VFW Applauds American Airlines for Waiving Luggage Fee

WASHINGTONThe national commander of the nation's oldest major veterans' organization is applauding an American Airlines decision to waive baggage fees for up to three pieces of checked luggage for military personnel traveling under official orders.

George J. Lisicki, who leads the 2.2 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliaries, called American's decision today the "right thing to do for our troops."

All major U.S. carriers currently waive checked luggage fees for up to two bags for military traveling under orders. A $100 fee for checking a third bag, however, appeared to be the industry norm until American announced they would waive the fee, effective immediately. 

Lisicki, a Vietnam combat veteran from Carteret, N.J., is now hoping the other airlines will quickly follow suit.

"I understand the financial constraints the airline industry is operating under, but that $100 luggage fee was hitting young enlisted troops in the wallet, regardless of whether it was reimbursable or not," said Lisicki. "Those who wear the uniform are a special class of citizen and they deserve special treatment because they have earned it. American Airlines proved today that they also agree our troops deserve special treatment, and I hope the other major carriers will follow their lead."

To read the American Airlines press release, click here.

UPDATE: As of Friday, Aug. 15, Northwest, AirTran, Delta, Southwest, Horizon, United, Continental and Alaska Airlines have joined American Airlines in eliminating the third checked bag fee for military traveling on orders.