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Thread: Airline changes U.S. troops $2,800 returning home from Afghanistan

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    Airline changes U.S. troops $2,800 returning home from Afghanistan

    Delta Airlines found itself scrambling to shore up its patriotic credentials after U.S. troops returning from Afghanistan posted a YouTube video complaining the airline had charged them more than $2,800 in excess baggage fees.

    "We showed up and found out we had too many bags," Army Staff Sgt. Robert O'Hair, of the 95th Infantry Division, said in the video, the Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel reported today.

    "We had four bags, and Delta Air Lines only allows three bags. Anything over three bags you have to pay for,even though there's a contract between the United States government and Delta Air Lines: When returning from Afghanistan on military orders, you're authorized up to four bags."

    The 34 soldiers, from the 95th Infantry Division, had to pay $200 each out of pocket to the airline to transport their fourth bag.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theenv...e-charged-2800
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    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    I got my green GI bag back from baggage claim covered in urine when I flew home to be with my family for the 4th of July a few years ago. I felt it was how Delta said, "Thanks for your service."
    Last edited by Schlitz; 06-08-2011 at 08:27 PM. Reason: Years ago, not weeks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schlitz View Post
    I got my green GI bag back from baggage claim covered in urine when I flew home to be with my family for the 4th of July a few years ago. I felt it was how Delta said, "Thanks for your service."

    I would be furious and would have sent a very nasty letter to all I think who would read it.
    Last edited by zack991; 06-08-2011 at 08:47 PM.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schlitz View Post
    I got my green GI bag back from baggage claim covered in urine when I flew home to be with my family for the 4th of July a few years ago. I felt it was how Delta said, "Thanks for your service."
    Be thankful it wasn't a colostomy bag that broke.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schlitz View Post
    I got my green GI bag back from baggage claim covered in urine when I flew home to be with my family for the 4th of July a few years ago. I felt it was how Delta said, "Thanks for your service."
    I'd have called the news services on the spot. "Hello? Denver Post? I just pulled my green GI bag off the carousel here at the airport and it's soaked in urine. Apparently, some Delta baggage handler doesn't appreciate American GIs returning home to be with their families on the 4th of July. If you'd like to do the story, I'll wait here at the airport..."
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    Before you decide to boycott Delta, please get the facts right.

    This situation is almost certainly not Delta's fault. All traveling military members are supposed to have a government issued travel credit card. This is a DoD regulation. If they are required to transport more than three bags, due to the amount of gear they must haul, the excess baggage authorization should be reflected in their printed orders.

    When they check in to the airline, they should pay the excess baggage fee with the government card (their ticket costs will have already been charged this way). When they complete their travel, they will file a voucher at their base finance office (usually done on-line now), claiming all costs for the travel (including the authorized baggage fees). The government reimburses them, paying the travel costs to the card company, and any left-over allowances directly to the member.

    If the member was not authorized excess baggage, either their chain of command made an error, or the member did, not Delta.

    Either way, Delta was following established procedures and the soldiers here were not. In addition, instead of waiting to address this issue with their chain of command, they blabbed it on the 'net, proving themselves fools not once, but twice. I'm sure their chain of command will have some sharp words for them upon their reporting in.

    As claimed U.S. Army Staff Sergeants (E-6's), they should certainly know the correct procedures. If they didn't there are some training issues that need to be addressed within their unit.

    Delta does not appear to be at fault here, and is bending over backwards to present a good face due to the actions of some military idiots. Please go talk to some military travel/finance people and get some more background on this issue.

    For the record, I am my units' mobility/travel manager and have deployed numerous times myself, so I know what I'm talking about.

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    Exactly. Delta should be praised for how they handled the situation, taking responsibility for the matter, even though they did nothing wrong.

    The military travel authorities screwed up by not making sure that either Delta had been paid for the fourth bags or the service members were able to pay for it until reimbursed through the voucher process.

    Delta spent a lot of money making this situation right--and still took the hit. Some government bureaucrat dropped the ball and should be bearing the brunt of the blame.

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    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    I sent an email to delta and recieved 50 dollars toward my next ticket and they offered to pay a dry cleaning receipt for the bag O_O

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    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    I'd have called the news services on the spot. "Hello? Denver Post? I just pulled my green GI bag off the carousel here at the airport and it's soaked in urine. Apparently, some Delta baggage handler doesn't appreciate American GIs returning home to be with their families on the 4th of July. If you'd like to do the story, I'll wait here at the airport..."
    The problem was I didn't notice till I got home. My father picked me up from the airport and for a 2 hour drive and the whole time we were like OH MAN TURN THE AIR CONDITIONING OFF IT SMELLS LIKE PISS, it wasn't till we got home and I grabbed my bag that I knew that was where the smell was coming from. My bag was soaked in piss... specifically the strap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PavePusher View Post
    This situation is almost certainly not Delta's fault. All traveling military members are supposed to have a government issued travel credit card. This is a DoD regulation. If they are required to transport more than three bags, due to the amount of gear they must haul, the excess baggage authorization should be reflected in their printed orders.

    When they check in to the airline, they should pay the excess baggage fee with the government card (their ticket costs will have already been charged this way). When they complete their travel, they will file a voucher at their base finance office (usually done on-line now), claiming all costs for the travel (including the authorized baggage fees). The government reimburses them, paying the travel costs to the card company, and any left-over allowances directly to the member.

    If the member was not authorized excess baggage, either their chain of command made an error, or the member did, not Delta.

    Either way, Delta was following established procedures and the soldiers here were not. In addition, instead of waiting to address this issue with their chain of command, they blabbed it on the 'net, proving themselves fools not once, but twice. I'm sure their chain of command will have some sharp words for them upon their reporting in.

    As claimed U.S. Army Staff Sergeants (E-6's), they should certainly know the correct procedures. If they didn't there are some training issues that need to be addressed within their unit.

    Delta does not appear to be at fault here, and is bending over backwards to present a good face due to the actions of some military idiots. Please go talk to some military travel/finance people and get some more background on this issue.

    For the record, I am my units' mobility/travel manager and have deployed numerous times myself, so I know what I'm talking about.
    I was my units Defense Travel Service (DTS) person, service members are not required to have a Govt travel card, but are highly encouraged to if they travel more than three times a year tdy. A deployment is totally different, but yes there are systems in place for them to get re-imbursed for the the excess baggage charges. Also it as you said should be stated on their orders exactly what amount of baggage is authorized.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PavePusher View Post
    This situation is almost certainly not Delta's fault. All traveling military members are supposed to have a government issued travel credit card. This is a DoD regulation. If they are required to transport more than three bags, due to the amount of gear they must haul, the excess baggage authorization should be reflected in their printed orders.

    When they check in to the airline, they should pay the excess baggage fee with the government card (their ticket costs will have already been charged this way). When they complete their travel, they will file a voucher at their base finance office (usually done on-line now), claiming all costs for the travel (including the authorized baggage fees). The government reimburses them, paying the travel costs to the card company, and any left-over allowances directly to the member.

    If the member was not authorized excess baggage, either their chain of command made an error, or the member did, not Delta.

    Either way, Delta was following established procedures and the soldiers here were not. In addition, instead of waiting to address this issue with their chain of command, they blabbed it on the 'net, proving themselves fools not once, but twice. I'm sure their chain of command will have some sharp words for them upon their reporting in.

    As claimed U.S. Army Staff Sergeants (E-6's), they should certainly know the correct procedures. If they didn't there are some training issues that need to be addressed within their unit.

    Delta does not appear to be at fault here, and is bending over backwards to present a good face due to the actions of some military idiots. Please go talk to some military travel/finance people and get some more background on this issue.

    For the record, I am my units' mobility/travel manager and have deployed numerous times myself, so I know what I'm talking about.
    Having deployed and/or gone TDY many times myself, while I can confirm that what you say is largely spot-on, I ask you review this simple statement from the OP:

    "We had four bags, and Delta Air Lines only allows three bags. Anything over three bags you have to pay for,even though there's a contract between the United States government and Delta Air Lines: When returning from Afghanistan on military orders, you're authorized up to four bags."

    "The 34 soldiers, from the 95th Infantry Division, had to pay $200 each out of pocket to the airline to transport their fourth bag."

    The contract between U.S. Government and Delta was for four bags. In violation of the contract, Delta wouldn't let them board until the soldiers themselves paid for the fourth bag.

    You may be your unit's deployment manage. I was a U.S. Army- and U.S. Transcom-approved airlift requestor/validator. I didn't write the contracts for contract airlift, but I certainly fed the requirements to Transcom, who did. If we needed airlift including four bags, then the contract would be for "four bags."

    This has all the earmarks of ticket agents who were kept in the dark about the contract, and lacking no other directions from their supervisors, insisted on treating the contract passengers as regular passengers.

    If so, that would indeed be Delta's fault, albeit one that appears to be the result of sloppy management, rather than anything intentional.
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