This week’s dust up about Delta charging a group of soldiers returning from the Afghan war $2,800 dollars in excess baggage charges sure was something. Mostly lost in the conversation was the fact that the soldiers would have been reimbursed by the US Government for the extra bag per their travel orders. Now, as lame as I think it is that they would have had to go through the paperwork to get their money back, they would have gotten the money eventually. Furthermore, Delta’s policy is what it is (or was). Would it have been best for all if the agents checking the soldiers in had exercised some flexibility? Sure….but I think we all know how that works.
The facts are that Delta and every other airline already allow our military men and women on duty to carry more bags that can weigh more than the number of bags the rest of us can carry. I’m fine with that. Just so happens that this group of servicemen (and perhaps many others for all I know) were carrying 4 bags when Delta allowed 3, so the Delta agent did what they are trained to do and collected excess fees for the 4th bag. PERIOD. There is no conspiracy theory….no disrespect of our military by Delta…..no nothing. Delta got unlucky that one or two of the soldiers happened to be YouTube savvy, and the rest is history.
This story is quickly receding from the scene, and I opine that Delta’s fabulous social media team is a big part of the reason why. They got out in front of this the second that video went viral, and reached out directly to the soldiers affected. Whether they are satisfied or not, I do not know. I am satisfied that this was much ado about nothing and the drama generated should have never seen the light of day. But at least it got an extra bag for free for our returning soldiers.