A group of soldiers returning from Afghanistan posted the video on Tuesday. The soldiers said they had to pay $200 each for a fourth bag that they were authorized to bring under Army orders. The original airline policy allowed troops traveling in coach to bring three bags for free.
Staff Sgts. Fred Hilliker and Robert OHair said on the video they checked four bags on their flight to Baltimore, but were hit with the fee on the connecting flight to Atlanta. The group of soldiers said the baggage fees totaled $2,800.
The video received more than 200,000 views in just a few hours, causing a flurry of reaction on blogs and social media, and even talk of a boycott. Others traveling through Atlanta agreed.
I think its kind of bogus. I mean were over doing something for this country, to charge someone to bring their stuff back they’re using to defend the country is kind of lame I think, Spc. Ryan McGregor told Channel 2s Diana Davis at Hartsfield-Jackson Intl Airport.
Its unforgivable that Delta couldnt make an exception and cut the boys some slack. They deserve it. They deserve our thanks, said civilian Sally Krochalis.
On Wednesday afternoon, Delta posted a message on the Internet stating it had revised its baggage policy and would allow five checked bags.
Thank you to everyone who has participated in the recent conversations on baggage allowances for active duty U.S. military personnel. We appreciate all of your thoughts and insight, and want to share an update on the soldiers involved as well as changes to our official policies, read a post by Rachel R., the manager of Delta Social Media.
Delta’s revised baggage policy also allows U.S. military personnel traveling on orders in First and Business Class to check up to five bags at no charge. This change also adds dependents traveling with active military on orders, a later press release said.
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, Rachel R. added.
The original soldier video was removed from YouTube after Delta’s announcement.