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Delta charges troops $2,800 in excess baggage fees

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It’s not uncommon for air travel passengers to complain about airlines’ baggage policies and treatment of customers, but when it’s members of the U.S. military coming home from Afghanistan raising complaints about unfair rules, the grievances tend to be amplified.

Staff Sgts. Fred Hilliker and Robert O’Hair made a video while on a Delta flight from BWI, where they had a connection on their way home from Afghanistan to Arizona. In the video, they say that despite a contract between airline carriers and the military that says military personnel coming home will not be charged for baggage, the two and their colleagues were each subjected to a $200 extra bag fee. The soldiers in the unit paid out of pocket a total of $2,800 in extra baggage fees for their fourth bag of equipment.

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“What was that fourth bag for you?” O’Hair asks.

“For me, it was a weapons case,” Hilliker responds, “holding my M-4, a grenade launcher and a 9mm, the tools I used to protect myself and the Afghan citizens while I was deployed in the country.”

Delta released a statement on their blog, which explained that they are “continuing to work with the soldiers individually to make this situation right for each of them,” and apologized for the situation.

The statement also outlined Delta’s current rules for military baggage: Three bags allowed per coach passenger, and four per first class, with flexibility for overweight baggage. It appears that the soldiers in the video had been traveling coach, hence the fee. An update to the statement reflects a change in policy, upping the allowed military bags to four per coach passenger, and five for a first class passenger.

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“We regret that this experience caused these soldiers to feel anything but welcome on their return home,” the statement reads. “We honor their service and are grateful for the sacrifices of our military service members and their families.”

Update: After this story’s publication, Delta apologized to the soldiers and increased their bag limit by one. In return, the soldiers removed their video from the Internet.

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Trump is ‘weakened on virtually every front’ as impeachment intensifies: Washington Post analysis

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President Donald Trump is in a "fragile state" and telegraphing weakness, according to a new analysis by Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker.

"President Trump, whose paramount concern long has been showing strength, has entered the most challenging stretch of his term, weakened on virtually every front and in danger of being forced from office as the impeachment inquiry intensifies," he wrote.

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2020 Election

Rep AOC helped Bernie Sanders turn out ‘the largest crowd drawn by any candidate’: report

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) helped Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) turn out a huge crowd at a campaign rally in New York City.

Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, officially endorsed the Vermont senator at the event.

"Bernie Sanders has a crowd of 25,872 this afternoon at his Queens rally, according to the security company handling the event, Contemporary Services Corp. That would make this event, his first since his heart attack 18 days ago, the largest crowd drawn by any candidate," Buzzfeed News correspondent Ruby Cramer reported.

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‘Rudy is a lousy lawyer’: Ex-prosecutor reveals why nobody will hire Giuliani for legal work

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is getting rich selling his access to the White House, in spite of being a "lousy" attorney, according to a former federal prosecutor.

Paul Butler was interviewed on MSNBC by Kendis Gibson on Saturday.

"One issue is that representing Donald Trump has been great business for Rudy Giuliani," Butler noted.

"Since he’s started to be his defense attorney, there’s a huge demand for Rudy’s services. And let's face it, Rudy is a lousy lawyer. We’ve all seen him go on TV and by the time he goes off TV his client is in more trouble. So people probably aren’t hiring him for his legal skills, they want his access," he explained.

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