Delta Air Lines increased its free-checked bag allotment from three to four for U.S. military flying on orders after two soldiers returning from Afghanistan posted a video on YouTube a day earlier complaining about the fees.
Here's the video:
The two U.S. Army soldiers, returning from Afghanistan and flying June 7 on flight #1625 from Baltimore, Md., to Atlanta, and en route to their base in Louisiana, complained that Delta Air Lines charged them each $200 for fourth checked bags even though they claimed the U.S. Army has a contract with the airline allowing for four free checked bags.
Complaining about the hardship, the two soldiers said the 34 soldiers in their unit traveling on the flight were charged around $2,800 in bag fees.
One of the soldiers said his fourth checked bag was a weapons case, with its contents used to protect Afghan and U.S. civilians.
"Good business model, Delta," one of the soldiers said sarcastically in the video. "Thank you."
He added: "Not happy."
Delta staff in Baltimore reportedly apologized for the bag charges but said they were following airline policy.
The video got a lot of play on YouTube and from major media outlets covering the story. Needless to say, the airline didn't come out of it looking very good.
Meanwhile, Delta announced the next day it is increasing the military bag allotment in coach to four free checked bags. And, for soldiers traveling on orders in business and first classes, Delta increased the free-checked bag allowance to five, up from the previous four.
At least Delta avoided further furor and damage to its brand by tackling the problem with immediacy.