There is nothing about this uniform, or that of any other British serviceman or woman, that should EVER be covered up, except for operational reasons.

There is nothing about this uniform, or that of any other British serviceman or woman, that should EVER be covered up, except for operational reasons.

Words fail me …Whilst I never want anyone to lose their job, in the old days, these staff members would be sacked. Nowadays they’ll probably be counselled and moved sideways.

Disgraceful. Hands up anyone who thinks Virgin should offer this office two First Class round the world tickets? Hands up everyone who will re-post, tweet and FB this story until they do?

Step forward, Richard Branson.

From Yahoo and others

A British Royal Navy officer was asked by Virgin Atlantic staff to cover up her uniform in case it offended other passengers, according to UK reports.

Petty Officer Nicky Howse was travelling on Virgin Atlantic from Los Angeles to Heathrow when staff asked her to change out of her uniform before boarding the flight, according to the Daily Mail.

“It was horrific,” Howse told a friend, via email. “I was made to feel uncomfortable in my own country for wearing the uniform I wear to defend the place. It made me ashamed of my country that a British serviceman can’t travel in uniform. I was so distressed.”

Although the Navy engineer refused to change out of her uniform before boarding, she was eventually forced to wear a set of airline

Bugger all the self-publicity, Dickie - how about making this up to the Petty Officer with a couple of tickets?

Bugger all the self-publicity, Dickie – how about making this up to the Petty Officer with a couple of tickets?

pyjamas for the duration of the flight.

“It started at check-in. Some G4S security guy gave me the third degree about travelling in uniform. I was fuming. He was rude, he wouldn’t let the check-in girl give me my passport.

“I was shaking with rage. I thought it was all done. But when I got to the departure gate I was taken to the side by the flight supervisor and they said I wasn’t allowed to fly in uniform and had to wear a sleep suit.

“I then stood feeling completely humiliated with other passengers, clearly curious as to what was going on, staring at me, waiting for him to come back with the black pyjamas.

“I asked if it was Virgin policy, they said “Yes”. I refused to wear it until after I was on board then still refused but basically got told I’d be asked to leave the flight if I didn’t take it off or cover it up.”

Virgin has since responded to press inquiries, stating that the airline has no such policy.

“This was a completely isolated case in which our staff were incorrectly advised by a security agent. We have made contact with the passenger in question to express our deep regret for any upset caused,” a spokesman told the Daily Mail.

But Howse says she was given a litany of excuses for why she shouldn’t wear the uniform.

“I was basically told it was because [the airline didn’t] only fly British passengers and told it was seen as a threat. I went ballistic. I said, ‘In the country I defend I can’t wear my uniform?’

“They then said it was for my own safety to stop abuse, to which I replied [that] I can deal with that myself if it arises, as I did in Afghanistan,” Howse said.

Colonel Richard Kemp, under whom Howse served in Afghanistan, called the incident “an insult to the Royal Navy and to the British armed forces who the Queen’s uniform represents.”

“This naval engineer has volunteered to serve and to fight for her country,” he added. “How dare Virgin Atlantic and G4S treat her like dirt?”

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Comments
  1. Frank Middleton says:

    As an ex service man I think this is a Blxxdy disgrace and virgin should explain why it was allowed to happen, I also would have been more than annoyed and in the end I believe she did relent. I as a stuburn scott would have dug my heals in and made them go the whole way (forcing me off the flight and thereby really highlighting the incident

    Like

  2. I have a feeling you’re right about that ticket round the world, delivered personally by RB himself.

    Like

  3. W Taylor says:

    As a fellow member of the fleet Air Arm I am appalled at how Virgin staff behaved. I seem to remember a Royal Navy Helicopter, serviced by personnel like Petty Officer Howse plucking Richard Branson out of the drink when his hot air balloon went down over the Atlantic. I also seem to remember that a lot of Service personnel had to take up the slack when G4S failed to provide during the Olympics.

    Chief Petty Officer, currently servicing in Afhganistan

    Like

  4. Beachbums1 says:

    Wow ~ how degrading.

    What a contrast to how the military is treated in the US. The passengers would have rioted had a Military person been treated so offensively. The other night I had dinner with someone in the Royal Navy who said when he visited the states about 10 years ago, he went to dinner with fellow military friends and another restaurant patron paid for their entire meal (including many beers) because he’d heard they were British Military.Then the “donor” left the restaurant before the Brits could find out who he was and thank him.

    This same Royal Navy Officer said on his most recent visit to New York City and Washington DC ~ many of the stores offered him a discount because he’s military which I thought was great. I knew US Military recieve discounts but I was thrilled they extend it to other countries as well.

    I COMPLETELY agree with you that Virgin should apologize and provide first class tickets!

    Like

  5. jvdix says:

    Apparently anti-militarism knows no service, uniform color or gender:

    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
    But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
    An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!
    (Kipling)

    Like

  6. Interesting how times change… when I was a serving solider in the Australian Army during the 1980s and we were flying on civilian aircraft whilst on duty, we had to wear our uniforms, and we were treated with a whole lot of respect and we were well looked after by the flight crew who paid us particular attention compared to the civilian passengers.

    Like

  7. Tom says:

    We know how to protest… don’t fly Virgin!

    Like

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