VFW says waive airline bag fees for troops


WASHINGTON – A U.S. veterans group called on airlines to stop charging an extra-bag fee to U.S. troops traveling to Iraq.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars said it asked the Air Transport Association, the industry group representing air carriers, to give service members a break as the travel into and out of harm’s way.

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The Washington Times said Tuesday that in one recent instance, two soldiers from Texas had to shell out $100 and $300 to American Airlines for their extra duffel bags as they headed to Iraq.

“That’s a lot to ask when the service member has much more important things on their minds, such as staying alive and keeping those around them alive,” VFW spokesman Joseph Davis told the newspaper.

The ATA said it would bring the issue up to its member companies but pointed out that military personnel have their excess baggage fees reimbursed by the U.S. government.

Davis said it would be a better to waive the fees at check-in rather than require the troops to pay the cost and then submit the necessary paperwork.