Airlines because American Airlines wants either A:) to give back to the military or B:) to encourage military members to fly American.

    All of you complaining about this Coast Guardsman or any other member of the US Military getting special treatment from a business are free to spend your money somewhere else.

  23. CRiley65 says:

    She is a member of the Armed Forces. She volunteered to put herself in dangerous situations for us and our freedom. To me, this should be a non-argument. All members of the Armed Forces deserve any preferential treatment they receive. It’s the least we can do.

  24. robby_d1 says:

    I am active duty in the coast guard and this has happened to me and other members I work with. By this same air line. AND I WAS ON ORDERS.

  25. ken41b says:

    Would like to make a correction to your article: as a retired Coast Guardsman the US Coast Guard has proudly served in every war including the Revolution. Wd are also the oldest continuously running branch of the military. We even have a Medal of Honor recipient from WWII; Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munroe.

  26. FloggingMolly says:

    The airlines extend this privilege to the military- military includes the Coast Guard ftr, because the military directly protects their ability to do business. If Americorps members and Lowes Hardware salesmen and Elementary teachers and French translators stopped American jets from being flown into buildings, then I bet they would extend that same offer to you. Luckily for short_texas, the members offered this small perk that he/she is so offended by, have already signed that blank check up to and including their very lives to protect his/her free speech even if it’s wrong. As for US Airways- sounds like training is in order. If a privilege is extended to all military, then that means it is offered to USCG members. Lets make this right US Airways.

  27. NC COASTIE MOM says:

    Just go to if you want to know anything Coast Guard. But just so you know… they fight a war 24/7 365 days a year… if it isn’t in foreign territory it is on drugs and drug runners, terrorists and all while also saving and helping people. They don’t train to get it right, they live it every day.

    I will always be offended when someone says they are not military. Go through their boot camp and say that. Learn to use the guns on their boats, mop up the drugs they confiscate, ride the storms they have to to save the boaters or the people on rafts wanting to live in our country… these men and women are just as much military as Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. They all deserve the respect of us for the time they serve our nation.

  28. USCGVET says:

    The bigger issue here is the fact they are clueless about US Coast Guard being military. I am a Retired 21 yr VET of Coast Guard.

  29. rocketdawg says:

    “Your paycheck is compensation” – You must be one of the kids that stayed on the beach because your mother didn’t want you to get dirty. You shallow mind has no idea what the members of the US armed service have giving this country one a daily basis and the sacrifices their families have made so little snot nose punks like you can sleep at night in peace. The next time you see an service member the least you can do is say thank you.

  30. Nobody Owes You says:

    I just checked US Airways baggage policies. This is what it says are waived:

    Unaccompanied minors (with US Airways unaccompanied minor paid assistance); Passengers traveling to/from Brazil; Active U.S. military with ID and dependents traveling with them on orders (1st through 4th bags up to 100 lbs/45 kg each free of charge)

    Confirmed First Class and Envoy passengers

    Active U.S. military with ID on PERSONAL TRAVEL (capitalization mine)

    That’s their policy. She is active duty US military. They include travel on orders and personal travel. The real issue is that the clerk doesn’t know her job. If US Airways policy was that is was only for those on orders, I would agree that she should have to pay. It doesn’t, and US Airways needs to retrain their staff to create a consistent customer experience.

  31. shufflemoomin says:

    I can’t stand this preferential treatment for military. Police and firemen risk their lives every day way more often than the military and they don’t get the red carpet treatment. Give it to everyone or give it no one. The difference is police or fire service don’t feel their owed preferential treatment and would never expect it.

    • cecilias3411 says:

      As an active duty servicemember, it’s not often I’ll ever ask for a discount on anything just because I’m in the military. The main reason is that I don’t like the perception that I or any of my brothers and sisters feel entitled to a discount in return for my sacrafice of time and effort. However, there are plenty of businesses that offer discounts for other groups of hard working Americans- The Loft clothing store actually offers a discount for teachers, but not for military. And Moe’s Southwest Grill has a day where they offer a 10% discount to policeman, fire fighters, and teachers along with a military appreciation day. It is wrong for someone in the military to demand a free service or product simply because of their profession- but like many have said before, the airline publicizes their offer and this girl was correct in insisting to recieve her perk. In the grand scheme of things, what is a $50 [or so] charge really going to do to the company? It’s not like it was coming out of that agent’s paycheck.

    • houstonspace says:

      Just for the benefit of anyone who might read your ignorant comment in the future, here’s how seriously wrong you are on the “risk their lives…way more often than the military”. Also, FU, for every one of my friends who risked their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan, or in international waters, and didn’t have the pleasure of getting to go home at night to their families.

      Anyway, for anyone who might believe your bozo claim… Most people would agree that the NYPD has some of the toughest patrols in the country. The entire USCG is slightly bigger than the NYPD. (41,873 to 34,500).

      Between a five year period of 2006 and 2011, four NYPD officers were killed in the line of duty: Omar J Edwards, Peter Figoski, Alain Schaberger, Russel Timoshenko. (A least another 20 more died due to illnesses such as cancer, which they contracted on 9-11.) Two NYPD Auxiliary officers were also killed in an attempted robbery.

      By contrast, so far this year alone (2012) two Coasties were murdered in Alaska, and four servicemen were killed in a helicopter crash. Six people, got it? and the year isn’t over. In 2010, three Coasties were killed in a helicopter accident. In 2009, seven crewmembers were killed in an accident while trying to find a missing boater. Four other aviators and one security team member died in 2009 and 2010.

      So, the NYPD lost 4 officers in the line of duty – not counting those two auxiliary officers, because I can’t find figures of the total auxiliary, as I can with the USCG – over a five year period. That’s 0.01159% of the total number of active duty NYPD cops.

      The Coast Guard lost 21 personnel over a four year period, or .41% of the total number of active duty Coasties.

      .41% [USCG in 4 years] to 0.01159% [NYPD in 5 years]? And you want to tell me that being a Coastie is a lot less dangerous than being a city cop? You want to compare and contrast that with the numbers of military personnel who die in the line of duty in all the other armed forces? I assure you, it is safer to be a NYPD cop than to serve on an aircraft carrier or in the Middle East, even in an allied country like Saudi Arabia or Qatar.

      Many people start out their law enforcement careers in the military. Such cops and firefighters know that anyone who has to do a boarding of a potentially hostile or criminal vessel, as people in the Coast Guard do, takes the same risk a cop does when he or she pulls over a speeding car. MPs in the service take similar risks.

      The Coast Guard has also had its share of tragedies like the Blackthorn, where 23 servicemembers died in minutes.

      The number I quoted you doesn’t include those who died in “police actions” or war, or include those who are seriously injured in the line of duty, like a friend of mine who needed reconstructive surgery for his extensive injuries.

      One of my friends is a cop’s wife and she sees NO difference between what the Coast Guard does, and what other LEO do. YOU are the person who need to “get over yourself”.

  32. RoguePisigit says:

    US Airways also allows military members to board early…I wonder, was she denied this benefit as well?

  33. JenC says:

    Members of the US Military, and yes, the USCG is part of that group, volunteer to protect my freedom, possibly at the expense of their own lives. We should be thanking them every day for their service. If the policy is to waive baggage fees for active duty military, and I do not have a problem with that, then this person should receive that benefit. Anyone who says their paycheck is their “reward” for their service is an idiot and has no idea whatsoever what it takes to assure each of us our individual freedoms every minute of our lives. I’d pay her fees myself had I been there. My sincere thanks to each and every member of the military, uniformed services, armed forces or whatever you choose to call them.

  34. crummybum11 says:

    It’s amazing how people who claim to be “ready to die for this country” get bitter and angry the minute they don’t get some discount or special service they think they’re entitled to.

    • JenC says:

      Your lack of respect for those “ready to die for the country” is noted.

    • deadbirds says:

      It’s a tiny perk she was promised, that’s why it’s on Consumerist. CG members put their lives on the line & put up w tons of crap for the honor of protecting you. What does it matter if she gets this? Have you ever served? And isn’t it the point tht she was denied a promised perk due to a company being ignorant & in the wrong? You sound like the bitter, angry, spoiled person here.

    • Westcoastie13 says:

      The Coast Guard is a branch of the US Military. They have fought with great distinction in every U.S. war since 1790. That said, any member of the military is supposed to get their baggage fee waved when traveling under orders. It is part of the deal that airlines make as contracted carriers; it’s not a perk. If the member is traveling for personal reasons, many airlines will still give this courtesy; but it’s not required. There are many airlines other than U.S. Airways, that are better informed and will treat military members with manners and respect.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Not nearly as amazing how douchebags like you can get spiteful and petty when members of our military don’t get discoutns or special services that they are, in fact, entitled to.

  35. BigBenInVA says:

    I can’t believe you people are all too lazy to use your brains to figure this out. Here is how to solve the puzzle of “US Coast Guard, Civilian Agency or Military Service?”: Go to and tell me what you find. Now go to and you’ll see the light.

    Any questions?

  36. deadbirds says:

    Yeah, I feel her pain. As a CG wife I often have to inform the ignorant or stupid that the Coast Guard is indeed a part of the military! They have to go to boot camp, get sent overseas, get transferred all over the place w/out regard for their (or their families) wishes, & have to serve in dangerous situations all the time. All this to protect our citizens & our freedoms! And I also have to mention that the Coast Guard is the MOST responsible for our actual safety as they protect our coasts from smugglers and terrorists & ensure our shipping industry is safe & save all the boaters who get into trouble in our waterways, rivers, lakes, and for many miles out along the coastline!

  37. amahast says:

    Your paycheck is your compensation. I do not agree that any further compensation is warranted….. seems like you have have never been deployed for 18 months… that would change your perception quite a bit… it is called military SERVICE for a reason, it is NOT a job with a “compensation”

    • MacCorms says:

      Wow so much hatred for the Coast Guard. I have never understood this, do coasties not put their lives on the line? Do they not server overseas protecting ports around the world? Have they not been in every major war since the founding of this country?

    • smc says:

      Shortly after being transferred from our home of Florida to rainy wet and cold Seattle for 3 years, and experiencing the birth of my first newborn child all without living near family or having the help of my mother–my husband was deployed to Iraq for 13 months. Its has been unbelievably difficult, but I know what he is doing is noble and I knew what I was signing up for when I married this man…. I never complain about it. But, no one- I mean NO ONE can dare tell ME that my husband is any less military than the rest. Things are still tight. So regardless of it being a “perk” its those discounts that allow us to function more comfortably financialy— even though the rest of our lives may be turned upside down– FOR OUR COUNTRY.

  38. Dead Lenny says:

    Military airline travel? Luxury.
    When my dad was in the Army in the mid-1950s, the military handed you a Greyhound ticket and instructions to be at your assignment in a few days… Which in my father’s case, meant four days on a bus from Monterey (Fort Ord) to Fort Benning in Georgia. At least his CO was sympathetic to his case of bus-lag: “Just off the bus from California? Go get a meal and some rest; we won’t need you until tomorrow.”

    I do have to side with those who point out that ‘Jennifer’ was engaged in personal travel, not on orders, and should come up with her own baggage fees. Great, fine, you’re serving your country… But that doesn’t exclude you from paying your bills. Would you expect to eat at restaurants for free just because you’re in uniform?

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      …the airline’s stated policy is that members of the military get their luggage checked for free. Period.

      You done whining like a bitch?

  39. ddreamer2004 says:

    After reading some of the comments posted I have realized that this is a sticky situation. I am retired Air Force (medical at 27) and I often ask about military discounts and trend to so places and use services that I know offer some kind of military discounts. The recognition for our service is nice.

    I feel that in this situation I would have tried to focus more on educating the ignorant instead of fusing over the discount. It gives a feeling of entitlement that I don’t like but I do think that the air line employees need to be educated. It’s a sticky situation and needs to be handled carefully.

  40. drbubba1995 says:

    US Airlines website policy –

    Checked bag fees waived
    1st and 2nd checked bag fees waived
    Active U.S. military with ID and dependents traveling with them on orders (1st through 4th bags up to 100 lbs/45 kg each free of charge)

    Active U.S. military with ID on personal travel