Social media plays role in Delta changing baggage fee rules for - CBS46 News

Social media forces Delta to change baggage rules for soldiers

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Social media played a role in Delta Airlines changing their baggage fee policy for the military Wednesday, according to social media experts.

24 hours after issuing a statement that said they've done nothing wrong, Delta officials changed the company's policy.  That was after a YouTube video of soldiers bashing Delta went viral.

Delta charged the soldiers in the unit almost $3,000 for excess baggage. The angry video the soldiers posted spread like wildfire to Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

"We found out that we had too many bags. We had four bags, but Delta Airlines only allows three bags, and anything over three bags you have to pay for," said a soldier in the video.

"It was right in your face, and these guys were really upset and I think it hooked into people's emotions quickly because it was video," said social media expert Desiree Scales.

Scales said with the click of a mouse, the video spread fast. Tuesday alone, it had more than 200,000 hits on YouTube.

"Social media has a lot of power in the hands of the consumer, so I think corporations need to think about their customer service before something like this happens," said Scales.

Scales said the video became a public relations nightmare for Delta and that the Atlanta airline had no choice but to react. Wednesday the airline changed its baggage policy to allow four bags for military personnel flying coach and five in first class. Scales believes it's because of the social media backlash.

"I think that this is just a backlash, because people themselves -- consumers -- are tired of paying these extra baggage fees as well," said Scales.

Delta also jumped on the social media bandwagon, blogging about the change and even replying to angry tweets.

"Right now they're apologizing and thanking people for talking about them," said Scales.

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