UPDATE: Here is Delta’s apology, I love how the person who wrote it just so conveniently happens to be a service members spouse: http://blog.delta.com/2011/06/07/military-travel-baggage-policies-our-thoughts/
I am not gonna pretend to know all the details on this story, but it’s been spreading like a viral wildfire within the military community and you know I could not wait to get everyone’s opinion. I do know for a fact we paid over $500 for luggage while PCS’ing this past March but then again it was a PCS not soldiers who just risked their lives coming home from war. All I have to say say is Delta needs to make the baggage policy for military clearer and it would probably help if the military stepped in and made the baggage process alittle easier as well.
P.S. These men were coming home from serving in a combat zone not a PCS!
So tell me do you agree with the soldiers or Delta?
I get lots of comments on my blog post on the Army Wife 101 Fanpage…
Read what others are saying about this here and here.
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I think it was wrong, if there’s a contract in place and everything happened the way these soldiers say. I do wonder though if this is one of those contracts that the people at the ticket counters know little to nothing about and therefore, they thought they were indeed doing their job when they charged extra. I really want to hear Delta’s rebuttal/other side of this story.
I have heard nothing but horrible things about Delta esp when it comes to baggage
I think it is ridiculous for Delta to make them pay what they did in order to get on the plane. As far as your PCS I would make sure you check travel policies before you buy airline tickets next time because I know Southwest was excellent with us on vacation even though they didn’t have to (I believe their policy is no limit when dealing with service members on orders) and we have tickets to fly to San Diego this summer on Continental and they have an excellent baggage policy for servicemembers also. I think Delta has some explaining to do, and some apologies to make. I do agree that someone in the system should have been notified and perhaps taken care of this instead of having the soldiers pay out of pocket.
My experience as a spouse on orders for PCS to (and later from) Hawaii was somewhat similar. When we moved to Hawaii, we were allowed “excess”. Something like 70lbs bags, I think? And I think we were allowed one additional bag from the airline policy. Had no problems when moving to Hawaii.
Our problems came when moving FROM Hawaii. Still on orders, but this time there was no provision for extra weight/bags (and yes, I failed to read that, but assumed it would be like when we moved there). Got to the airport and had to pay out the bum for baggage fees. We were never reimbursed for that either.
I think, and this is just my opinion, that big businesses like Delta (and their frontline workers) assume that the government is going to pay those fees for us. What they don’t understand is that it comes out of our pockets, and sometimes, but not all the time, we may be reimbursed. And that reimbursement may not come in a timely manner, especially at a time when our sponsors are switching units during a PCS or at a crazy time like a re-deployment.
Wow. If it states on the orders that they are covered up to 4 bags then why are they having to pay? For the times that I’ve moved (From San Antonio, TX, to Honolulu, HI…then Honolulu, HI, to Fayetteville, NC) not once did I have to pay for baggage. First time, we PCS via United. Then this past time, we traveled via Delta. Delta is gonna lose a lot of customers if they can’t get their stuff straighten out. These guys are coming home from Afghanistan, not PCSing. PCSing states you are allowed up to 3 bags at no more than 70lbs….if their orders state that they are allowed up to 4 bags at no more than certain weight then they should have full reign over doing a total of 4 bags. Well, the soldiers should get reimbursed for spending money out of their pockets.
I read a press release from several years ago from Delta bragging that they were going to waive all “excess” baggage fees for service members returning from war. Now this? This is a complete “about face” if you ask me. My soldier had his own terrible experience with Delta and because of it, we will never fly Delta again. When he was on orders to leave our home state and fly to SC, Delta had somehow oversold his flight. He, along with several other soldiers from our area, were not allowed to board and were instead asked to catch the next available flight. When was that? 2 DAYS LATER. So after 2 nights of staying in a local hotel, my husband and the other soldiers were finally guaranteed seats on the next flight. They boarded the plane and thought their troubles were over. They had a layover in Atlanta and once they got off the plane, they SPRINTED to their next terminal to catch their connecting flight. They made it to the gate exactly ON THE MINUTE, but they had already closed the gate and wouldnt let the soldiers board. So after 6 hours sitting around in the Atlanta airport, they FINALLY got on another plane and made it to SC. Needless to say they had to report 2 days late.
This was totally wrong and I hope they get their money back. Delta needs to change its policy. The policy is total crap. These men have been at war and they are having to fork over $200!! My husband is coming home soon and we have 4 children. If he had to pay $200 for any of his baggage that would kill us right now…
On a side note… when we pcs’d here we flew American and they were the nicest people. we had extra checked items (way over the 2 or 3 a person) and they had no problems they just took them and smiled. We were never asked for a penny.
It looks like they have now updated their policy! Now…up to the 4 bags, even in economy seating. It looks like they’ve also updated policies on traveling with orders, and personal travel. Traveling with orders now includes dependents, which is nice for a PCS move!! Here’s a link for your readers… http://www.gadling.com/2011/06/07/delta-air-lines-charges-returning-soldiers-for-checked-bags/?ncid&a_dgi=aolshare_twitter
I’m still disappointed with Delta…they are not an airline that I frequently use. But I am glad they did *something* to try to rectify the situation…
Yes it was wrong they were coming home from were they were fighting for are freedom and helping the Afga. If they are moving from one post to the next which is PCSing then yes a soilder and his family should pay for extra bags. Or going on leave you all can say that is wrong but I’am also in the miltray along with my husband and we are no different to anyone else that is flying. This should also go for the cilvian who are over thier helping and working.
My mouth dropped when I read about this article and then also saw it on the news. Considering our soldiers explained to them it was in contract and that they are required to carry bags, and they STILL made them pay is unbelievable. Not an extra $20, but $200!! Of course after all of the feedback and hatred towards Delta Airlines AFTER this happens, they changed their policy to 4 bags. They weren’t going on vacation, they were on the way home from FIGHTING for our freedom!!! Some people are so unbelievable!
This shouldn’t even be an issue. I understand, weight issues, etc, but this is crazy.
Yes I totally do think Delta was wrong, & I ALSO THINK Delta & every airline out there should let our Military men & women fly for free! What do ya say America? Especially coming home from deployment. WAKE UP!!!!
A continuation of my last comment. I believe Military does get their trip home paid for from overseas/depends on circumstances. But even if they are stationed in the states & they want to fly somewhere, get leave to go home for awhile, take a trip, whatever the case may be—THEY SHOULD FLY FOR FREE.
Yes they were very wrong. They are wrong for charging anyone so mcuh as it is. When military travels on orders the military member should NOT have to pay out of pocket now or ever! And that includes taking it out of their pay later. That’s wrong.