Soldier Charged $100 to Fly Gear

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Wrench, you need to spend a week with the NPS rangers around places like Everglades in FL, Big Bend in TX and Organ Pipe in AZ

Umm.......I spent way longer than that in much worse circumstances in my Army service. And I was one of the lucky ones.

Oh, BTW, I have spent some time in Organ Pipe, and through a mutual friend, do know some rangers. Their job has definitely gotten rougher. We no longer camp there, as well as a couple of other places along the border.

who now have to wear the same body armour the troops do because of all the crime and drug trafficing going via National Park lands. It is by no means a cushy office job.

No, it's not a cushy job. Why do you bring that up? Did I say that?.......Are you bringing up the "cushy job" thing to allow yourself a better opportunity for a dramatic response?

What I said was "I have much more empathy for a soldier than for a well-paid, well-benefited government employee who sleeps safely in a warm dry bed every night." But, since you say I need to spend a week with NPS, I would imagine it would be a better deal all the way around than the Army gave me. I am aware that some govt employees do get shot at from time to time. So do a lot of soldiers. A whole lot more. And for less pay and benefits. Way less.

So, again, I have much more empathy for a solder, than a well-paid, well-benefited government employee who sleeps safely in a warm dry bed every night. Perhaps we should compare death and injury rates, as well as pay and benefits.

I'm going to guess that you were not a combat soldier.

Not a disputable point, but are you sure about the body armor? The NPS rangers I have seen wear what appears to be standard police Second Chance type body armor, not the stuff my son wore in Afghanistan. Any body armor is hot, but that Army stuff would be tough in Organ Pipe.

Again, I don't think I'd try getting the cash from soldiers with orders. I'd photocopy the orders, and leave it for a CSM to deal with it after the fact.

Yup. Totally agree. Let the gov't pick it up rather than the individual GI.

You know, I can see an individual agent screwing up on this, but I am appalled at how AA tried to spin and justify it. As in so many things, the spin or cover-up is worse than the crime.

I used to feel like my friends blamed me personally every time AA lost their bag. I did get tired of hearing about it. Now, I have to have this brought up to me. I really don't like to see AA shot at, even if it is deserved.
True, but the airlines aren't a public transit system.

If this had been a NPS ranger or CDC researcher being asked to pay their excess (also traveling at the same contracted government fare), would you be as hard-line in your insistence that AA not try to collect the excess?

Again, I don't think it should ever come out of a soldiers pocket. Nor should it come out of the ranger or researcher's pocket. The fact that the agents asked for a voucher might indicate that other soldiers before them had been given vouchers in advance by the base travel office.

You missed my point entirely but I believe Mr. Wrench said it.

I'll repeat - I have no problem with AA collecting excess baggage fees. I do have a problem with AA collecting fees from a soldier under orders because some fool in his unit didn't provide paperwork.

Copy the orders, load the bags, and bill the government for the charges. There's no excuse for this kind of stupidity on the part of the company towards one of the many individuals whose job entails that which allows the American Airlines/AMR to exist without what seems to be necessary government "interference".

I truly hope Arpey is called out over this by the military.
This is corporate greed and poor judgment by the agent. Let Carpey pay for the excess out of his own greedy pocket.

I am a STILL furloughed f/a and I remember a flight I had from STL-LAX where we had some troops returning home. I was at the gate and asked the agent if we could move some of them up to F/C. The agent told me F/C was full. A business guy traveling in F/C overheard me and he said he would give up his seat to a soldier. Now one seat is available. As we waited for our aircraft to arrive this man came over to me and asked if he could use the PA and request that all who are sitting in F/C if they wanted to, give up their seats for our returning troops. We granted his request with the consent of the Captain. Every F/C customer volunteered to sit in Y. Everyone applauded the troops when they entered the aircraft. I will never forget that business guy or that final leg home for our guy's & gal's.

At least TWA employees were allowed to make simple decisions or should I say common sense decisions.
I would hazard a guess that the AA agent was capable of making that decision on their own as well but chose not too. Also, your example was back when the airlines were making money (or at least in far better shape than they are now). Comps and good will were flowing like water back then. Things are far different now than back then. And, lest we forget, there was no money 'lost' by TWA. The first class seats were paid for by the first class passengers who traded seats with the millitary boys in the back of the bus. In the AA case, it was excess bags which were not paid for.

Don't get me wrong, I think AA was colossally stupid for charging the solider but the example you gave has little if any bearing on this situation IMO.
AA isnt the only airline with this rule. At US, military are allowed 2 bags free of charge up to 100 pounds each, after that $100 per bag. This is $240 regular customer worth of free baggage allowance. I personally hate to collect from the military guys, but we cant waive it any longer or else we get called on it. Besides, if the military guy cant get his own people to pay HIM for it, do you really think AA is going to have a way "to bill the military" for the bags after the fact? If someone in his company didnt do the paperwork or give him the forms to get reimbursed, then the military needs to revise THEIR policy and procedures since they know the airlines charge for excess baggage now.