When Delta Airlines ended its long-time discount for National Rifle Association members last month, it proclaimed the intention of remaining neutral in the current national debate on gun control.
However, before last weekend’s anti-gun march in Washington, Delta did pick a side, according to a report from The New York Times.
Delta donated three round-trip charter flights so that students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, could attend the so-called March for Our Lives. The school was the setting for the Feb. 14 shooting in which 17 people were killed and 17 others were wounded.
Delta said its support for anti-gun students was “part of our commitment to supporting the communities we serve.”
When Delta severed its connection with the NRA, it said that neutrality would be its watchword.
“Delta’s decision reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings,” the company said last month in a statement. “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.”
“Delta supports all of its customers but will not support organizations on any side of any highly charged political issue that divides our nation,” the statement added.
Delta’s action to fly Florida students to the march was supported by some and criticized by others.
Delta can you please explain how flying thousands to marches protesting US Constitutional issue is not political? Thought you wanted to stay out of politics? Hypocrites! When pro Second Amendment rights march at their state capitals on April 14, are you offering the same for us?
— Jean⭐️⭐️⭐️#QVArmy (@watspn1013) March 26, 2018
A reason to choose Delta Airlines for your next flight. They donated flights to some folks who participated in March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24, 2018. https://t.co/xX4pHW9QK9
— mhahse57: PlaysSims: Follow Simmers&Historians (@FramerMichele) March 25, 2018
Leftist Delta says: We are proud that we transported for free 10,000 high school revolutionaries that wanted to defeat the 2nd Amendment. pic.twitter.com/4nEvNjB7Ki
— ❌Joe FreedomLover❌🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@JoeFreedomLove) March 26, 2018
“So much for their ‘neutral status’ in the gun debate. I don’t think they need to stay neutral, I just don’t think they can have it both ways,” Gary Leff commented in an article on Delta’s action that was posted on View from the Wing. Leff, co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, writes about travel issues.
Leff said that when Delta severed its connection with the NRA, it was trying to find a turbulence-free area on an issue where none exists.
“They claimed they were really being non-political by severing ties with the NRA and then said they were considering stopping doing business with all divisive groups. But that would have had consequences they didn’t like,” he said.
Delta could face consequences from its action to end the discount for NRA members.
Georgia lawmakers earlier this month approved stripping a $50 million jet fuel tax break for the Atlanta-based airline, a measure that was later signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal, according to the Washington Times.
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