Well that was fast.
Just as soon as a couple of new-media savvy soldiers returning home from Afghanistan posted a video on You Tube describing how Delta Air Lines forced the soldiers to pay $200 out-of-pocket in baggage fees, the airline decided to change its baggage policy for returning soldiers.
The returning soldiers each had four bags and Delta allows for three. For the entire 34 soldiers returning home Delta charged the troops a total of $2800.
After intense criticism for the move, Delta’s social media manager issued an apology and promised the soldiers that the airline would be reaching out the them to “address their concerns and work to correct any issues they have faced.”
Joe Davis, director of public affairs for the Veterans of Foreign Wars summed it up best. “A $200 bill for extra baggage by a government-contracted airline is the worst welcome home any soldier could receive.”
Last year alone Delta made $3.7 billion off of ancillary revenue, otherwise known as fees charged to passengers for food, drinks and extra baggage.
The good news of this story is the pressure on Delta was fierce, immediate and effective. Perhaps that’s the lesson here — not that the private sector is greedy beyond belief, but that the concerted effort of a few dedicated people can really elicit a change for the better.
photo courtesy of quinn.anya via Flickr