Thursday, April 8, 2010
I have received numerous questions asking if military dependents are required to pay for baggage (excess accompanied baggage) when traveling on PCS orders. The answer is, it is at the discretion of the airline.
According to the DOD site:
Q6. If I am a member under a PCS order, does the exception also apply to my dependents traveling under my PCS travel order?
A6. Although your dependents traveling under your PCS travel order are official (i.e., Government) travelers, most airlines do not consider them to be ‘members’, and airline procedures vary. Please consult with your CTO/TMC for your specific flight requirements.
So you ask how do you find out if you will have to pay for excess baggage on your next PCS flight?
On my last PCS here to Hawaii we flew Delta airlines. Before we left I called Delta and was informed that as long as our names and the wording authorized dependents appeared on the PCS orders that we would not be charged for excess baggage. Of course being me hearing it from a representative was not enough and I needed more confirmation. I was then told that Delta has a Military Desk which you can reach by calling Delta and asking to be transferred. I was able to verify the below policy through them. I also printed the policy out in a case the representative at the airport was not aware. The policy listed below goes for each individual dependent listed on the orders.
*Active duty U.S. military personnel traveling on orders to or from duty stations are allowed up to three checked bags in Economy Class and up to four checked bags in First and Business Class on Delta and Delta Connection® carriers at no charge. Each bag may weigh up to 70 lbs. (32 kg) and measure up to 80 linear inches (203 cm).
American Airlines specifies their military dependent excess baggage policy here.
Now for the sake of me writing a long rambling blog post I will spare you and sum this up by saying:
At the end of the day your best bet is to call the airline and find out policy for dependent authorized travel. To find other airline baggage policies google *the airline* + military baggage.
Below are important links that you will want to keep in your bookmarks that will explain reimbursement should you get charged and more:
Official DOD Excess Baggage Policy
More from the DOD on Excess Baggage Policy
Best of Luck!