Skip to main content

Delta Airlines and the Hypocrisy of "Support the Troops"


Announcer: Welcome back to The David Pakman Show.

David: Couple of David Pakman Show Members of the Week that I want to say hello to today. First is Albert Stevenson. Hey, Albert, thanks for being a member. Albert's a good guy, Louis. Albert saved my life once, actually, believe it or not.

Louis: Really?

David: And also Dragan Yankovic. Couple new members, Members of the Week on The David Pakman Show.

And of course, we are giving away the iPad. We're getting down, Louis, now to just a couple of weeks until we give this thing away. All members at the end of the month will have 10 entries to the iPad giveaway. Of course, you can get one free entry if you just sign up for our newsletter or like our Facebook page. So a lot of ways to get in there. I know, Louis, you're doing all the... running all the numbers to figure out exactly what... what's what, I guess is fair to say.

Louis: You're damn right.

David: Delta Airlines charged some U.S. troops returning home a combined $2800 for extra baggage. They are facing pretty significant criticism. Now, for a while I've not been a fan of Delta because of their very open anti-union ways, which is not unique to Delta in the airline industry, but Delta certainly has some particularly strong anti-union views. Now, 34 U.S. soldiers were coming back from Afghanistan, and they were charged a total of 2800 bucks in baggage fees. Now, of course, we know that Delta supports the troops, or at least they claim to.

The incident came to light a couple of days ago after a couple of the soldiers who were a little more media-savvy recorded a video about this and posted it on YouTube, went viral, ton of views. And Army Staff Sergeant Robert O'Hair says in the video we showed up and found out we had too many bags. We had four, and Delta Airlines allows three bags. Anything over three you have to pay for, even though there's a contract between the U.S. government and Delta, when returning from Afghanistan on military orders, you're authorized up to four bags.

So it's amazing to me that we hear JPMorgan Chase and other mortgage companies have really mistreated troops, including not... let me... how can I even explain this? When troops are gone overseas on deployments, and therefore, they may have late payments, complete lack of compassion altogether. Complete lack of compassion at all, and foreclosing, credit ratings affected, etc.

And we hear so much about supporting the troops, and usually it's associated with blindly supporting silly wars, putting the ribbon magnets on your fridge or on your car.

Louis: It's all about... it's all about image.

David: It's all about image, right. And what about supporting the troops by not sending them into pointless wars to begin with? Oh, no, no, no, that's liberal crazy talk. What about...

Louis: Think about how many commercials there are for giant companies that in some way involve soldiers even though it has nothing to do with the business that company might provide. It's all just image.

David: Of course. It is, and, you know, Delta has actually been shamed into changing this policy. They now changed the baggage policy for all U.S. service members because of this controversy. And I actually... I'm not... you know, Louis, that I'm not huge on boycotts, as a general rule, in the sense that I don't really believe that boycotts are often effective. Sometimes they can be. I mean, we saw advertisers boycott Glenn Beck, and that was really pretty effective, his show is ending.

Louis: Yep.

David: Absolutely. Now, I've actually... I actively do not fly Delta Airlines, and I haven't for years unless it's an absolute emergency, which just hasn't come up yet.

And sometimes... I mean, actually, next week we will be at Netroots Nation, I had the option of a direct flight from Hartford to Minneapolis on Delta, I did not take it. I'm laying over in Chicago, I'm back in Chicago with the breastfeeding mothers and babies being changed in the middle of the terminal, I'm going back into that, Louis, as a choice, in part because I absolutely do not want to fly Delta. Yeah, I mean, what do you think about that? I'm putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak.

Louis: Yeah, good. You're actually doing it. What else can I say?

David: You like it. I am...

Louis: I think most people... I think even if I... obviously I do not like this. I'm no huge Delta fan either, but I think it would be very hard for me to do that if a Delta flight is cheaper and/or more convenient. It's tough.

David: Yeah. When you go down to visit Grandma, it's... you can get that direct flight into West Palm with Delta, and that's pretty attractive for someone like Louis who's both incredibly lazy and, you know.

Louis: Yes. That's mostly it.

David: Absolutely. And I know I will get questions, well, what airline am I flying on, because many are anti-union? I'm going on United. I almost always fly United. I know that they have had some squabbles with unions, but as a general rule, a vast majority of their employees are in a union, and now there's issues of how will they merge with the Continental union, is it going to see a wage reduction? I know it's not perfect, but it's a completely different situation than the Delta thing, no question about it.

Transcript provided by Alex Wickersham and For transcripts, translations, captions, and subtitles, or for more information, visit, or contact Alex at


Popular Video