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jmiller_1974 06-11-2011 12:22 PM

Delta Airlines fails Our Soldiers

It's hard to imagine Delta Air Lines being capable of coming up with a more boneheaded public relations blunder than the one they pulled off this week involving our troops.

OK, so if Delta had come out with a "Hooray for Hitler" advertising campaign, it would have been worse.

But not by much.

So here's what happened: When U.S. soldiers returning home from the daily life-and-death grind of the war in Afghanistan went to check in on a flight from Baltimore/Washington to Atlanta, Delta charged them $200 apiece for a fourth checked bag.

Total bill: over $2,800 to our fighting folks, the ones who give their lives so the rest of us can sit over here stateside and play with our iPhones while those guys do the heavy lifting. Charging troops $200 for a bag. That's worse than spreading egg on your face. That's the whole henhouse.

Ever notice how you never see a staff sergeant mentioned in those lists of America's richest people? It's not like these guys can afford that kind of surprise bill.

In fairness to Delta, the airline has since changed its bag-charging policy, in exchange, one supposes, for not being taken out back and fed to the hogs. Let's just say that when a couple of troops put up a YouTube video online telling about the bag charging incident, the public wasn't real happy. People looked at the video more than 200,000 times. And a Facebook page called Boycott Delta for Soldiers showed up. Which, naturally, caught Delta's attention.

So under Delta's brand-new bag policy, U.S. military personnel traveling on orders in economy-class seats will be allowed to check four bags for free. That's a start, but how about some free drinks, and round-trip tickets to Honolulu for everybody in combat boots?

You've got to wonder sometimes what businesses are thinking when they shoot themselves not so much in the foot but directly in the shorts. Charging the troops for their extra bags. What's next? Will Delta come out against hot dogs at baseball games? Or, if they really want to put themselves up for another national tongue-lashing, they could charge new mothers $100 a head for bringing children under 2 on the airplane. And how about a $5 surcharge for every baby bottle stowed in that carry-on?

You remember the old Delta ad campaign "Delta is ready when you are"? Well, the problem was that after the bag move, everybody was ready to find another airline.

Oh, I can see Delta's marketing point, all right. Charging for those bags could be a real cash cow. Troops are always coming home or going somewhere, like, you know, Kabul. And every time they go somewhere, what do they do? You got it. They carry all these bags. Lots and lots of great big bags.

Why, an airline could make a fortune charging each one of these troops a couple hundred a bag. Right before it went out of business.

gonefhsn 06-11-2011 02:30 PM

Wtg Delta

JCH841 06-11-2011 02:52 PM

Most airlines treat their customers like dirt. Just had a business flight on United where when I didn't upgrade from the company ticket at my own expense, I got to use the furthest away TSA screening station, past two "elite" customer stations at O'Hare in Chicago. I glad I got a comfortable, economical Focus for my personal travel. But as retired military, I have to say that soaking our active duty troops is a new low.

goinloco1 06-12-2011 11:02 AM

All of them will try to soak you. Delta just happened to get caught doing it to a whole group. I've had it happen with american and northwest also numerous times and gotten reimmbursed by the gov't, but learned quickly their little tactic and came up with a couple of my own.
Good thing I no longer have a need to fly.

fusi0n 06-12-2011 09:40 PM

Every airline is scandalous. I have actually had better experiences with Delta and JetBlue but even they are pretty horrible when it comes to customer service. Worst ever was United, which left me stranded in Rochester, NY... 1500 miles from home, canceled 24 hours' worth of flights and refused to give me any sort of hotel/meal/shuttle vouchers.

If they are going to charge extra money for a 40 pound bag then what about the obese person next to me that weighs 120 lbs more than me AND my bag combined and takes up 1 1/2 seats? If your flab oozes over the armrests there should be an extra fee, and it should go to ME not to the airline.

WiscoGTI 06-13-2011 05:14 PM

When the Army sends me somewhere, it's always been Delta.. and my service has never been too horrible. But this is nuts. I don't feel like anyone on orders should ever have to pay for any bags. It should all be free.

norcalfocus01 06-13-2011 05:23 PM

Not saying I agree with Delta's policy, but lets remember that it is their business and can choose to run it anyway they want. If they want to rape their customers (even worse the US militray) then maybe the US army should use another airline.

goinloco1 06-13-2011 10:41 PM


Originally Posted by norcalfocus01 (Post 3705188)
Not saying I agree with Delta's policy, but lets remember that it is their business and can choose to run it anyway they want. If they want to rape their customers (even worse the US militray) then maybe the US army should use another airline.

Problem is, delta has a contract with the military which states 4 bags.
It would not be on the orders otherwise.
basically they are being paid twice for the bags by the military. once through the contract and the second time reimbursing the soldier. Your tax dollars doing their finest work.
How many military personell a year do you think this happens to? Thats alot of bucks at 200 a bag...

save_HUTCH 06-26-2011 02:13 PM

I've flown a couple of time with the army and have gotten American everytime, never paid for extra bags or anything.
Sent from my ADR6300 using FF Mobile

jinstall 07-10-2011 10:27 PM

Ihave flow many airlines and I have had to pay for extra bgs before. I used my GTC and filed for reebursement later on my TV.

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