Delta airlines excess baggage policy for US soldiers. Did they do a good job managing the crisis?

Delta Airlines landed in some hot soup early June 2011 when they charged $2800 to US soldiers returning from a mission, for excess bags. According to policy, three bags are allowed to be checked in free for soldiers traveling Economy Class, and the fourth bag for each of the 34 soldiers had to be checked-in.

While the soldiers would have been re-imbursed the amount, the charges obviously upset them and they posted a video on Youtube shot in-flight, which hit 200,000 views in a few hours. The issue was covered on mainstream media, and received an angry emotional outburst from thousands over Twitter and community forums.
In the end, Delta Airlines relented by posting on their blog that the charges will be refunded and policy changed. They still kept getting angry comments on their blog.

So we’ve now done an independent analysis of the situation, mentioning the key facts, analyzing the tweets (using a cool sentiment analysis tool). We also assessed Delta’s response to the crises management framework we released after the ashcloud last year. And we’ve shared it all in the slide deck below for your benefit.

How do you think Delta did? There have been criticisms in some circles that the airline shouldn’t have relented. Would they have changed the policy if the emotional outburst was not on Twitter? Would they do this for other things as well?
We’d love to hear your comments. So let’s discuss here and on Twitter (@simpliflying)

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying and a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought-leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior aviation executives globally, from Chile to Canada and from Sydney to San Francisco. Shashank's perspectives have found their way into major media outlets, including CNN Travel, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg UTV, Mashable and in leading publications like Airline Business, ATW, Aviation Week, and others. Shashank studied Information Systems Management and Business Management at Singapore Management University and Carnegie Mellon University. Hailing from India, he splits his time between Singapore and Vancouver, among other cities.
Shashank Nigam
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