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Soldier Charged $200 for Overweight Bag

Veteran News
Veteran News
May 23, 2017
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Wanting to get home after a 21-month deployment, First Lieutenant John Rader of the National Guard was told that his bag was too heavy, and he would have to pay $200 to get it on the plane. He was on the final leg of his journey, flying from El Paso to Austin, Texas and just wanted to get home.He was left with one of two options, neither of which were very appealing; pay the fee or leave his bag. The heavy bag contained combat gear, including Kevlar vest, boots, and two helmets.“I was told point blank that I'd have to pay $200 for the overage or find another bag to siphon stuff off with,” he told Fox 7 Austin. “Well, I didn't have another bag so I was caught in a bind, do I go home without my stuff or without it?"

Not looking for sympathy

Ultimately, he paid the 200 dollars and boarded the plane."I'm not looking for sympathy, but some form of empathy in the situation. There was none of that. It was just cold. I had to either pay or leave the bag.” he told Fox 7 Austin.United Airlines has a policy for active duty soldiers and their luggage. Soldiers on official business are allowed up to five bags, free of charge, provided that each one is under 70 lbs.[caption id="attachment_11777" align="aligncenter" width="634"]

1st Lt. Rader-Courtesy Fox 7 Austin[/caption]Since this story has become public, United Airlines released the following statement to FOX 7:"We are disappointed anytime a customer has an experience that doesn't meet their expectations, and our customer care team is reaching out to this customer to issue a refund for his oversized bag as a gesture of goodwill.""In the past airlines have been very flexible to soldiers whether it’s upgrading us in our seating arrangements helping us with numerous bags we travel with often,” said Rader.United did end up refunding the man his money.

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