(The Blaze/AP) -- Reacting to public outcry, Delta says it will allow members of the military to check four bags for free.
The news came after two Army soldiers returning from Afghanistan complained in an online video that Delta charged their unit a total of $2,800 when some of them checked a fourth bag.
Delta Air Lines Inc. has long allowed three checked bags for active duty military members flying in coach, with charges beginning with a fourth bag. The soldiers said their travel orders allowed four bags.
"First and foremost, we want you to know we’re continuing to work with the soldiers individually to make this situation right for each of them," Delta says in an updated blog post. "We regret that this experience caused these soldiers to feel anything but welcome on their return home. We honor their service and are grateful for the sacrifices of our military service members and their families."
It then notes the policy change:
After careful consideration, effective immediately, U.S. military personnel traveling on orders in First and Business Class can check up to five bags at no charge and 4 bags in economy class. This change also adds dependents traveling with active military on orders. Each bag may weigh up to 70 lbs. (32 kg) and measure up to 80 linear inches (203 cm), which offers added flexibility over the standard 50 lbs. and 62 linear inches (157 cm) allotment. Because of weight, balance and space constraints, Delta Connection carriers will accept up to four bags at no charge. You can read the updates to the travel policy on delta.com.
The baggage fees "seem to be unusual," Col. Thomas Collins, a spokesman for the Army, told Fox News Radio.
“Historically, the airlines have been gracious in waiving baggage fees for our troops deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “We hope Delta does what’s right here and waives the fees for deploying troops.”
According to Collins, however, the military will reimburse the 34 soldiers if Delta does not.
“If Delta won’t waive the fee, the soldiers can submit paperwork through their chain of command and the government will reimburse them,” he said.
The video of the two soldiers on a flight from Baltimore to Atlanta went viral and put Delta on the defensive. The video had clocked more than 170,000 views on YouTube by midday Wednesday.