When I googled Delta airlines to find what the fallout was from overcharging our soldiers for excess baggage, I was sort of surprised by the amount of people defending Delta. Delta does have a lot of employees and by now I imagine they have been given the corporate spin on this debacle. Delta has changed their policy on this and apologized, but what bothers me is that we have been a nation at war for almost ten years. I would have thought at this point Delta employees would have had a clue as to what the rules were regarding the baggage soldiers HAVE to carry. Our soldiers are not carrying back superfluous souvenirs to pass out to the kids when they get home. They are carrying equipment that they have to have to perform their jobs in combat zones. The government PAYS Delta for allowing our soldiers to carry four bags -- three and one extra. You would think Delta would have educated their employees on that fact a long time ago. Yes, some of our soldiers have government credit cards and a reimbursed for this, however they are required to account for the charges on that credit card. I really wonder how much money Delta has made by charging our soldiers -- and therefore our government -- twice for the same bag? I think Delta may have some explaining and accounting to do. If this problem isn't just with Delta, then maybe the entire airline industry needs to be investigated. Why did it have to take an incident like this for Delta to finally take action?
Our soldiers are not asking for special treatment from the airlines. They are asking to receive what the American taxpayer has already paid for four bags. Our soldiers have to do their jobs, maybe Delta should do theirs.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Recently several soldiers posted videos to "YouTube" because they were charged extra money to bring their baggage on board. In case you were wondering if this was true or not, I am here to tell you is is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. This has been going on for a LONG time. Our soldiers who have given so much are paying to check their extra baggage -- which is usually equipment they are REQUIRED to carry and for which they are financially responsible. Our returning military personnel do not have an option as to what airline they use to travel home. That privilege goes to the lowest bidder and that low bid may not include their extra luggage. Of course that bid is supposed to include their luggage, as long as that luggage is the equivalent of what civilian travelers carry. That's right: Those ultra-patriots at Delta expect a soldier deploying for a year to have the same amount of luggage as someone vacationing for two weeks.
I have had to ship my husband extra stuff at our own expense because he could not take it aboard an airline. When he returns, he will be leaving stuff behind because it is either to expensive, or too much of a hassle to try to take it home on an airline. His nickname is the Bulldog and he is not shy about arguing with an airline, it is just that big of a hassle. I don't know if Delta is the only airline that does this, but I assure you this incident is not isolated. Usually it is a just a couple of soldiers, a couple bags and a lot less money, but that money adds up. Soldier after soldier is paying out of his or her own pocket to transport equipment they have to carry. Soldiers pay because they think they have to, or they are tired of conflict and just want to get home without further hassle.
So, if you are on your way out of Afghanistan: Thank-you for killing Bin Laden, but make sure you stop by the ATM on your way out. "Delta is ready..." to take your money.