We’ve been following the unfolding events in a story that Gadling helped break on Tuesday where a group of soldiers returning from Afghanistan were charged $200 each to check their required luggage on Delta Air Lines.
Since then, the airline has taken several conciliatory measures and even changed their baggage policy, documenting all of the transition over on their blog.
Now, Iowa’s representation from the 1st congressional district Bruce Braley has jumped into the fray, issuing the below press release as well as a strongly worded letter (opens in PDF) to Delta’s CEO Richard Anderson:
“I’m deeply disappointed by this news that Delta Airlines charged soldiers returning from war such excessive baggage fees. These brave men and women put their lives on the line for our safety and security, and this is no way to welcome them home. I’m calling on Delta to immediately reimburse these soldiers for the extra baggage fees.
“Even if Delta was operating within its current baggage policy, I believe we all have an obligation to returning service members – not just to thank them for their service, but to also ensure that they’re not faced with any undue burden on their return.
“Since being elected to Congress, I have logged hundreds of thousands of miles on Delta – the only carrier serving my home airport in Waterloo. If Delta doesn’t reimburse these soldiers and reconsider its approach to servicing our troops, I’ll have to reconsider using their service.”
Though we’re certain that the airline is already well on the way to reimbursing the service members, Congressman Braley’s support only underscores the importance of the issue. Perhaps he’ll also help forge a better relationship between the airlines and the military so that issues like this don’t happen in the future.