In a display of rampant profiteering and the declining level of airline service in the United States, Delta Airlines charged American soldiers returning from Afghanistan a whopping $2,800 for extra baggage.
“We had a little issue with the bags this morning,” said Staff Sgt. Fred Hilliker in a June 7, 2001, video made on Delta Flight 1625 from Baltimore to Atlanta.
Hilliker and fellow Staff Sgt. Robert O’Hair were returning to Fort Polk, La.
“We showed up and found out we had too many bags,” said O’Hair.”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.”
O’Hair said that soldiers with a fourth bag had to pay $200 out of their own pocket.
“Good business model, Delta,” Hilliker says at the end of the video. “Thank you.”
Although Delta later said it would change its policy, one has to wonder whether the airline would have realized its negligence without a public shaming.
Here’s hoping lawmakers and Pentagon officials reconsider the military contract with Delta.