Many Marines from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines were on their way from their Hawaiian homeport to predeployment leave when their deployment calendar was changed: They’ll deploy one month early to Sangin Province, Afghanistan.
The schedule change impacted travel plans, and the battalion CO wrote a letter to the commercial airlines asking them to consider waiving change and update policies. The response was inconsistent:
We’ve been told that not all the airlines fully complied with the request. A source told us that US Airways waived the $150 change fee but some Marines still had to ante up the extra cost for a late-booked ticket, which amounted to several hundred dollars.
We don’t know how all the airlines handled the changes, but we contacted US Airways and another airline that regularly flies to Hawaii – Delta – about their policies in these circumstances.
“US Airways waives the change fee for new and/or revised military orders,” an airline spokesman said, “but the add/collect does apply,” meaning if you had an earlier, cheaper ticket and the new one costs more, you pay the difference. Nothing by deadline from Delta.
Sangin was the deadliest place for American forces last year.