Just over a month ago Delta announced that they’d no longer offer discounted fares through their group travel program for those attending NRA conferences, and that they requested that the NRA remove Delta’s information from their website. This followed pressure from a lot of anti-gun consumers urging all companies to cut ties with the NRA — Delta certainly wasn’t the only company to make some changes.
Delta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website.
— Delta (@Delta) February 24, 2018
Delta really ended up in hot water over this, though. Georgia lawmakers even repealed a tax break for Delta that could have saved them up to $50 million. I find that to be ridiculous, personally.
What’s interesting is that Delta wasn’t actually taking a side in the debate, but rather was claiming that they’d remain neutral:
Delta’s decision reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings. Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken this action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on its business. Delta continues to support the 2nd Amendment.
This is not the first time Delta has withdrawn support over a politically and emotionally charged issue. Last year, Delta withdrew its sponsorship of a theater that staged a graphic interpretation of “Julius Caesar” depicting the assassination of President Trump. Delta supports all of its customers but will not support organizations on any side of any highly charged political issue that divides our nation.
Delta wasn’t saying that they’re against the NRA, but rather that they don’t support organizations that involve politically or emotionally charged issues. I can appreciate an airline not wanting to get involved in anything too controversial, though I also think companies should have backbones on some level.
For example, Delta has long been a supporter of LGBT rights, though I’d argue that for many this is still a “political” issue (and to be clear, I’m gay and I 100% appreciate and support Delta’s respect for the community). My point is that it’s a bit of a cop-out to throw your hands in the air and just say “this is controversial, so we don’t touch it.”
It looks like Delta has changed their stance on this at least somewhat. Delta said they would remain neutral in the gun debate, and that they stay out of issues like this. However, Delta donated three roundtrip charter flights to allow hundreds of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to go to Washington to participate in the “March for Our Lives” protest against gun violence.
Delta says that this is “part of [their] commitment to supporting the communities [they] serve.”
I commend Delta for doing this. The kids have been through a lot, and most importantly they’re doing more for an issue than adults have been able to do in years — they’re on the right side of history.
Clearly Delta has had a change of heart here, and I support that.
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)