United Airlines just doesn’t know when to call it a day. The embattled airline continues to make bad decisions and puts its public relations team into high gear. This time, the airline coldly charged a solider returning from war $200 for his bag.
Because it was just over the weight limit of 70 pounds.
National Guard First Lieutenant John Rader was on his way home from El Paso to Austin after a two-year deployment in Afghanistan. Rader brought with him his standard military duffel bag. In it, his kevlar vest, two helmets and boots, all of which he wore while serving in Afghanistan.
When he got there to check his bag, the attendant refused to let him check it due to the bag slightly eclipsing the 70 pound limit. Instead, he needed to pay an extra $200, they said. The other option was to actually buy another bag to split the gear up into two. Rader declined such a ridiculous proposal.
“There was no empathy to the situation,” Rader told Fox 7 in Austin. “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.”
Competing airlines such as American Airlines and Southwest Airlines allow soldiers to carry a certain number of bags for free as long as they don’t exceed 100 pounds. If Rader flew on the other two, he would’ve been fine. As a result, Rader says he won’t fly United anymore.
The airline tried to do some damage control by releasing a statement and refunding him his money “as a gesture of goodwill.” But Rader says that’s not the point, and it’s not just about him — it’s about all soldiers returning home from deployment.
United Airlines also recently settled a lawsuit for beating up a doctor after trying to remove him from a plane they overbooked. That company just can’t get it right.