When my colleague, co-traveler to the U.S., 1st Lieutenant of the German Army Reserve and regular civil servant of the Bundeswehr administrative staff (with more than 14 months of Afghanistan experience at the financial branch, German HQ Mazar-e-Sharif) and I were about to embark on American Airlines AA 1807 Frankfurt Int'l to Dallas-Ford Worth -non stop-, we experienced a 'generous and honorable' attitude of AA's toward U.S. armed forces' personnel in uniform and civilian attire at the gate.
After having announced boarding for 1st class and business class, soldiers were up to embark next.
"Wow", I said to my colleague who will always be in military status as soon as he serves in his admin job in Afghanistan, "have you ever experienced this honor by Lufthansa (the main German carrier) when you were traveling in uniform?" "Nope" was his short answer.
Well, you guys in the U.S. know how to respect your troops. This honor of preferred boarding cost nothing and is of high symbolic value. Thumbs up!
Even on board, the military personnel got special attention. The chief flight attendant specially welcomed the soldiers and thanked for their service by public announcement on the plane. Something I have never heard of, regarding German troops and German carriers.
At Dallas-Fort Worth on AA 070 to Washington D.C. Reagan Airport, same precedure was applied, as well as on our return from JFK to London with AA 104.
It almost drove tears in my eyes. Believe me guys, I pray for your soldiers as well as I pray for our Bundeswehr guys and gals who are by your side in Afghanistan to fight 'the combat against terror' there.
If only Lufthansa or Air Berlin made the same generous attitude toward the German troops, serving for peace and stability in the world, when embarking on the planes!
At least, American Airlines shows this generosity that doesn't cost a penny.
I am looking forward to reading your replies. I don't know whether other U.S. carriers share this attitude but I suppose so.