. . . baggage
Stars and Stripes, June 8The knee-jerk reaction is that nasty, unpatriotic Delta Airlines is ripping off our soldiers returning from a war zone.
Two U.S. soldiers returning from a deployment in Afghanistan said Delta Air Lines charged them $200 each for extra bags for their connecting flight from Baltimore to Atlanta.
While on board Delta Air Lines flight 1625 Tuesday morning, Staff Sgts. Fred Hilliker and Robert O’Hair shot a video laying out their case. In the video, which was posted on YouTube, the soldiers say they are authorized to check as many as four bags, free of charge, on their return trip from Afghanistan
Filming while in their seats, Hilliker opens the video by saying he and the other 33 members of his unit were told in Baltimore that they were only authorized to check three bags for free.
The soldiers are travelling on official orders that allow them to transport FOUR bags. Delta has a contract with Uncle Sammy to transport up to THREE bags at no cost.
So, what about the fourth bag?
Since the soldiers have official orders, they will be reimbursed for the fourth bag when they file their travel vouchers - along with any other miscellaneous expenses such as food and lodging. In fact, if they are on per diem, it is possible for them to recover a few more dollars than they actually spent.
A staff sargeant (E6) in the U. S. Army would have travelled on official orders more than once, and would know this. If there is a problem (and I say if), it was created by the Department of Defense, not Delta.
Stars and Stripes should have printed the full story, and these two sargeants should have known better.
Not that I'm a fan of Delta Airlines, mind you. They are far from a gold class company.
Although Delta was following its contract with the government, the hue and cry from the viral Youtube video resulted in a change in policy. Now, any soldier can travel with four bags at no added cost.
OK, now I'm waiting for the next uproar when someone has five bags.