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American Airlines charges soldier $100 to check extra gear

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Jul 31st, 2008, 06:18 AM
  #1
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American Airlines charges soldier $100 to check extra gear

EL PASO, Texas -- After adding all the extra equipment -- boots, foul-weather gear, uniforms and the like -- required to train before deploying to Iraq, Staff Sgt. Ashley Serrano had filled three bags.

That was one more than American Airlines was willing to let fly without an extra baggage charge of $100.

.....more at http://www.military.com/news/article...32310810&wh=wh

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Jul 31st, 2008, 06:32 AM
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American Airlines has shown itself to be very military friendly through the years. From the article, it sounds like AA gives military people a much more generous baggage allowance than the regular passenger gets. Kudos to AA.

But the sky can't be the limit. If a soldier about to be deployed has a lot of extra things to take, I think the military should be paying for the extra freight. It's not AA's responsibility to eat the costs.
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Jul 31st, 2008, 10:01 AM
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Well said, Jeff.

Keith
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Aug 1st, 2008, 06:32 AM
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Why is a soldier required to fly on a commercial airline to begin with? What happened to all those military transports that the military supposedly has?

In any case, I agree that it's not AA's problem. If there were extra charges related to the soldier's deployment, the military should pick up the tab, like any other employer.
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Aug 1st, 2008, 08:51 AM
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It's always nice to see someone step up and be the bigger person, if the military couldn't handle it, maybe the airlines could have been there instead. Just an opinion.
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Aug 1st, 2008, 09:41 AM
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I've military transport planes at DFW, I beleive headed to Kuwait, but I take it that military people have to get to and from their home airports on commercial airlines.
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Aug 1st, 2008, 10:01 AM
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Based on my traveling, many military folks going to their different assignments fly commercial. I'm sure some still go on transports - but alot are coming in/out on commercial flights. While I agree that it isn't the airlines job to take care of the extra baggage - I do think it would have been nice if they had.....
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Aug 1st, 2008, 10:05 AM
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I believe AA was the first major US based airline that opened it's Admiral Club business club's doors to any uniformed with deployment orders soldier.

It gives them a chance to relax, shower, have few free sodas and snacks. In many cases the members in the clubs bought them alcohol drinks or food. It also gives them a chance to find a quiet corner and relax before heading out or when connecting for a flight back home.

I agree with JCR, AA is still giving them a break, the first 2 bags are free, but at some point, it should be the military's responsibility to pay the bills.

American Airlines' baggage policy allows service members one checked 100-pound duffel-type bag, one standard checked 50-pound suitcase and one standard carry-on suitcase of up to 40 pounds, "for a total of 190 pounds of free luggage,"
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Aug 1st, 2008, 11:21 AM
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The problem with stories such as this is most times the people who think the airline should "give the person a break" are looking at it as a "one off" event. The thing you have to remember is if every soldier flying on a commerical flight were allowed to bring an unlimited amount of baggage on to a plane it is conceiveble there wouldn't be room for anyone elses luggage.

American Airlines has an excellent reputation for going out of its way to assist travelling soldiers as eveidenced by some of the responses to this thread. They have a generous baggage allowance for those in the military.

Please don't try to demonize the airlines for not wanting to transport all of a person's belongings free of charge. The line has to be drawn somewhere.
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Aug 1st, 2008, 11:27 AM
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And don't assume that the service member will not be reimbursed for the additional cost.
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Aug 1st, 2008, 05:51 PM
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If he is on orders and IF he was required to carry that stuff - he will get the money back. Just like a travel expense claim for business travelers.

Military personnel who travel on orders will normally know what the rules and allowances are.


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Aug 2nd, 2008, 11:43 PM
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Apparently, they don't know, according to the article:

Fort Bliss officials also said they were looking at their policies on deploying soldiers' baggage.

"We are making sure orders are clear about what they carry and what they don't," post spokeswoman Jean Offutt said. "We are looking to see if they can be reimbursed and whether orders can be amended" to allow reimbursement after the trip.
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Aug 2nd, 2008, 11:45 PM
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I wonder why they named their son Ashley.
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Aug 4th, 2008, 09:28 AM
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Agree with Jeff the Army should pay for it.
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Aug 14th, 2008, 09:42 AM
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It looks like American got a bad rap in this story. Here is an update that provides more backgroud.

http://tinyurl.com/59fwk5

Some relevant portions of the story.

"The furor stemmed from a long-standing contract with the Defense Department, in which American transports traveling soldiers, typically to and from military bases. The airline waives fees on two checked bags and a carry-on case, for a total of 190 pounds of baggage, for soldiers traveling on duty."

"The airline charged a $100 fee for a third bag, but soldiers could obtain vouchers in advance from the military to cover the expense. If they didnít have a voucher before the flight, they would have to pay the fee with cash or a credit card but would be reimbursed by the military."

"No fees are charged on flights to war zones. American transports solders to Iraq and Afghanistan under a military charter program, not on commercial flights. The policy is nearly identical to that of most other airlines ó Continental, for example, allows soldiers to check two bags for free, with a $100 fee for the third. Delta and United let soldiers check two bags and charge a $125 fee for a third bag."

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