August 5, 2011
A couple of months ago, Delta Airlines took a lot of heat from the military for charging a unit returning from Afghanistan $2,800 in extra baggage fees.
Six weeks later, Delta’s tune seems to have changed.
The baggage situation
Here’s the back story. An army unit was returning from Afghanistan, and although the US Government has an agreement with Delta Airlines to not charge military personnel for up to 4 bags when they are on “military orders”, they refused to honor that agreement. An article explaining more about the situation is here at “Delta bag fees for soldiers ignites backlash” and the video that started it all is here:
Sargent Fred Hilliker of Allendale, Michigan ends the video sarcastically saying, “Good business model, Delta. Thank you. We’re actually happy to be back to America. God bless America. Not happy, not happy at all. Appreciate it. Thank you.”
Delta took a lot of heat for this decision, and it turned into a PR mess for them, and they eventually refunded the money and changed their policy.
Delta “makes up” to soldiers
Last week on my flight from Boston to Atlanta, I noticed a very different Delta. The first thing I noticed is that there were a lot of US Army personnel on my flight, which I’m guessing is commonplace on any flight to Atlanta. Then I noticed two Army men in first class, and I assumed they were upgraded by Delta (given the typical salaries of the US Army).
The best part came just after we landed. The flight attendants announced that we had landed, but that they would like to have everyone stay seated in order to allow the Army personnel to deplane first. Very nice! And, then they asked everyone to give them a round of applause to thank them for serving our country.
A soldier’s perspective
I was curious what the soldiers thought, so I stopped one as I was picking up my bag. The Sargent from Fort Bragg said he wasn’t able to be video or audio taped, but when I asked if this changed his perception of Delta, he said “Yes, definitely. Any company that shows their support for the troops is meaningful to me, despite what happened with the baggage.” That was great to hear.
Story courtesy of www.justmilitaryloans.com.