Travelling First Class
On the way to Sydney last week I was seated in seat 14D of economy on Australian Airlines.
I was minding my own business when the air hostess came up beside me and said, "May I see your boarding pass, sir, I think there's been a mistake in your seat."
I was a bit cheesed off about this. So I was a bit short with the hostie.
"No. I'm sure it is OK." I said.
"Could I see your boarding pass anyway, sir." She was very polite.
"Sure," I said, go your hardest, "It's in my coat pocket up there." I pointed at the overhead locker.
The hostess got my coat down and found the boarding pass. Then she knelt down beside me in the aisle and said, "I thought so, Mr Hunt. You should be travelling in First Class." And she gave me a big wink!
I can assure you all that I'm not accustomed to hostess's winking at me, so I took a good look at the face around the wink. It was a lady from my church.
She just wanted to do a nice thing for someone who goes to the same church.
Now, for an ethical dilemma. Should World Vision accept complimentary upgrades? What if a sponsor saw me getting off the plane as a First Class passenger?
One of our overseas colleagues refuses to check in at the First Class counter (a privilege extended to frequent flyers even when travelling economy class) for fear that a sponsor might see him.
Is this taking a concern for image too far? Or is it just sensible?
In this case I thought it would be too rude to refuse. (Anyone have any church members on the Melbourne-Los Angeles route?)
Sometimes we confront a similar ethical dilemma when we make project visits.
Usually the people are very poor. Yet often they spend their last penny to prepare a nice lunch for the visitors.
I remember saying to a field colleague, "I can't eat this."
"You cannot refuse," she replied, "you have given them so much. This is the only thing they can give you."