Comes with baggage

Posted June 21, 2011, at 4:44 p.m.

Delta Airlines and several others beat a hasty retreat after coming under attack from some U.S. soldiers upset about the airline’s fees for excess baggage.

It was the only sensible strategic action for the airline, which because of its policies on extra luggage, charged military personnel returning from overseas hundreds of dollars apiece just to get to their base with their Army-ordered gear.

The attack on Delta was actually a complaint posted in a YouTube video by two Army Reserve staff sergeants who were on their way home from a year’s deployment in Afghanistan. They said many in their unit had four bags, as they were ordered to bring. On a flight from Baltimore to Atlanta, 14 members of their 36-man unit were charged $200 apiece for their fourth bags.

After the video went viral, Delta quickly revamped its policies, allowing active-duty military personnel four bags with no extra charge. United Airlines did the same, and American Airlines said it will now allow up to five bags for those in the military.

The changes are welcome. Americans who have served their country in dangerous places shouldn’t have to pay extra to get themselves and their gear home.

The Daily Sentinel, Grand Junction, Colo. (June 15)