Tired of taking heat for refusing to waive extra baggage fees for soldiers, American Airlines has finally caved.
“We always understood that soldiers traveling on duty were reimbursed by the military for the fees on required excess baggage. However, after recently hearing of the burden the military reimbursement process put on soldiers traveling to war zones, the choice for us to forgo payment for a third checked bag from the Department of Defense was clear,” said Tom Del Valle, American’s Senior Vice President — Airport Services in a press release.
Consumerist first picked up this story a few weeks ago from a local El Paso paper. In that article, a spokesperson for American Airlines called their policy of waiving the $15 first checked bag fee and the $25 second fee, but not the third $100 fee “very generous as you can see, and intentionally so.” Unfortunately, several troops on their way to training before being deployed to Iraq didn’t agree.
“I have flown Southwest, Continental, and when they saw me in uniform, they didn’t even ask,” Staff Sgt. Ashley Serrano told the El Paso Times. “I flew American a couple of times before, but I never had this problem.”
Military personnel are supposed to be given vouchers and reimbursement for any baggage fees they incur, but realistically, that wasn’t always happening.
American Airlines explains, “The new waiver policy for military personnel begins immediately. American Airlines will work closely with the Department of Defense on issues such as this in the future. “
American Airlines Will Waive Third Excess Bag Fee for Military Personnel (Press Release) [MarketWatch]
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