Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Delta Airlines charges US soldiers returning from Afghanistan deployment $3000 for baggage handling

Two U.S. soldiers returning from a deployment in Afghanistan said Delta Air Lines charged them $200 each for extra bags for their connecting flight from Baltimore to Atlanta.

While on board Delta Air Lines flight 1625 Tuesday morning, Staff Sgts. Fred Hilliker and Robert O’Hair shot a video laying out their case. In the video, which was posted on YouTube, the soldiers say they are authorized to check as many as four bags, free of charge, on their return trip from Afghanistan.

Filming while in their seats, Hilliker opens the video by saying he and the other 33 members of his unit were told in Baltimore that they were only authorized to check three bags for free.

“Just back from Afghanistan yesterday,” Hilliker says in the video, “... on an 18-hour layover, we had a little issue with the bags this morning.”

He soon turns the camera on O’Hair to explain further. Interview style, they note that their orders authorize them to carry four bags, and talk of having to pay “out of pocket,” despite an existing contract between the airline and the government.

“How much did we pay?” asks Hilliker.

“Over $2,800, and there’s only 34 of us,” O’Hair replies. (read more)