Delta Airlines Charges U.S. Soldiers $2,800 for Excess Baggage

In a move sure to capture the ire of Americans across the country, Delta Airlines has charged American troops returning from Afghanistan via Baltimore Washington International Airport $2,800 ($200 each) in extra baggage fees. Here's video from soldier Robert O'Hair, explaining the situation, with which he is clearly not happy.

According to the soldiers in the video, a military contract between the U.S. and Delta says that four bags should be covered for travel without extra fees. However, this has not been acknowledged by Delta. One soldier who had to pay extra did so for a bag of weapons.

Delta has come forward with a statement apologizing and expressing deep respect and admiration for "the men and women who fight every day for our country." But at the end of the day it's about dollars, it seems...they add, seemingly ignorant to any sort of PR situation, that they will waive extra baggage fees for four bags in first and business class and three in coach. The implication, of course, is that anything extra will be charged for:

Currently, Active Duty U.S. Military Personnel traveling on orders may check up to 4 bags in First/Business class and 3 bags in Coach for free both domestically and internationally. Additionally, to help with the travel process, we allow each bag to weight an extra 20 pounds over the standard allowance. You can read more on this policy on delta.com.

While there's no mention of a specific redress or repayment, Delta says, "We are currently looking further into the situation, and will be reaching out to each of [the soldiers] personally to address their concerns and work to correct any issues they have faced."

Tough times for the airline industry, huh?

Update: Delta has changed its policy:

After careful consideration, effective immediately, U.S. military personnel traveling on orders in First Class and BusinessElite can check up to five bags at no charge and 4 bags in economy class. This change also adds dependents traveling with active military on orders. Each bag may weigh up to 70 lbs. (32 kg) and measure up to 80 linear inches (203 cm), which offers added flexibility over the standard 50 lbs. and 62 linear inches (157 cm) allotment. Because of weight, balance and space constraints, Delta Connection carriers will accept up to four bags at no charge. You can read the updates to the travel policy on delta.com.

Delta also says "we're continuing to work with the soldiers individually to make this situation right for each of them."

[via ProducerMatthew]


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13 comments
Joseph Becket
Joseph Becket

That's pretty ridiculous, I don't know how I feel about that. Delta is a great company, but like many nationwide businesses it canhave some weak spots. I was surfing the internet and I found thissite where people can vent about poor customer service or productsthey received... it can get really funny. I would recommend you tocheck it out here: http://ventme.com/companies/vi...

X Army Guy
X Army Guy

Of course  Delta  apologized and offered to return the soldiers money  . But ONLY when this  disgusting greed they have was made public. Be assured Delta will find another "dodge" to get more money... as as it must be noted  Delta did NOT  repeat DID NOT repay the soldiers   the Government repaid the soldiers !

Sabacheller
Sabacheller

Delta has been sockin' it to the G.I. for as long as I can remember.  If it weren't for the contracts which ordered military to use Delta, they'd be out of business. 

Sjdrgr
Sjdrgr

First of all, Delta's policy had been to allow more than 3 checked bags per soldier. Thay made the mistake to begin with- should appologize. Secondly,  my son who is currently serving in Afghanistan does not have, has never had a gov't issued credit card. I find it hard to believe a newly inlisted soldier would be handed a CC from the Govt.  Thirdly,  we tax payers here in Minnesota gave $$$ to Nortwest arlines, who has sinced merged with Delta, now they are walking away, leaving many jobless people behind. And ROBERT PARKER- Maybe our soldiers shouldn't bend over backwards for you, Delta or anyone else, how would that suit you??

Millipede
Millipede

I already attempted to post this comment once, but it never came through.To my experience Delta has always been very appreciative towards military personnel. On many flights flight attendants make a special announcement thanking the soldiers.The Military has negotiated these baggage allowances with airlines. The NPR article even mentioned that. And the Military reimburses the baggage fees the soldiers have to pay.Here are UA rules from ua.com: “In addition, U.S. military personnel (and/or dependents) who are either active or traveling on leave in conjunction with a permanent change of station (military ID required) are exempt from the third bag fee, may check baggage up to 115 linear inches (292 linear centimeters) without paying oversized baggage fees, and are allowed to check baggage up to 70 pounds (32 kg) without paying overweight baggage fees."Delta’s rules were the same, even though now they have updated the rules to allow 4 bags in the economy class and 5 bags in the business class.Weight restrictions are important so the airplane can take off. Also do you know the price of the fuel????I will continue to fly on Delta Air Lines.

Millipede
Millipede

To my experience Delta has always been very appreciative towards military personnel. On many flights flight attendants make a special announcement thanking the soldiers.

The Military has negotiated these baggage allowances with the airlines. The Military also reimburses the reasonable baggage fees the soldiers have to pay.Here are UA rules from ua.com: “In addition, U.S. military personnel (and/or dependents) who are either active or traveling on leave in conjunction with a permanent change of station (military ID required) are exempt from the third bag fee, may check baggage up to 115 linear inches (292 linear centimeters) without paying oversized baggage fees, and are allowed to check baggage up to 70 pounds (32 kg) without paying overweight baggage fees.”

Delta’s rules were the same, even though now Delta has updated the rules to allow 4 bags in the economy class and 5 in the business class.

I will continue to fly on Delta Air Lines. Delta is my favorite airline.

Robert Bonwell Parker
Robert Bonwell Parker

I'm so sick of people being blindly anti-business in situations like these. A soldier has to lug a rocket launcher onto a passenger plane, and the military gets a free pass on this. Everyone's happy to blame Delta, who have a job to do and a plane to fly, for not bending over backwards to accommodate these soldiers.

I had to take an extra bag to a conference that United Airlines charged extra for, and you know how the problem was solved? My boss paid the baggage fees. Why were there baggage fees? Because the airlines are forced by the government to undercharge for flights, and they barely have enough money to get the planes off the ground as is. Cargo space doesn't magically appear just because the passengers are war heroes.

It shouldn't be too much to ask to be realistic without worrying about being anti-military or a big business apologist.

Sjdrgr
Sjdrgr

ROBERT PARKER- Maybe our soldiers shouldn't bend over backwards for you, Delta or anyone else, how would that suit you??     

KW an Active Duty Soldier
KW an Active Duty Soldier

Ironically, as a member of the military (US Army) and one who has deployed often, I support your comments. 

As most service members know, the military WILL reimburse charges for excess baggage on official travel especially if it is military equipment utilized in combat. 

Every service member has (or should have if they're doing things right) a government-issued credit card to charge official travel expenses (such as excess baggage charges, airport parking fees, cab fare to and from the airport if used, hotel expenses if appropriate, rental cars if authorized, gas for rental cars, etc.).  Obviously, the nature of the travel dictates the expense authorizations.

The service member files a travel voucher upon return to homestation and will reimbursed fully.  I deployed for 14 months to Iraq and had to PAY OUT OF POCKET to put my truck in storage, but when I returned I received it ALL back.

I am not sure any of this information has made the news.

I AM a bit putoff by SSG O'Hair removing his ACU blouse on the airplane.  When we flew a charter flight to Iraq, we were allowed to remove our top, but once we got on a commercial plane we remained in uniform.  Again, I've been there and it sucks when you have been on planes for almost 24 hours if not longer, but that demonstrates a lack of discipline from one of our noncommissioned officers.

Sjdrgr
Sjdrgr

My son who is currently serving in Afghanistan does not have, has never had a gov't issued credit card. I find it hard to believe a newly inlisted soldier would be handed a CC from the Govt. Also, he never wears his military uniform on a commercial flight, he was told it is safer not to.

Boshstox
Boshstox

Really ??  Your loser ass should have to carry these soldiers on your back - you pathetic moron.   After everything they've done for you - it's because of them you have the ability to make such an ignorant comment (go to the middle east and try that comment - you would get exactly what you deserve - stoned)

Rick
Rick

Oh I am not sure that "it's because of them" that we can make any comments, are we fighting over there in order to keep them from comming over here to tell us how we can post a comment? we are not there defending freedom, in order to defend we must be attacked. Have we been attacked buy any nation really? No we were attacked over 10 years ago by old bin l. oh and he is dead now. might as well say we are defending santa's right to ride a raindeer, one has little to do with the other.

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