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US Air Attendant Denies Vet Request to Hang Medal-Filled Jacket: Not a 'First-Class' Passenger

US Air Attendant Denies Vet Request to Hang Medal-Filled Jacket: Not a 'First-Class' Passenger

U.S. Airways has reportedly become a target for public scrutiny after a flight attendant refused to let a United States combat veteran and Army Ranger hang his uniform jacket because he wasn’t a “first-class” passenger.

First Sergeant Albert Marle was on board flight 1930 en route to Charlotte, North Carolina two days ago when he was looking for a place to hang his dress blue uniform jacket, filled with service medals, so it wouldn’t wrinkle. 

He reached out to an airline attendant for help, but was quickly reminded that he was seated in coach.

“Her response wasn’t that there’s not space in the coat closet or ‘I’ve hung too many jackets up,’ said first-class passenger Brian Kirby, who was also on the four-hour flight. “It was simply, ‘Our airline policy says I’m not going to do it, so I’m not going to do it.’ I was really appalled at not only the way she looked at him but the way she spoke to him — in an angry way.”

Other first-class passengers who witnessed the incident then offered the decorated service member their seats, but claimed he humbly refused. There are other reports that the flight attendant shouted at fliers who also asked her to hang Sgt. Marle’s jacket so that it wouldn’t wrinkle.

U.S. Airways first-class passenger Jon Dahlberg reported that he took matters into his own hands: He hung Sgt. Marle’s coat beside his own seat.

“I walked back up and hung the jacket simply behind my seat. There’s a difference between policy and doing what is right,” he said.

After those on the flight witnessed the seemingly inappropriate behavior of the flight attendant, many took to social media to condemn her “shameful” behavior. Mr. Kirby wrote on Twitter:

Do not fly US Air, I have just witnessed a US soldier heavily decorated disgraced. Will be sharing with other media outlets ASAP.

— Kirbs72 (@Bkirby72) October 9, 2014

According to my flight attendant you have a policy to not hang the dress coats of Army Rangers not seated in first class. #antiusair

— Kirbs72 (@Bkirby72) October 9, 2014

The amount of attention this incident has received from social media users is overwhelming; some think it’s disgraceful, but others believe Sgt. Marle’s job as a U.S. Army Ranger shouldn’t come with special privileges, such as hanging his jacket.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the airline insists that Sgt. Marle’s request was shut down only because the closet was full. 

U.S. Airways did issue an apology on behalf of their flight attendant, and said they are looking into the situation. They did also thank First Sergeant Albert Marle for his service to our country. 

“We have a long and proud history of serving our military members and hold the men and women who serve out country in the highest regard,” said the spokesperson. 

Officials at Fort Bragg quickly pointed out that Sgt. Marle’s medals show his qualifications as an Army Ranger, Pathfinder, Air Assault, and he is likely attached to an airborne unit.

Sgt. Marle has reportedly been flying around the country for interviews in his pursuit to become a doctor.

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