Here in the United States, we respect our veterans and the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to defend our freedom throughout the world.
It isn’t easy being stationed in a foreign country, being shot at, and protecting American interests globally. The least we can do is show our brave service members that we care about them when they return home.
According to KTBC-TV, First Lieutenant John Rader, a national guardsman who spent 21-months on deployment in Afghanistan, was slapped with a $200 charge by United Airlines for having an overweight bag on his flight home from the war.
The only reason Rader’s bag was overweight was because it contained the majority of his military gear, including his helmet, boots, and Kevlar vest.
“I was told point blank that I’d have to pay $200 for the overage or find another bag to siphon stuff off with,” Rader said. “Well, I didn’t have another bag so I was caught in a bind, do I go home without my stuff or without it?”
United Airlines defended their decision, saying that they have a policy in place that allows service members to check five 70 pound bags free of charge.
“There was no empathy to the situation. I’m not looking for sympathy, but some form of empathy in the situation,” Rader said. “There was none of that. It was just cold. I had to either pay or leave the bag.”
“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,” Rader said.
“This is the first time and an isolated case in my history where it’s actually occurred. It became upsetting when all you want to do is get home and you have a $200 charge thrown on top,” he added.
This isn’t the first time United Airlines has been in the headlines recently. In fact, the majority of the major American airlines have been making headlines over the last month over how poorly they treat their customers.
United Airlines should have made an exception for Rader, given the situation and the fact that he was returning home from war. Whether he checks five bags at 70 pounds each, or one 200-pound bag shouldn’t matter.
If you are planning to fly anywhere, make sure to boycott United Airlines. Share this story on social media and leave a comment below.