Delta Upsets Returning Soldiers

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Delta Air Lines worked to rebound from negative publicity Wednesday after soldiers returning from Afghanistan aboard a Delta flight appeared in a YouTube video explaining they were charged $200 each by the airline for carrying extra bags. Part of the problem appears to be that the soldiers understood their travel orders to mean they were authorized to check up to four bags free of charge. The airline says active military are allowed to check three bags free of charge while flying in coach. The soldiers say the airline collected a total of at least $2,800 from the 34 soldiers on the flight. Delta later offered an apology.

Click here to hear the soldiers explain the problem as they perceived it at the time, in their own words. (MP3)

Note: AVweb has edited the audio to remove the names of the soldiers involved.

"In the case of today's situation, we would like to publicly apologize to those service men and women for any miscommunication regarding our current policies as well as any inconvenience we may have caused," a Delta spokeswoman said on a company blog. The airline "will be reaching out" to the soldiers to personally address their concerns and will "work to correct any issues they have faced," the spokesperson said. Stars and Stripes quoted a spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) who said, "We know this is a business issue and that the troops will be reimbursed if they are authorized additional baggage in their orders, but the shock of even being charged is enough to make most servicemen and women simply shake their heads and wonder who or what it is they are protecting."