Wednesday, August 13, 2008

American Airlines Clears Up Rumor

While American Airlines does a lions share of crazy stupid things, I will help them spread the world about a rumor flying around that said American Airlines was charging U.S. servicemen baggage fees when traveling for duty.

It sounds like another of those "greedy airline" stories that are always so popular around the water cooler: American Airlines is forcing service members heading to combat duty in Iraq to pay baggage fees for checking duffel bags loaded with military equipment.

It's a great story, except that it’s largely untrue.

The tale, which has careened around online message boards and blogs in recent weeks, has spurred a flood of angry e-mails and phone calls to American. On Internet forums, the Fort Worth-based airline has been castigated and accused of being unpatriotic, and some have called for its executives to resign.

"What an insult to the military," lamented one commentator on consumerist. com. "I can't think of a better reason than this to cancel my Admiral's Club membership," another angrily states.

Officials with American say troops traveling on duty are exempt from fees the airline recently began charging to check first and second bags. Under its Defense Department agreements, the airline allows them to bring up to 190 pounds of baggage free of charge, including a 100-pound bag, 50-pound suitcase, and carry-on case of up to 40 pounds.

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