Report: How Delta supports the troops…by nickle-and-diming them on bag fees
By Michelle Malkin • June 7, 2011 09:45 PM
Read this via WXIA TV in Atlanta:
A unit of U.S. Army soldiers returning from a deployment in Afghanistan said Delta Air Lines charged them as much as $2,800 in luggage fees on a flight from Baltimore to Atlanta.
While on board Delta Air Lines flight 1625 Tuesday morning, a pair of soldiers from the unit, Staff Sergeants Fred Hilliker and Robert O’Hair shot a video (embedded below) complaining about baggage charges. In the video, the soldiers contend that they were permitted by their orders to check as many as four bags, free of charge, on their return trip from Afghanistan.
When the soldiers arrived at the airport in Baltimore, a Delta representative told them that they were only authorized to check three bags for free. “We found out we had too many bags,” O’Hair said.
But it turns out, the soldiers may have been misinformed about the contract between Delta and the United States government as it relates to traveling active duty military personnel.
Active military personnel flying in coach on travel orders are only allowed to check three bags free of charge. Active military traveling in first or business class may check up to four bags for free, Delta said on its website.
One of the soldier’s fourth bags was his weapons case. The entire unit paid out of pocket for the bag fees.
Way to welcome home the troops, Delta.
Delta’s comments and complaints’ desk is here.
Flashback January 2011: Woman Speaks Out After Military Members Forced To Pay Baggage Fees
An Oklahoma City woman said she hopes airline companies will have a change of heart in the new year, involving members of the U.S. military.
Kara Thingelstad told News 9 she was traveling for the holidays when she saw something at the Oklahoma City airport that really disturbed her. She said she is now hoping her story will encourage others to also speak out and demand change.
Thingelstad said she stood in line at the United Airlines counter at the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. Also in line were nearly two dozen members of the United States Army, traveling on orders to Denver to deploy overseas. What happened next, Thingelstad said, was a shock.
“When they went to check their bags in, they had to pay with their own personal credit card with their fourth bag,” Thingelstad said.
Thingelstad said watching active members of the military being forced to pay for some of their bags out of their own pockets wasn’t right.
“I don’t think people who serve our country should have to worry about being charged $25 to check their fourth bag, which in my mind was their weapon,” Thingelstad said.
A spokeswoman for United said the airline does recognize military personnel, and they do waive baggage fees but only up to three bags.
United isn’t alone. U.S. Airways will also waive the fees for up to three bags only. Delta’s policy is the same unless he or she is traveling in first or business class. Then up to four bags are free.
Continental and Southwest Airlines offer only the first two bags free of charge.
“I think their policy should change,” Thingelstad said.