Evangelical Pastor Loses It Over Wife’s First Class Upgrade on Alaska Airlines

An evangelical pastor attacked his wife on Alaska Airlines because she was upgraded, and he wasn’t.

The pair were traveling on Alaska flight 275 from Seattle to Anchorage on Tuesday of last week. Seventy five year old Roger Allan Holmberg Sr. “flipped [his wife] the bird” on board the aircraft and assaulted her upon discovering that she has Mileage Plan elite status.

  • They were traveling through Seattle to Anchorage and on the second flight segment she was upgraded. Shortly into the flight he comes up to first class and demands, “How the hell did you get the upgrade?”

  • She replies, “I’m [an MVP] gold point member,” and he snaps back, “Don’t speak to me like that.”

  • He returned to first class later, having written out a message for her to read on his phone. He hands it to her and “gave [her] the finger.”

  • And then on his third visit up front he tried to “swing his arm towards” her. Her seatmate blocked him from hitting her, but he still “appeared to strike the top of victim’s head with his hand.” His wife says he’s “roughed her up in the past.”

  • There was an off-duty police offer in the next row forward who threatened the pastor with arrest if he didn’t stop.

Alaska Airlines First Class

Cabin crew notified the cockpit, who had an FBI agent meet the aircraft on arrival in Anchorage. The pastor told the agent that he and his wife are in counseling, but that she’s entirely at fault for their problems – which sounds sort of true, in that she made the causal error of marrying him a year and a half ago. (She’s his second wife.)

He was arrested and charged with simple assault, and faces up to a year in prison. Alaska Airlines has banned him from future travel (including from his return flight).

Frequently when I’m on the same reservation as my wife I’m asked whether or not we’d want to split up if only one of us clears the upgrade. I’ve also been the beneficiary of couples who choose not to split, and remain in coach, and are therefore skipped over when processing last minute upgrades at the gate.

In my own view if you love someone you don’t want them to suffer coach. If the airline offers an upgrade, you want your partner to have it! But you do suffer something of a Gift Of The Magi problem, where each of you wants the other to benefit from the upgrade.

(HT: Paul H)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. https://www.project2025.org/ is MAGA world’s dream to make America unrecognizable from the one we have lived all our lives.

    Perhaps this “religious leader” is part of the MAGA movement. There are a lot of these kind of religious narcissistic hypocrites and reactionaries who are in leading positions at churches -!: even synagogues catering to people who tend to self-identify as “conservatives” even if they supported Trump’s effort to steal from the 2020 election by way of his traitorous actions that culminated in an insurrectionist revolt on January 6th, 2021 from all those wannabe revolutionaries.

  2. @Kepper
    Calling an African American person a monkey is really racist. Please don’t.

  3. To all the commenters posting politics 24/7 (which happens to be Trump haters this round,) you just don’t know how little you just don’t know.
    BTW 18 month old first marriages could be a challenge at 75 years old . . . second and third, YIKES! The preacher should probably follow Paul’s advice: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am.”

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