First, CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!!!! Every viewer who helped -- and there were lots of you -- should "take a bow."
In one 24-hour period after our show on Tuesday night, the Hero Miles program received 30 MILLION MILES in contributions!!! If you do the math (ok, I confess I got a D in Algebra in high school and had my Senior Producer Suzanne Scott figure it out), that means we managed to get 1200 FREE FLIGHTS for our soldiers overseas who are coming home. Do you realize how much that can change a soldier's and his/her family's life to be able to come home on a 2 week leave?
One viewer wrote in that she is having a baby in May and she hopes that the miles can be used to bring her husband home on his leave to see his new child. One other piece of information: the Web site had its highest ever number of hits -- 10,000. I am curious how well we did after last night's show when we once again asked for miles.
Second, CONGRATULATIONS to what one viewer calls the On The Record Posse. Many of you are putting pressure on Northwest Airlines to join the program and this will work. I have total confidence in our combined effort. Once we bring Northwest "into the tent," we need to move on to Continental Airlines. Frankly, I just can't figure out why these airlines are being stubborn. Do they really care if I use a free seat or a soldier? I would much prefer a soldier to me.
Third, as we announced last night, MidWest Airlines is now "in". The CEO called me and told me it will take a few days to work it out so that we can donate our miles on line. I am anxious to donate my 85,000 miles.
Here are some random e-mails:
Thanks for supporting us and getting the word out. I called Northwest and let them know how I felt. They said they were very busy handling complaints after your program and would pass on my message. Thanks for making a difference.
Dear Greta: I am a pilot for Northwest Airlines (Desert Storm Vet.) , and I don't think you're giving my airline an even shake. Although Rep. Ruppersberger's idea seems like a brilliant idea, NWA has been soliciting frequent flyer donations for years. Every month has a different beneficiary, these have included Make a Wish (search), March of Dimes (search), and other worthy charities. If NWA is resistant, it probably has to do with the conflict with these other charities. You are making it sound like we are an airline full of cold-hearted people.
My son was stationed in Iraq from February through the end of October. He came home for the birth of his son. We picked him up at BWI airport. I originally thought he would come home via a military hop. I was surprised to learn that the Army paid a civilian airlines the large expense of the flight from Kuwait to Baltimore. And here's what is really troubling -- it was Northwest Airlines that brought him home! They are being paid all that money to carry troops back to the US and won't even participate in the wonderful www.heromiles.org program to let people donate their frequent flyer miles to take our troops from the east coast to their home cities. I think that Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger might want to look into seeing that if Northwest Airlines continues to refuse to participate, then they don't need to participate in making all those thousands of dollars per soldier to fly them back from Iraq. (My son's ticket cost approx. $2,600) The government doesn't need to contribute to Northwest's bottom line if they can see the error of their ways -- doesn't seem like they appreciate the business they are getting from the military. Believe me, the soldiers need and deserve all the help we can give them.
For those not believing in "every cloud has a silver lining"....Whooda guessed that when you began as an analyst for the OJ trial, that in such a short period of time you would be helping hundreds of our servicemen to spend time with their families during wartime with your support of the donation of frequent flyer miles to our military. My grandson, much to my chagrin, has just enlisted in the Marines. This remarkable confluence of events must be more than just coincidence. As a grandmother I am furious -- as a patriotic American I thank you.
I think it is absolutely atrocious that FOX News is asking people to give up their frequent flyer miles to bring GI's home form Iraq. I fully support the troops and would do anything for them, but this is not for the troops. It is a scam by the airlines to get people to relinquish their hard earned miles while the airlines get paid anyway. Remember, all of the troops were sent to Iraq by the government, and it is the government's responsibility to get them home. NOT just to get them back in the country but to get them to their homes. I was around during World War II and I can tell you the government brought all of the troops home then and the government must do it today.
Keep up the good work, I watch your program every time I can
Watched On the Record last night and caught the segment on Air Miles for Heroes. I immediately got on the heromiles.org website and found out how to donate my miles. I've already sent in a round trip ticket on Southwest and will donate 25K miles on United today. These two donations will get 2 of the heroes who are protecting our freedom round trip tickets within the continental US.
Thanks for supporting this wonderful cause, and thanks for bringing it to the attention of the American public. I am really happy to be able to help these brave soldiers in some way.
I usually just sit back and enjoy your show, but when I heard that Northwest Airlines could not accomplish the simple task of creating, or simply getting on board a program that would help our Service Men and Women in a difficult time for them, I had to write.
Northwest's headquarters in Minneapolis and the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, which Northwest basically owns, sits adjacent to Minnesota's National Cemetary at Fort Snelling. Among the tens of thousands of heros buried at Fort Snelling is Tom Burnett, Minnesota's first casualty in the war on terror aboard (United's) flight 93. I would bet that 80% of Northwest's employees and executives drive past this hallowed ground every day.
I can not believe that any one of those folks would ever consider snubbing thier noses at these brave individuals and thier families. I hope you keep highlighting this story until the pressure forces them to come to their senses.
If it were not for you fine show (which I watch religiously), I would not have been aware of the great program that has been put into place to support the members of our armed forces. As a result of the information you provided regarding the program, I have donated 19,348 of my travel points with United to the cause. Thank you again for the fantastic work that you are doing on a daily basis.
Hooray for you, Greta: And bah humbug to the guy who said that military can get "hops." It took us from a Sunday to a Thursday to get "hops" from Portland, Oregon, to La Paz, Bolivia once and that was with paying our own way from Charleston, SC to Panama City in the Canal Zone. As a 30-year military wife I can only say, "Let's do all we can to support our troops," and frequent flyer miles is one way. We donated all we had which was over 50,000 on Delta. My husband and I met on R & R in 1968 in Hawaii when he was in Viet Nam ... there are no words to describe how wonderful it is to see your loved one when you have worried about him day after day during war time. Keep up the good work. You have to feel good about what you've done for the troops ... especially at Christmas.
What a wonderful idea! I own the 19th largest travel agency in the country and will be broadcasting this information tomorrow to all our travelers. Many of them have thousands of miles that they couldn't use even if they wanted to. I'm sure some of them will find the Hero Miles program very appealing, as do I.
I agree with many of your e-mail respondents in that the airlines should be offering these seats free or at their lowest discounted published rate. The airlines have received considerable benefits from the tax payers over the past 24 months. I support broader reform of the airline industry and think it is about time they start giving back to the taxpayers. This would be a nice first step on their part. If the airline seat is going out empty, what harm is there to sell it at a discounted rate or provide it gratis to our national heroes?
SHAME ON NORTHWEST AIRLINES for their lack of participation. Their position, however, is typical of how they treat their customers and the travel agency community. Talk about SCROOGE! The ghosts of their past, present and future have visited them and they STILL don't get it.
Great program! Keep up the good work. This deed will be returned to those who participate ten fold.
Watching your show tonight we learned of the Hero Miles program. We got right on the Internet and donated 49, 364 Delta miles to the program. Keep up the good work.
While I agree the public are doing a wonderful job by donating air-miles to our troops, I do not think the airlines who are not participating should be made to feel inferior, this is totally wrong, the problem is in the Government, President Bush is on the television daily thanking and praising our troops for the sacrifice they are making and the government cannot fly them home to their families, something is radically wrong and we are "supposedly" the greatest Country in the World, I'm beginning to wonder!
A disgruntled viewer
Please pass this onto the appropriate people. During 1973, I was living at Clark Air Force Base, Republic of the Philippines, and volunteering time at GEMCO (Government Ticket Office Overseas). I was flown on board the aircraft carriers to write tickets from Manila to SFO or LAX. Flights from Saigon were diverted to Manila. The troops were bussed from Clark AFB or Subic Bay (Naval Base) to Manila to meet the aircraft. Pan Am and Northwestern were the two airlines that were involved. Our troops were sitting at Clark AFB for 5 to 7 days waiting for their flight home to USA for a visit, using up their leave time. We speeded up the process by writing tickets to SFO or LAX. The troops would get their own ticket to their home once they landed in SFO or LAX.
My concerns: Are the troops having to wait in a Europe Base or Iraq waiting for their flights to USA? If they are using up their leave time before they leave Europe or Iraq, they need to speed up the process. You might want to look into this and speed up that process too.
I wished I had some flight miles to donate but I am passing the word on to friends and Family who might have miles.
Keep up the great work, we love your program.
I was delighted to learn how I might be of help to our servicemen and servicewomen. I have donated all my frequent flier miles, 70,000; I just wish I could do more. I was dumbstruck to learn that these same young people, after putting themselves in harms' way, might not be able to see loved ones after returning stateside. No matter what one's personal feelings about the current situation, we must support the people who serve and protect us.
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