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Returning Soldiers Charged $2,800 In Baggage Fees By Delta

June 10, 2011 by  

Returning Soldiers Charged $2,800 In Baggage Fees By Delta

Thirty-four U.S. soldiers returning home from the war in Afghanistan were charged $2,800 in baggage fees by Delta. The incident came to the attention of the media when a couple of the soldiers uploaded a video documenting the trouble to YouTube.

“We showed up and found out we had too many bags,” said Army Staff Sgt. Robert O’Hair in the video, quoted in a Huffington Post article. “We had four bags, and Delta Air Lines only allows three bags. Anything over three bags you have to pay for.”

Each soldier with a fourth bag was charged a $200 fee, adding up to a total of $2,800 the soldiers had to cover out of pocket.

“Our troops are deployed to war for months at a time — they aren’t packing light for a weekend on the beach. Delta shouldn’t be sending the signal that it puts profits ahead of the men and women in uniform. They need to immediately stop charging returning troops for bag checks, and fully reimburse those who already have been charged,” Chairman and Iraq war veteran Ashwin Madia said in a statement quoted by the article.

In response to the negative press generated by the incident, Delta changed its baggage policy for U.S. service members, which now allows four free bags for soldiers traveling on orders.

“A $200 bill for extra baggage by a government-contracted airline is the worst welcome home any soldier could receive,” said Joe Davis, director of public affairs for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, in a statement quoted by the article. “We know this is a business issue and that the troops will be reimbursed if they are authorized additional baggage in their orders, but the shock of even being charged is enough to make most servicemen and women simply shake their heads and wonder who or what it is they are protecting.”

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  • Dan az

    I wonder if TSA needed to search them.When I came back from Nam there were no military flights so they put me on a civilian 747 and I dont remember if they ever checked to see how many bags I was carrying but if they had I probably would have gone postal on them.
    (“A $200 bill for extra baggage by a government-contracted airline is the worst welcome home any soldier could receive,” )Not Quite but disturbing to say the least.I guess you would just have to of been there.

    • GR49

      As a Viet Nam vet I can remember the airlines treating us very well, especially the stewardesses. We always flew stand by since it was less expensive and as long as we were in uniform they always took us first. It wasn’t always popular the the civilians but the airline staff took us first anyway. As far as the airlines charging these returning troops for extra baggage this is an absolute disgrace. It also goes to the fact that no one one the ground (airline staff) thinks enough to ask a superior if this is something that they can waive.

    • wandamurline

      In the 70 and 80′s, flying was a pleasure. You were greeted by the airline employees, served fresh “hot” meals…if you had a long flight, you got breakfast and lunch and it was good. Those friendly skies are gone, and even before you get on the plane, you either get radiated or groped without probable cause, mirandizing, a warrant or access to a lawyer. Even the criminals are treated better than the American citizens trying to fly somewhere. So, I don’t fly anymore. If I can’t drive, I just don’t go. Maybe when the airlines lose their @sses, they will wake up and realize that the terrorists have been this route and moved on…they should spend more time checking the baggage and items in the bottom of the plane. If you want real security inside the cabin of the plane, allow the permitted American citizen gun toaters over the age of 35 to carry on the plane…you can bet that would be real security. There was a bank in Texas that had been robbed twice in one year…they put out a sign that you could carry inside the bank…hasn’t been robbed since.

      • Carol

        Not everyone was treated well. In 1972 my father-in-law died. The flight from Reno to Oklahoma city was OK. Coming back we were pulled out of line because we fit the profile of hi-jackers. What was the profile? Anyone wearing western (cowboy) clothes. When we were finally allowed on the plane, we were separated by 6 rows, and I also discovered that one of my bosses was on the flight. Thank goodness she was outraged at the way we’d been treated. It could have cost me my job. At that time, the type of clothes we were wearing were our everyday work clothes, both for Oklahoma and Nevada. I have not flown since.

    • JC

      Hopefully the latest generation of American service personnel will see just how they are regarded by the politicians who would send them to their death.

  • karolyn

    Old news. All the airlines have changed their policies. It is too bad, though, that it had to take an incident for them to see the error of their ways.

    • Jonathan

      This is not “old news”: this just happened.

    • libertytrain

      Exactly, not old news, however, I think it was just some incompetent employees at an airport. I know many airlines allow free baggage even if a soldier is just traveling – if they show their military ID – which I believe is wonderful and only right since the airlines are just charging this bogus extra money because they can. And in this instance these were soldiers coming back from duty. They really had to be pretty ignorant and incompetent airline employees to try and pull that one.

      • eyeswideopen

        liberty, it wasn’t just Delta, it was American, United, Continental who were charging extra. I can provide you the link that states they are all changing their procedures if you would like it. This just shows they were letting the “free market” reap them profits like the rest of corporate America.

        • libertytrain

          Don’t know. Only know my history of it. I know my daughter and her husband and their respective units have not any problems as these soldiers did. NONE. And as I said, they are even allowed free baggage on the flights they have taken on holiday as well – this last year or so.

          • eddie47d

            That was unfortunate of Delta but we do live in a profit driven economy and that should be welcomed by true Libertarian Conservatives. It’s either that or the taxpayer would still have to pick up the tab for those bags either way.

          • libertytrain

            Yes, you would say that. You probably have no experience with this situation either.

          • eddie47d

            I love all the assumptions!

          • JC

            eddie47d says:
            June 10, 2011 at 11:24 am
            That was unfortunate of Delta but we do live in a profit driven economy and that should be welcomed by true Libertarian Conservatives.
            47D, you are a complete — and then some.

          • http://naver samurai

            No excuse edduh! If they show their ID and prove they are in the armed forces, then certain charges ARE NOT to be added on at their expense. Take it from someone who has flown around the world with the army, I was never charged anything extra, so why should they be charged? Eyes wide open says she has a link showing this has been going on with other airlines? Eyes, if you don’t mind, post that site so I can look at it. Leave it to you to think about money and union ways first and not the ways of respect and patriotism, edduh! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • libertytrain

            You are right Samurai, it would be nice to see the link and the source – I understand the government has some sort of contract with airlines; apparently did with Delta till some employee screwed up on this event….. It’s also odd that we hadn’t heard anything like this happening during the years our soldiers have been deployed – I would have thought someone would have said something sooner than this. Of course, it could just be that all the times my kids have deployed they were just “lucky” with baggage as were their fellow soldiers.

          • eddie47d

            JC: You say you support the Free Enterprise System and then when it is practiced you bellyache. Halliburton has been doing this for several years but not a peep out of you. Darn it, I forgot that it’s okay when a Conservative company rips off our military.

          • http://naver samurai

            Don’t forget edduh, Haliburton got its start in Bosnis and who was the president at that time? It sure wasn’t Bush. So I guess you can say that a dumbocrat started the ball rolling on this, right? It was one of the many dumb things that Clinton got roll, just like he and Monica rolling in the sack. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • http://?? Joe H.

            Hey!!! I thought somebody asked Eyes to show a site!!! didn’t really expect it, did ya????

          • http://naver samurai

            No she gasn’t showed it yet. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • Loyd Olin

    When I came home from Vietnam and got SPIT on and called a BABY KILLER at the airport in California…..well I just wanted to get back on that plane…..and go back to Vietnam and DIE……

    • BigBen

      Hello Loyd,
      Sorry that happened.

      I was either not around or just a baby when you returned. Allow me to say a very belated “Welcome Back Home – A job well done”.


      • Drawer22

        Thank you, BigBen. It is your generation – if Vietnam is even mentioned in their History classes – that has given the compassion we Vietnam Veterans would have greatly appreciated upon our return “home” to “The Land of the Big PX” (America). While no amount of good can possibly balance the abuse we suffered at the hands of our countrymen, it is comforting to know some Americans care enough to attempt appropriate amends for the actions of others. Again, thank you.

      • Loyd Olin

        Thanks BigBen…..I’m glad I came back to this site and could get a chance to reply and thank you…..I left it after that uncaring mockery by James….You’ve made me feel better….Loyd

        • Dan az

          Loyd Olin
          I think you were the only one that caught what I meant that You had to of been there.I too had the same thing happen when I came in to LA except he was still picking up his teeth when I was boarding the next flight.Sad but true.The fact that some were even subjected to that kind of home coming was to much for allot of vets to even comprehend.The feelings that you have when finally touching the ground in one piece on US soil was probably the most emotional feeling one could have,and then have someone spit in your face during that emotional time,well lets just say that there are know words to express it.Glad to have you back brother and I know that these memories will never leave but we are stronger for them and there are still allot of us still around that share your memories good and bad.

          • Loyd Olin

            Thanks Dan az for the kind words as only a fellow Vietnam brother could understand…..Loyd

    • http://naver samurai

      Thanks for your service. You had things happen to you by the lib machine that is trying to tear this country apart. My father and uncle also went to Vietnam 3 times each. They even fought during the Tet Offensive. Keep up the good fight, fellow patriot! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

      US Army, 11H, SFC, Retired

  • James

    When I came back from Korea, our four-prop engine cargo plane had wooden school seats screwed to the floor. It ran out of gas somewhere between Guam and Hawaii, and ditched. From there, we had to swim home, living off whatever fish we could kill. When I walked ashore in San Francisco, I was attacked by locals who apparently thought I was some sort of sea monster. They put me in a cage and charged admission.
    But I digress, I think anyone who volunteers for Middle East wars should, at least, have to provide their own ammo, that stuff is being priced out of sight.

    • JC

      New Meds?

    • http://?? Joe H.

      In the words of an old Arabic wiseman, “May the Fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits”!!!! In the owrds of an American wiseman, ” May you be cursed with an early transmission failure in rush hour during the busiest day in history!!! In other words, may you be cursed with some of the worst bad luck possible as you deserve every bit of it!!!

      • Dan az

        :) :)

      • James

        Joe H. I was trying to be funny. I’m a Purple-Heart Koeran War veteran, and didn’t learn until decades later what that war was about. It turned out that FDR had made a deal with Stalin, in his last meeting with him, that the Soviets could have the northern half of Korea. When the North Korean communists attacked the South Koreans, they violated that agreement. The 38th Paraallel was the agreed upon division line. When we forced them back across that line, our attack was stopped, General McArthur was fired, and our troops are still there holding that line. That was the first of our no-win wars. My guess is none of those troops know of that history.

        • http://naver samurai

          Can you cite a source on that? FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          P.S. FDR died before the end of WWII, so how could he have agreed to split up Korea? The Koreans were too busy fighting for independence from Japan.

          • James

            Samurai, FDR’s last meeting with Stalin was, I believe, in Tehran, Iran, that was when the deal was made. You might do a computer search on: “FDR, Stalin, the 38th parallel” and find something. I documented that years ago in an article I wrote, but can’t find it.

          • James

            Samurai, FDR’s meeting over Korea was at Yalta, rather than Tehran. I found the info in the article I wrote and hi-lighted it but without the “edit, copy and paste” buttons available, can’t attach it here. The info came from “Witness to History” by Charles Bohlen (1929-1969) which was published in 1973,four years after his death.

  • Dons621

    Things are getting more like what I had to deal with in WWII. As a Merchant Marine trained clothed and tranported buy the United states Merchant Marine Servive which in time of War was drafted into the Armed Service by F.D.R. When you were sunk and was lucky enough to be saved by antoer ship you had to wait for a ship going back to U.S.A. Once back you had 30 days of medical, no replacement of your gear .no housing, no transpotation. And thanks to our Elite Republicain Senates no bennifits even for the Widows of some 7000 Merchant Marines. Welcome Home Men RUN for office get rid of the Cowards.

  • http://aol Miz

    One of my uncles served in the US Navy during WWII. He had 2 ships sunk out from under him. Both times the Red Cross replaced essentials i.e. soap razor,underwear, etc. Later he received a bill from the Red Cross for the replacements. The current Red Cross CEO receives over $650,000 a year in salary plus expenses. Another example of the largesse of The Red Cross: During Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming they were selling bottled water. A few tables down the way, the Salvation Army was giving away FREE bottled water. Needless to say, the Red Cross is not on my list of charities.

  • http://GOGGLE vaksal

    Well,that does it for me,delta airlines is not on my christmas list,the folks running that policy should go crawl back into the outhouse they came out of.its a national disgrace. its to bad that our citizen soliders are being treated so poorly. the government should cancel their contract and get another airline,then they could get time to think about it,for a long long time.


    I recently traveled on United Airlines from Orlando to L.A. The locks on my bags were cut and an expensive cellphone and digital camera were stolen,airline comment was! Nothing we can do,to bad. How about hiring honest americans instead of Porto ricans in Orlando and Mexicans in Calif? Maybe didn’t have time to cut all my locks or I would have lost even more. No borders has been an issue far longer than I can think. The Dems want it,thats all they have left is illegals to support them. Rep? not much better. As for the over charge to our guys in uniform? Well,welcome back to Obamanation,now when they require you to take up arms against family and friends,will you? I could go on,the list is endless and most just don’t care. So how about the U.N. trying to pass laws in the US to take our guns? What we do then?

    • http://?? Joe H.

      I think if you check, you will find that those “Puerto Ricans” were CUBANS!!!

  • Raymond Babcock

    our goverment today sounds like the british of old people will start caring when it is to late


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