So here's another reason United Airlines sucks.
Lots of you have already seen how United Airlines doesn't consider the service of Foreign Service families to matter when it comes to flying our pets with us when we PCS to a new location. Their new rules, from which they have granted the military a waiver "in recognition of the commitment made by members of our military and the family members (including the four-legged ones) who share in their sacrifice" but not the Foreign Service families who serve alongside the military, could make prohibitively expensive to keep our pets with us.
Because our service, even though we too are on government orders, even though we too put our families in harm's way for the needs of the country, doesn't count.
But now, there is one more part to their announcement. Sure, United says, we will give the military a waiver (but not those pesky diplomats, since the 3,000 letters we received is a drop in the bucket compared with all the military), but we are also going to start breed-specific restrictions as well. You can find the list of breeds here. And there is no waiver for that.
United thinks it can get away with this because they don't think we will buy our own tickets. And they don't care even if we do. Because they assume mostly people will try to figure out a way around it. And even if we don't, we are small. There are only about 11,000 of us total in the Foreign Service. And probably the number of military owning a restricted breed is similarly small. So who cares if we don't get to take our pets with us.
But we have families. We have friends. And we need to let them all know how United disrespects those who have devoted their lives to the service of the country, often at great personal cost. And get them to tell their friends, because I know the pet lovers in this country outnumber those who don't.
Ask them to write to United. And ask them to boycott United.
I will not be flying United again if I can help it. I will buy my own ticket if need be because the cost will be lower than letting the government pay full refundable fair for me and me just pay for my pets to be shipped back separately.
Please stand with those who serve and don't fly United.