Bag Fees Backlash Prompted Delta Air Lines To Change Baggage Policy

By on Jun 9, 2011 in Travel, United States, World Comments

After a Youtube video showing soldiers complained that they had to pay Delta Air Lines $200 for each extra bags they checked in as they travel back home from Afghanistan, the airline reportedly changed its baggage fees for troops, several news sites reported on Wednesday, June 8, 2011.

In the said video, titled “Delta Airlines Welcomes Soldiers Home,” one seargeant, Robert O’Hair said that his fourth bag was a weapons case. “The tools I used to protect myself and Afghan citizens while I was deployed,” he said.

Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
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Meanwhile, the other seargeant, Fred Hilliker closes the video by saying: “Good business model, Delta. Thank you. We’re actually happy to be back to America. God bless America. Not happy, not happy at all. Appreciate it. Thank you.”

According to reports, the Defense Department typically reimburses such costs, which the soldiers may not be aware of when they made the video.

Reports said that the video was posted on Youtube on Tuesday and has been viewed about 200,000 times before it was taken down the next day by its uploader. A Facebook page, “Boycott Delta for Soldiers” surfaced by Wednesday afternoon, resulting on the airline backpedaling and apologizing to the soldiers.

It was reported that Delta apologized to the soldiers initially but did not change its policy. However, after the backlash, the airline changed its policy, saying that fourth bags will now be free for troops in economy class and five bags for those in business class.

Here’s a snippet of Delta‘s announcement on their official blog:

First and foremost, we want you to know we’re continuing to work with the soldiers individually to make this situation right for each of them. We regret that this experience caused these soldiers to feel anything but welcome on their return home. We honor their service and are grateful for the sacrifices of our military service members and their families.

After careful consideration, effective immediately, U.S. military personnel traveling on orders in First Class and BusinessElite can check up to five bags at no charge and 4 bags in economy class. This change also adds dependents traveling with active military on orders. Each bag may weigh up to 70 lbs. (32 kg) and measure up to 80 linear inches (203 cm), which offers added flexibility over the standard 50 lbs. and 62 linear inches (157 cm) allotment. Because of weight, balance and space constraints, Delta Connection carriers will accept up to four bags at no charge. You can read the updates to the travel policy on

We hope these changes to our policies reflect the true respect we hold for our service men and women and again demonstrate our appreciation as both a company and as individuals who benefit from the freedom our troops defend. We also hope this echoes our commitment to listening, learning, and our continued dedication to constant improvement.

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