Video Justice: Soldiers Hit With $200 Baggage Fees To Be Reimbursed : The Two-Way The government will pay them back. Returning from Afghanistan, they were charged by Delta Air Lines for having more than three bags. Its contract with the military allows for three free bags when flying in coach, the airline says.
NPR logo Video Justice: Soldiers Hit With $200 Baggage Fees To Be Reimbursed

Video Justice: Soldiers Hit With $200 Baggage Fees To Be Reimbursed

Update at 1:50 p.m. ET: Since we first posted about this, Delta Air Lines has announced a change in policy — U.S. military personnel traveling in economy class can now check up to four bags for free (first class and business class military fliers can check five). And it says "we're continuing to work with the soldiers [involved in this incident] individually to make this situation right for each of them."

Our Original Post:

On their way home Tuesday from Afghanistan, Army Staff Sgts. Fred Hilliker and Robert O'Hair were not happy that they and some other soldiers had been charged $200 each because they each had four bags. The airline ended up collecting $2,800, according to the soldiers, meaning slightly less than half the 34 soldiers traveling in the group were charged.

spcrobohair YouTube

They thought the Army's contract with Delta Air Lines allowed for four free bags. Delta said its contract allows for three free bags for soldiers flying in coach; four for those in first or business classes.

"Good business model, Delta," Hilliker says with a bit of bite in his voice in a video that's been viewed about 171,000 times since he put it on YouTube Tuesday.

Well, that video got action.

Delta, while still pointing to the language in its contract as justification for the charges, says on its blog that:

"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. We are currently looking further into the situation, and will be reaching out to each of them personally to address their concerns and work to correct any issues they have faced."

And reports that "a military spokeswoman told CBS Atlanta News that any extra bag fees charged by an airline will be reimbursed by the government, depending on their orders."