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Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Salty, Jun 9, 2011.
Check this story
I am not sure exactly what to think. It appears that the only solution would be to give military personal an unlimited number of bags. If the limit is increased to four then what happens when fifth bag is checked?
While totally sympathetic, do airlines not need to put a limit someplace? Military already get one extra bag I believe.
Give them whatever they need.
Have an extra plane just to carry their gear if necessary.
Do whatever it takes at no cost to them.
Absolutely! I wonder how many bags Obama can carry on Air Force One? What about all his staff people?
From the OP article:
"The Defense Department typically reimburses such costs, which the soldiers may not have known before they made their displeasure known."
That makes the story quite a bit different.
Roger - here's the difference (and I speak from the experience of multiple deployments).
Our travel orders specifically state we are authorized up to 4 bags. This is because, typically, we are issued 4 luggage items:
Bag 1: Uniforms, underwear, boots, one set of civilian clothes, any other clothing items.
Bag 2: Extreme weather gear, sleeping bag, additional equipment.
Bag 3: Body armor, assorted additional equipment.
Item 4: Weapons carrying case.
Each bag is limited to 70 pounds. The one carrying the body armor, typically has the least amount of items in it (because of the weight of the armor plates) and the rest has to be distributed between the other bags.
Remember: We're talking about packing for up to a 12-month deployment, sometimes longer.
This has been the way of things for quite some time now. I personally ran into problems when I was returning from Iraq, because the German airline they booked me on decided they weren't going to transport our weapons. I had to cancel that reservation and make a new one on the spot; since it takes at least 24 hours to process a cancellation, my government travel card was immediately maxed out. So when the new airline starting charging for baggage items, I had to use my own personal credit card to cover the charges.
Yes, I filed for reimbursement when I got back to home station. The problem with the statement that the troops will be reimbursed, is that the troops need the money at the airline counter so they can get to home station and get reimbursed. Reimbursement is not the answer to this problem.
The primary problem here was the deal worked out between Delta and the military. Either the military finance guys got really stupid about their contract with Delta (most likely scenario), or Delta didn't fully disclose that the 4 bag limit was only for First or Business Class. It's quite possible that Delta made the agreement this way, expecting the military to purchase First or Business class tickets for their troops; but that the military finance guys didn't realize that was Delta's understanding, or the military finance guys just didn't even consider that Delta was thinking about anything besides economy/coach.
Yes it does. Good catch. :thumbs:
Thanks for the explanation - that makes sense
Just to be fair, the finance people don't make the contracts. But you are right in that it is inexcusably stupid the way the Army/Military/Gov't handles these things.(I work for the Air Force and see similar things every day)
It's my understanding that Delta has now modified its policy on this and will now allow a 4th bag to be checked for free.
It'd be interesting to find out what this same policy is for the other major air carriers.
The military and paperwork problems? Silly boy. That NEVER happens!
Back around 2001, I was sitting in a meeting where the base finance officer was explaining to the wing commander and staff how the new government travel card and the new Services card would work with each other.
Turns out, one Finance guy at the Pentagon level had worked the contract for the travel card; a different Finance guy at the Pentagon had worked the contract for the Services card.
The end result was: the contract stipulated that we Air Force guys *had* to use the Services card at Base Lodging, or there was a penalty incurred. At the same time, the contract with the travel card indicated we were required to use that card for *all* travel related items--including Lodging--or there was a penalty incurred. We never figured out how the penalties were actually tracked and charged, but the fact that there was no coordination on similar contracts befuddled us.
Now, in all fairness, this isn't just a Finance thing. I'm a communications guy by trade, and I've seen my fair share of communications contracts that have spiraled out of control due to the original comm guy who wrote the contract not having any experience writing such contracts, or just plain lacking vision as to what the contract should actually cover.
I pick on Finance, because I get tired of them always giving me the same reply whenever they screw something up with my pay: "You'll get it back when you file your taxes." Man, I hate that statement....:laugh:
Then it should have not even come down to the individual soldiers.
I agree with Hank, and I don't mean this for myself. I mean it for the E-1s through E-6s who have just spent a year dodging bullets, rockets, IEDs, and more.
Reimbursement doesn't help you at the counter of the airline that's telling you they want more money right now to ship your bags home.
I'm just wondering if their (written) orders indicated that 4 bags would be without charge.
But I still find it hard to accept that these GI's are carrying military weapons on a civilian flight.
If it's weapons it's not that big a deal but if it's ammunition it is a big deal. Weapons are not dangerous and cannot be used for mischief but ammunition can and is dangerous.
I've so often wanted to publish the stupid stuff I see going on in the Air Force but don't have the time and partly because I fear reprisal. The GTC is one of those programs that if everyone knew the whole truth about it there would be outrage. Well, there OUGHT to be outrage anyway. Forcing empoyees to use a deficient process so the employer can get kickbacks. Several times I would have my card declined while on TDY because they won't allow enough credit limit, and then they threaten MY PERSONAL CREDIT RECORD if I don't pay it off in time. And then there's "you'll get it back when your travel voucher is settled", and then they proceed to take their sweet time about settling your travel voucher while you are being threatened by the card company for the money. What a sweet deal for the bank!
Unless regulations have changed, all military issued weapons are to be stored in the (very secure) unit arms rooms, unless on a unit training/combat mission. Traveling as individuals on a civilian flight would not fit into this description.
Our Military returning home should have to pay nothing for anything. This is shameful.