A Better Flight Plan

Working for You

U.S. Airlines Honor Service Members During Military Appreciation Month

A4A carriers are proud to support service members and veterans. A4A members offer a variety of benefits to service members and their families as a token of gratitude for their sacrifices.

In addition, A4A passenger carriers employ more than 40,000 individuals who served or are currently serving in the U.S. military – equating to about 10 percent of their collective workforce.

Here’s a snapshot of how our carriers are honoring service members during Military Appreciation Month:

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines said its fortunate to work with the Honor Flight Network to provide complimentary travel and reduced fares for veterans on specially planned tours of Washington, D.C. Since 2012, Alaska has flown nearly 5,000 veterans to the D.C. area on 10 Honor Flights.

“At Alaska, we are so very grateful for the service of active-duty military and veterans and appreciate the personal sacrifices they and their families make for us all,” the carrier said. “We take seriously our responsibility to care for our military guests, and we prioritize it with every flight.”

Alaska also highlighted its Alaska Airlines Fallen Soldier program, which allows the carrier to pay proper tribute to soldiers on the way home to their final resting place.

American Airlines

American Airlines will commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day by flying 70 World War II veterans to France at the end of May, honoring them for their service and sacrifice.

“We’re honored to play a part in helping this group of heroic veterans return to Normandy,” David Seymour, American’s Chief Operating Officer and a veteran of the U.S. Army, said. “This special journey is not only an expression of our gratitude for these heroes and the sacrifices they made for our freedom, but we hope to help shine a light on their extraordinary stories and preserve their legacies for generations to come.”

The journey will begin with a kickoff dinner at the American Airlines headquarters in Fort Worth the night before, followed by a send-off parade at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) before the group boards a chartered flight to Paris. The veterans will spend two days in Paris before traveling to the Normandy region for commemorative events.

Atlas Air

During the month of May, Atlas Air profiled multiple current and former employees who have served in the U.S. military.

Richard Cline joined Atlas in June of 1998 as a first officer, officially retiring in 2015. Prior to his work at Atlas, Cline served in the Air Force. Cline grew up in a military family and attended many airshows, saying he had “always been absolutely enthralled with airplanes.”

“I asked every pilot how they got to their position, and I asked thousands of questions about every single airplane I saw,” Cline said. “I was especially fascinated by military aircraft and dreamed about flying one someday.”

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines will fly 60 World War II veterans to Normandy, France, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. On June 2nd, Delta will fly the veterans from Atlanta directly to Normandy where they will be recognized and celebrated with parades, school visits, ceremonies, the official D-Day Commemoration and more.

“It is our privilege to celebrate and honor these heroes by flying them directly to Normandy and recognizing their incredible sacrifices and contributions to the world,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said. “Supporting our armed service members and veterans, which we have proudly done throughout our history, is central to Delta’s values of always putting people first.”

The flight will be conducted in partnership with Best Defense Foundation and the support of Michelin North America, Inc. This is the third year in a row Delta will operate this charter flight.

FedEx Express

FedEx founder Frederick Smith spoke at the Memorial Day Observance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. – honoring members of America’s armed forces.

Smith spoke about friends of his who served in the Vietnam War, commemorating their service and sacrifice.

“For those of us who have had the long lives our fallen comrades were entitled to but never had, I hope we have honored you with some contributions to the much better world your sacrifice enabled,” Smith said.

Hawaiian Airlines

This month, Hawaiian Airlines was recognized for its exceptional support for its employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserves. Greg Scott, Hawaiian’s manager of information protection and a cyberspace operations officer in the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard, accepted The Hawaiʻi State Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)’s Pro Patria Award on behalf of the airline.

“As a member of the Hawaiʻi National Guard who is occasionally called up on orders to support the state or nation – inherently time away from my Hawaiian Airlines team and work – I’ve seen first-hand how Hawaiian Airlines is supportive of its military members and the additional time and weight it brings,” Scott said.

The honor recognizes civilian employers who successfully empower guardsmen, guardswomen and reservists in their ranks to fulfill missions.

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue showcased the variety of benefits and services it offers for veterans and active-duty members of the military, saying its “proud to support” all service members.

The carrier also rolled out its Vets in Blue livery, calling it a “a labor of love for the eight vets who worked on the repaint.”

“Active military enjoy the awesome JetBlue experience provided by our incredible crewmembers – many of whom are veterans and former first responders themselves,” JetBlue CEO Joanna Geraghty said in a message to employees. “Military members hold a special place in our hearts at JetBlue, and I’m grateful to all of our crewmembers who work hard to provide great service to our military members and who take the time to say, ‘thank you for your service’ when you see one of the troops flying on us.”

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines highlighted its Warrior Hire program that supports the transition of military veterans from active duty and reserves to careers in the carrier’s Technology Department.

Southwest employees who participated in the program detailed how it impacted their transition from military to civilian life.

“I felt understood, received resources and partnered with a mentor while bridging the transition to civilian life,” Juan B., a software engineer at Southwest and U.S. Marine Corps veteran said. “Once you transition from the military, it can feel like you’re missing camaraderie or belonging. Southwest provided the people and culture I was used to having around me while serving.”

United Airlines

United Airlines celebrated the retirement of Captain Theresa M. Claiborne – a pioneering aviator who flew for 43 years and was the first Black female pilot in the U.S. Air Force.

“Congratulations to Captain Claiborne on a remarkable career. Her legacy and impact are an inspiration to so many current and future aviators. United is a better airline thanks to her decades of service and leadership, and we wish her nothing but the best in retirement,” United CEO Scott Kirby said.

Prior to being hired by United in 1990, Claiborne served for seven years in the U.S. Air Force and spent 13 years in the Air Force Reserves. Claiborne has logged more than 23,000 flight hours.

“I plan to spend my days inspiring young people to follow their dreams by turning them into goals, shattering glass ceilings, and defying all odds,” Claiborne wrote on Instagram. “I’ll be calling in my friends from all around the world to share their experiences to empower the next generation of trailblazers who are destined for greatness.”


UPS’s Veterans Business Resource Group supports service members and veterans interested in finding their next career post military service. UPS also works with VETLANTA , an organization that, “helps transition veterans and their families to civilian life by connecting them with employers like UPS that embrace military backgrounds.”

For more information on the variety of benefits and discounts A4A passenger carriers offer service members, visit A4A’s Red, Flight and Blue webpage.

Close Site Search
Search Icon Search
Sort By:
Filter By Type:
Filter By Topic:
0 results