There Is Neutral And Then There Is Delta Neutral

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Back in February, Delta Airlines discontinued the airfare discount for NRA members. They did this in the face of a campaign by gun control groups to get corporations to end any and all discounts for NRA members.
Here is what they said at the time on their website in the way of explanation:

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This is not the first time Delta has withdrawn support over a politically and emotionally charged issue.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 CEO Ed Bastian went a bit further the next week in a memo to Delta employees as reported by the Washington Post.

Caught in a maelstrom over his company’s decision to cut ties with the National Rifle Association, Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian said Friday that his intention had been to “remain neutral” and “remove Delta from this [gun control] debate.” Delta, he said, is now planning to end discounts “for any group of a politically divisive nature.”

He went on to say:

“Our people and our customers have a wide range of views on how to increase safety in our schools and public places, and we are not taking sides,” he wrote. “Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the NRA was to remove Delta from this debate.

The key words you keep hearing from Delta are “neutral status”, “not taking sides”, and “refrain from entering this debate”. That was what Ed Bastian and Delta were saying at the beginning of the month.

So what did they do in light of today’s gun control march?

Delta Air Lines has donated three round-trip charter flights that allowed hundreds of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students to participate in the “March for Our Lives” protest against gun violence in Washington.

Delta said the donation is “part of our commitment to supporting the communities we serve.”

 Ed Bastian and Delta Air Lines must be suffering a bout of cognitive dissonance if they think ending a discount for NRA members and then giving three round-trip charter flights to students advocating gun control is neutrality. These actions are about the furthest thing from neutrality that I could imagine.

My last flight with Delta will be in May to attend the NRA Annual Meeting. That ticket was paid for before the change in Delta policy and it is non-refundable. Over the last 20 or so years, 90% or more of my air travel has been on Delta. No more.


6 thoughts on “There Is Neutral And Then There Is Delta Neutral”

    1. My choices out of Asheville, for the most part, are Delta and American. It looks like I'll be flying American. My son-in-law's dad is a mechanic for them.

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