Soldier Returning From Afghanistan Forced To Pay $200 United Airlines Fee

First Lieutenant John Rader had to pay $200 to get his military-issued duffel bag on a United Airlines flight out of El Paso Texas on Monday on his way home from serving in Afghanistan

First Lieutenant John Rader had to pay $200 to get his military-issued duffel bag on a United Airlines flight out of El Paso Texas on Monday on his way home from serving in Afghanistan

The Houston Chronicle reported that National First Guard Lieutenant John Rader told an Austin news station that the bag was too heavy to transport for free and that he would have to pay the $200 fee.

Rader said he and another soldier both paid a fee for their overweight bags before they were allowed to board. It was just cold.

United Airlines has a policy for active military members, but the policy states that the passenger can only have five bags checked for free if all bags are under 70 pounds.

"I just absolutely enjoy the fact that I can serve my country and live my life at the same time", Rader said.

Rader ended up paying the hefty sum, as did another soldier traveling with him.

Rader attempted to explain his situation to the United crew.

Here's some new baggage for United Airlines. This is the first time and an isolated case in my history where it's actually occurred. "I had to either pay or leave the bag." he said.

"I was told point blank that I'd have to pay $200 for the overage or find another bag to siphon stuff off with", Rader told Fox 7. "It became upsetting when all you want to do is get home and you have $200 charge thrown on top".

Rader did not think his future flights would be on the embattled airline, which has faced several scandals recently including the now infamous video of a doctor being forcibly removed from an overbooked flight.

Delta has a similar policy, while American and Southwest allow active-duty military to check their bags for free provided that they are 100 pounds or less.

United, in a statement Thursday, said the charge would be refunded to Rader as a goodwill gesture.

United reportedly offered to repay the fine, but Rader said he wants the airline to change its policy so other soldiers are not caught in the same situation. "Not a lot of people are compensated, so $200 comes out of pocket, you weren't expecting it [and that] can change things". United Airlines' corporate offices can be reached at 312-997-8000.

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