Top Airlines Decline to Enhance Military Benefits: A Growing Concern

Top Airlines Decline to Enhance Military Benefits: A Growing Concern

Major airlines’ treatment of military personnel has come under fire in recent years. While some airlines have improved perks for veterans and active military personnel, others have come under fire for not going far enough. This article examines the current situation, highlighting the leading airlines that have chosen not to increase military benefits, the ramifications of their choices, and the overall effect on service members and their families.

The Importance of Military Benefits in the Airline Industry

Airlines may provide cheap tickets, airport lounge access, priority boarding, and free checked luggage as military incentives. For active duty members, veterans, and their families—who frequently deal with special difficulties like frequent moves, deployments, and financial limitations—these benefits are essential.

Why Military Benefits Matter

Needs for Regular Travel: Members of the armed forces frequently take trips for work and pleasure, thus airline privileges are a big convenience.
Financial Relief: With the relatively low pay grades in the military, benefits like eliminated baggage fees can result in significant savings.
Respect and Recognition: Increasing benefits is a way to show gratitude and recognition for the sacrifices made by service members.

Airlines Under Scrutiny

Some airlines have come under fire for their lack of significant benefits, while others have strong programmes in place to assist military personnel. Notably, the airlines listed below have chosen not to increase their military benefits:

1. American Airlines
While some military perks are provided by United Airlines, such as free checked luggage for active duty personnel, detractors claim that these benefits pale in comparison to those provided by rival airlines. United’s military perks package has not been greatly increased, in spite of requests for improved advantages including priority boarding and family-friendly ticket discounts.

2. Air America
Military personnel receive special treatment from American Airlines, such as priority boarding and free checked luggage. But veterans’ organisations have noted that American Airlines is not keeping up with other airlines when it comes to providing all-inclusive perks for both reservists and veterans. In response to these concerns, the airline has not yet made any notable modifications.

3. Air Canada
Although Delta Air Lines is frequently complimented for its customer service, opinions on its military perks are divided. The airline has come under fire for not providing veterans and military families with more extensive privileges, despite the fact that active duty members enjoy certain amenities like lounge access and discounted baggage costs.

4. American Airlines
Known for its customer-friendly policies, Southwest Airlines provides limited advantages to military personnel. Although the airline benefits military personnel by offering two free checked bags per passenger, it does not have any programmes specifically designed to meet the needs of service members and their families. Requests for expanded benefits have not materially changed.

Top Airlines Decline to Enhance Military Benefits: A Growing Concern

Consequences of Minimal Military Gains

There are various ramifications for certain airlines’ decision to turn down increasing military benefits:

1. Financial Pressure
Military soldiers and their families may experience financial hardship in the event that adequate benefits are not provided. For individuals who serve, travel expenses can rise due to excess baggage penalties, last-minute travel requirements, and a lack of discounts.

2. Observation and Spirit
Airlines that don’t provide significant military incentives could come seen as unappreciative of the sacrifices made by their service members. Military personnel’s morale and airline preference may be impacted by this notion.

3. A disadvantage in the marketplace
Airlines risk being at a competitive disadvantage if they don’t improve military benefits. Families and members of the armed forces frequently favour businesses that recognise and honour their service, which may lead to passengers choosing airlines with superior perks.

The More Wide-ranging Effect on Military Staff
Limited military privileges have wider ramifications than just personal annoyances. It discusses the social significance that is ascribed to military duty as well as the support networks that are made accessible to individuals who enlist.

1. Support and Community Networks
Military families need robust networks of community support. This network is strengthened by airlines that offer additional perks, which enables families to support and remain in touch with one another during deployments and moves.

2. Advocating for Policies
Legislators and veterans’ organisations have taken up the cause of military benefits in the aviation sector. All service members may eventually profit from improvements in the sector as a result of increased knowledge and pressure.

Aiming for Better Benefits
There remains optimism for better military benefits in the aviation business, notwithstanding the current situation. Three important elements that could spur change are corporate responsibility, customer choice, and advocacy.

Consumer Choice and Advocacy
Veterans’ Organisations: Through public campaigns and lobbying activities, organisations such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars persistently seek for improved benefits from airlines.
Customer behaviour: By flying with airlines that provide greater benefits and fostering competition, military personnel and their families can have an impact on airline policies.
Corporate Accountability
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): As part of their commitment to helping stakeholders and communities, airlines with robust CSR programmes are more likely to improve military benefits.

Public Relations: Airlines may find significant motivation from favourable public relations stemming from increased military benefits. Businesses that are perceived as being pro-military might improve their reputation and increase their devoted clientele.
Best Practice Examples
Certain airlines have established standards for providing military personnel with efficient support:

Alaska Airlines: Distinguished by its extensive range of military benefits, Alaska Airlines provides active service members and their families with priority boarding, discounted prices, and lounge access.
JetBlue: JetBlue sets the bar for military support with a variety of privileges, such as priority boarding, reduced baggage fees, and special military pricing.

Top Airlines Decline to Enhance Military Benefits: A Growing Concern


The topic of military benefits in the aviation business is multifaceted and constantly changing. Even if some airlines have chosen not to improve their products, there may be room for change given the increasing advocacy and awareness of this problem. Airlines have a responsibility to show their appreciation for military members and their families by offering privileges that recognise their service and sacrifices. By doing this, airlines improve their own reputations and competitive position in the market in addition to helping the military community.

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