DL charges active duty military $2800 in baggage fees

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by jmrich1432, Jun 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jmrich1432
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    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Seems very reasonable to me.
     
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  3. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Wait so the 4th bag was a weapons case? I assume without weapons... wouldn't that fly cargo? Or shouldn't that be the responsibility of Uncle Sam?

    The way I see it, active duty military should be treated just like any other passenger flying on business... your employer should handle all ancillary costs of travel, with the exception that there should be a standing agreement with the airlines about the fees so they don't need to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed (like "normal" business travelers do).

    Let's face it... if these guys are on the way out or the way home, they're not on vacation and hopefully not bringing back 4 rucksacks full of antiques. It's all their gear, and they should very well be allowed to ferry their stuff back and forth without having to incur any penalties.
     
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  4. jmrich1432
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    It seems like there was some confusion as to what DL was supposed to comp (per their agreement with the military, thanks for quoting sobore) and what would be reimbursed. I don't know how the military works with reimbursements, if anyone could enlighten me I would appreciate it.

    A $200 surprise is a lot for a lot of people, so I can see how the soldiers would be upset regardless of whether it was going to be reimbursed. DL employees were just doing their job though, again, I don't know if they have leeway with these things?

    I was surprised that they brought their own weapons back on commercial carriers. I would have gone with viguera and expected that they would be sent on cargo planes.
     
  5. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    That's why I was wondering if it's just a weapons case or the actual weapons... I mean, carrying the case is bad enough, but it doesn't make sense to me that military personnel (even active duty) have to ferry their own gear with them, on the way out or the return.

    It'd be useless since I assume they're not carrying the ammo... unless someone thinks it reasonable that a bunch of ammo for rifles and grenade launchers in the belly of a commercial plane -- or in the hands of some grubby employee rifling through luggage -- is a good idea.
     
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  6. jmrich1432
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    In the youtube video posted by the soldiers they list the weapons the one soldier was carrying home in his weapons case (M4, grenade launcher and 9mm). I agree, hopefull there was no ammo....
     
  7. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Hi All,

    I am a reservist and have deployed to/from AFG, flown on military orders, etc MANY times. I have NEVER had a problem with checking bags on DL or any US carrier if I had my orders showing I was on official travel, especially in uniform. You can check weapons (no ammo) as long as you have the appropriate documentation from the government.

    I am a little suspect of this video because all of the pax appear to be in uniform, which makes me think it could be a contract flight = they would not have paid for bags.

    AND, if they DID pay for bags (overweight, qty, etc), then the gov't will reimburse them on their travel claims once they are at their destination. The gov't does provide members with gov't travel credit cards to cover these types of expenses.

    Sorry...I'll post the same on FT since I think this could be BS.

    :)robin
     
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  8. USAF_Pride
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    Why, it is legal to carry ammo in checked bags (other than maybe the grenades ;) ) and weapons. Why does everyone think this is such a big deal?!?
    http://www.delta.com/traveling_checkin/baggage/dangerous_goods/index.jsp (interesting read on some of these items, especially PFD's)

    I travel with weapons and ammo quite a bit. 11lbs is a lot of ammo!! :) Having been in the military, I am 99.9% sure the confusion started with the orders that allows 4-Bags. Keep in mind that military personnel are trained that the orders are the Bible. This is more of an issue between the military travel office and DL with the soldiers caught in the middle. These guys didn't make the reservation (nor are they FF's), just told they were going home on this or that flight and the orders said 4 bags. The military travel office is the one who dropped the ball here!!!
     
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  9. So let me get this straight... They get 4 bags with 20lbs extra per bag if they fly first/business class and 3 bags with 20lbs extra in coach. And if they have another bag and are charged and they are authorized to get reimbursed by the government when they complete their travel? Okay what is the big deal? Someone in the gov't messed up the travel order and said 4 bags and Delta did their job. Soldiers still get their money back from the gov't.
     
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  10. USAF_Pride
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    Unless you have been in the military, you will not understand the effort/frustration of "getting their money back from the gov't". I am not blaming DL here. The probelm is with the travel office and DL. Who knows, maybe they were flying on a different ticket that should have been authorized the 4 bags by DL. I wouldn't put it past DL.IT to have a breakdown.
    None of us have all the facts, so everything is speculation at this point. I am sure the other Gov't types will agree that dealing with the Travel office is not always the easiest thing to do.
     
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  11. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    But isn't it more efficient -- not to mention safer overall -- to fly the weapons and ammo cargo, or via military transport?

    Hell, when you're coming home, I would imagine that you're not gonna need that grenade launcher, and that it could be safely tucked away in a crate and transported on a C130 or even by rail to wherever it needs to go. One less bag for the soldier to carry and one less chance of it ending up on the wrong plane -- which happens -- or in the wrong hands.

    I assume the luggage ends up in a special holding area and not in the general carousel for anybody to pick up?

    Or am I missing something here? I would imagine that a civilian has different needs when it comes to traveling with their weapons than a soldier, whether he's being deployed or returning home.
     
  12. TravelerRob
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  13. thewinchester
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    thewinchester Silver Member

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    This video has only just hit my inbox in the last half hour, and USD2800 for military personnel to fork out from their own back pockets is a disgrace.

    Sure, DL have just changed their policy (or likely had to strongly remind its front line staff of the rules information and conditions associated with their USMil/GSA contracts), but if they'd done the education and systems correctly in the first place it wouldn't have happened.

    The Youtube video is nearly at 250k views in under 48hrs, and I dare say this is going to spread further as the weekend approaches.
     
  14. USAF_Pride
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    Why would it be more efficient? Military planes are expensive to fly. Would it make sense to fly a military plane to a base to drop off weapons only? It wouldn't even make sense to fly the soldiers and weapons unless the flight was full BOTH ways for the same reason that commercial aviation.

    I would imagine that they are probably going to do training and will need a weapon to do that. As for stuff ending up on the wrong plane, I would love to see the statistics of "Special Luggage" that ends up on the wrong plane. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem if the carried it on board the plane with them.

    Gun cases ride the carousel all the time. I don't think it is a great idea, but they get treated the same as ski's. Some airports they are not on the carousel.

    A weapon is a tool. Military or civilian. My 9MM is the same as the military. Their long arms may be fully automatic, but using a fully automatic rifle is not as easy as the movies make it out to be.
     
  15. USAF_Pride
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  16. jmrich1432
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    Regardless of efficiency, it is NOT legal for US Military returning from deployment to bring ammo back into the US.
    https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/de...itary-in-iraq--bringing-goods-back-to-the-u.s.

    Although I consider the CBP website to be a fairly reputable source of information, I did call a military friend to verify. He said on all 3 of his tours they were required to empty their firearms before returning and they did not travel to the ME with any ammo.

    It makes people uneasy because most people are not well educated on the handling and usage of firearms. I agree with USAF_Pride in having them carry them on. I would be more comfortable with their weapons never leaving their person. But that may just be because several of my friends worked as baggage handlers in college.
     
  17. rwoman
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    When I flew MCI to KWI on a commercial flight with NW I got delayed and rerouted to Lufthansa in Frankfurt. I got to KWI but my bags and weapons did not. Four days later my stuff shwed up and it was all in a less than secure closet...and that was with two weapons. When leaving theatter people often turn in weapons there or on contract civilian flights.
     
  18. matthewtravels
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    Amazing that Delta has posted all of the negative comments but my supportive comment is still "Awaiting Moderation":

     
  19. jmrich1432
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    Matthew, it's not expecting DL to transport the soldiers free of charge. The gov't pays DL (and all commercial airlines) for their services. Likening that to communism is a bit extreme, no?

    Like I said earlier, I have no idea what the process for being reimbursed by the gov't entails. Based on some of the comments here, I imagine it takes longer than the 2 weeks it takes my company.

    I think it's pretty clear that servicemen returning from a year abroad are NOT the "typical" traveler. Just as most of us on MP and FT are not "typical" travelers. So you're right, it would cost $455 for the "typical" traveler to check baggage to that capacity, but Ma and Pa Kettle are usually not travelling for a year or more and probably aren't carrying an M4, 9mm and a grenade launcher.
     
  20. matthewtravels
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    There was one comment on the blog and many others on Facebook that suggested the soldiers should get everything for free.
    "It’s a no brainer the troops should fly for free check bags for free and whatever else they want for free! It’s disgusting that Delta would charge! Do they charge Delta when they pay with their life everyday? Just so you can go to work and charge them? Really? Shame on Delta! And your response should not be one of reaching out! It should be a position of reimbursement and a whole hell of a lot more! Unbelievable!"
    As for the extreme nature of likening it to communism...this is the internet. If I can't make extreme outrageous comparisons here, where can I?! :D
    None of that changes where the fault lies. Delta operated under the policy that was in place. Here at MP (and FT), most of us prefer a strict adherence to written policies. We want it for the airlines (honoring their CoC, mistake fares, etc) and we certainly want it for the TSA (oh wait, what written policy?!).

    I just don't appreciate the hyper emotionalism just because these were soldiers. It is respectful to do extra things for men and women in uniform, but there should never be an expectation of special treatment and I think most of those who serve or have served you will tell you they agree - as evidenced by some of the comments last night on that YouTube video when it was posted.
     
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  21. rwoman
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    As a GM (at the time) I was flying home to ATL in uniform...and hoped to get the upgrade...oh, wait, I was like #3 on the list with many open seats, I did EXPECT to get it. :) Of course, it was Medallion moment, not a "I am in a desert uniform." moment. :D
     
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  22. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Well I'm still missing something... I'm sure that troops don't have to pay to fly out and back... or at least if they do (which is retarded IMO... I mean, what if you just don't have the money right now? :) ) they should be reimbursed relatively quickly.

    I mean... it's a different type of travel than when civilians fly for work. That's like asking them to pay for their own bullets and what-not, or to put gas on their tank/humvee/plane on their own card.

    When you're not actively being deployed, my understanding is that Uncle Sam foots the bill for everything. And the only reason you're flying commercial is because it's actually cheaper and easier from a logistical standpoint than arranging flights using military hardware -- just like it's cheaper for the Army/whoever to buy socks/shirts from major retailers rather than make their own.

    With that said, I wonder how many miles you get for refueling a tank.
     
  23. jmrich1432
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    I'm not faulting DL and I'm not faulting the servicemen. I really don't think it was any one PERSON'S fault. I think it was a miscommunication that ended up sucking for a few soldiers. I say it sucks because there are people who can't afford a surprise $200. Sure they'll get their money back (still unclear as to how long that takes), but if any one of us showed up at the airport and breezed through our skypriority check-in to find that DL was going to charge $200 (or $50 or whatever) when we THOUGHT our checked baggage was going to be free, I know there would immediately be a thread started here, FT, twitter and whatever other social media outlets we thought DL was looking at.

    I don't think those servicemen were EXPECTING special treatment. If they were they would have each showed up with 6 bags demanding upgrades. They were expecting to get what they had been told they would get and not a $200 bill.

    Hate to break it to you, but war is an emotionally-charged issue. Don't read the comments people leave on youtube and the DL blog if it bothers you that much. And don't stir the pot by posting something that's just going to add MORE emotion to people posting emotional things on those sites.
     
  24. viguera
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  25. Gargoyle
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    I think I'm missing something. Why is he bringing a grenade launcher home?

    The video has been removed from youtube "at the request of the user". Maybe they had second thoughts about announcing what they were carrying home, or maybe the military told them to put a lid on it? Whatever it is, I'm sure there is more to this story than what made it out onto the interwebs.
     

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