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After Pressure, Delta Reverses Fee Policy For Returning Troops

After Pressure, Delta Reverses Fee Policy For Returning Troops

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.


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photo courtesy of quinn.anya via Flickr

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8:28PM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

How utterly despicable that they would have the gall to do that in the first place! to soldiers who had just spent a year fighting, risking their lives. Profit above all!

2:14PM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

So if soldiers are entitled to free checked baggage, why can't I get free checked baggage too? I am better behaved, I am not killing little kids and civilians in the Middle East.

6:17AM PDT on Jun 12, 2011

"...the airline would be reaching out to them to 'address their concerns and work to correct any issued they have faced"...there is s u c h a huge gag-factor here. Work to correct indeed!

Are the ones who were charged before this "change of heart" being reimbursed? Think I'll ever fly this airline??? Think again!

11:00PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Cut their Govt contract!

9:45PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

I wish our government would stop contracting out services they should be providing. Military personnel coming home or going anywhere on duty should be transported via military craft.

8:10PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

My Dad is an 30 year employee of Northwest/Delta and he has never charged military personnel for extra bags, it was just some supervisor somewhere who didn't know what he/she was doing and screwed up. Delta is very pro-military and obviously embarrassed enough about the policy enough to change it the next day

5:30PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

It's quite sorry that it took such fierce pressure for Delta to do the right thing. Maybe they need a new CEO with a heart.

2:55PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

I stopped flying Delta years ago.

2:47PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

I find Delta Airlines to be Greedy Arrogant Corporation who has to be guilted into doing the right thing, if it had not been brought to the public eye via the media they would never have changed their ways. Companies just can't "DO THE RIGHT THING", it's all about the monies, monies, monies. I will never fly Delta.

2:01PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Well, thank you for finally doing the right thing, Delta. Would you have done it if you hadn't been caught with your pants down? Hmmmmmmmm?

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