Stolen Valor? United Passenger Reported For Faking Military Service To Get Free Snack

A passenger flying United Airlines from San Francisco to Newark watched a woman in coach use what they say is fake military status to get free food.

  • As a Premier 1K MileagePlus member, he was offered a free snack item.
  • This woman chimes in “I am military and ask don’t we get free food”
  • She’s offered “a list of boxes and cheese plate. She took the cheese plate.”

The United Airlines elite passenger says “she was not military” and had MIT graduate school stickers on her laptop.

Now, not being in uniform doesn’t mean this passenger wasn’t military. And having a graduate degree (or pursuing one) doesn’t mean they aren’t military, either. So under United’s policies they might well have been entitled to the snack.

It’s always seemed a little bit odd to offer priority boarding to active duty military, except that airlines don’t want military having to check their carry-on bags while on orders.

There are people who will dress in military uniform just to get priority boarding.

It also always struck me odd that American invites military in uniform to use Admirals Club lounges (plus guests) and then they get heat when lounges are full and they’re not extending the courtesy. United does this too.

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, 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. Definitely never imitate being a Marine or any other service member. they put their life’s on the line for our country. Doing so is a disgrace.

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