WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Jeff Denham, member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, today introduced a resolution encouraging flight benefits for service members returning from or being deployed for service. The resolution, with 37 co-sponsors, expresses the sense of Congress that service members being deployed or coming back from overseas should be provided with priority boarding, waivers of all baggage fees, and priority seat preferences when available.
A news story broke on June 8th about 34 US soldiers returning from Afghanistan who were charged a combined total of $2,800 in checked bag fees. Some soldiers had to pay upwards of $200 for a single checked bag. Some soldiers were carrying both their personal equipment along with military equipment.
“Our service men and women risk their lives every day to protect our country and this resolution is one more step to ensure that America honors its commitment to our Service Members. The resolution has received bipartisan support with 37 co-sponsors and seeks to make sure our military men and women are treated with the upmost respect for their service to our country,” said Denham in a news release.
A few airlines, such as Delta, United and Continental, have changed their policies, since the news story gained national attention, to allow service members to check additional bags on flights, according to the release. Denham believes these men and women have already made great sacrifices for this country and should be provided with all reasonable accommodations by our commercial airlines before of following their deployment.