Nickel & Diming the Troops

Whenever I travel I compare my luggage to that scene in Titanic when they show the poor guy who has to load several trunks just for one person. That was in the old days of course, and I’m not talking about Titanic, I’m talking about the days back in early 2008 when I could pack one bag just for my shoes.

Soldier's Boots

I really do hate the new nickel and diming policies of the airlines, but flying in itself is really a luxury we’ve just learned to take for granted in the last decade or two. If we’re gonna jet set around the world I guess we’ll just have to suck it up and pay the price, right?

Lucky for me my last airline trip a few weeks ago was to the beach and all I really needed were flip-flops. Good thing I’m not a soldier reporting for duty in Iraq, I bet just one of their boots eats up half the weight allowance of the one free bag. Actually that’s free on some airlines, $15 on another and I think one airline is even charging $25 for the first bag. Never mind bag two goes up to $25 -$50 and bag three is $100.

Which brings me back to those soldier’s boots. The airlines allow soldiers reporting for duty to have two bags with a weight allowance of 190 pounds. Sounds like a lot, but turns out many of the soldiers need three bags (okay, an extra bag for their “shoes” isn’t quite as frivolous as mine) and get this, the airlines are charging them a hundred bucks!

The PR folks are trying to justify the charge by saying they’ll reimburse the soldiers (one spokesperson was quoted as saying the troops were actually “…not paying one dime”), but my dad would call that splitting hairs!

Let’s look at the big picture here. The troops have been called up to active duty to serve our country by putting their lives on the line and the airlines think they should waste their time sending in a request to be reimbursed for a hundred dollars when they’re out in the desert of Iraq?

This goes way beyond nickel and diming. This is downright SHAMEFUL!

Next time you have the luxury to check in for a flight, ask if the airline you’re flying is charging our troops for extra bags when they’re flying on orders. It’s not the ticket counter person’s fault, so be polite, but maybe this is one small thing WE can do for our troops. I’m not recommending beligerance, but if a few fellow passengers happen to hear your concern, maybe they will add their voice too. If enough passengers speak up, maybe we can shame the airlines into stopping this nonsense.Fallen Soldier's Boots

I wish I could say I’ll never whine again about not being able to take a few more pairs of pumps or sandals the next time I fly, but because my choices are based on luxury (not duty to our country) I’ll either go without or pay the price.

Does anyone really think the soldiers should have to make that same choice?


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