Delta Air Lines is paying a hefty price for jumping on the gun control bandwagon in the wake of the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, FL. After eliminating a discount for NRA members, the Georgia state legislature responded by eliminating a $40 million discount on jet-fuel which had been part of a larger tax package.
Delta admitted, however, that only 13 people had taken the airline up on the NRA discount - which translates to roughly $3 million per discount in tax breaks. While one can imagine Delta looked at the low participation rate and felt the discount was an expendable token to jump on the anti-gun bandwagon, they probably didn't see the Georgia legislature coming:
I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.— Casey Cagle (@CaseyCagle) February 26, 2018
Georgia GOP lawmakers signed into law a broad tax bill which had been amended to kill a proposed break on jet fuel, signed into law by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal - despite objecting to the Delta fight as an "unbecoming squabble."
In response, Delta CEO Ed Bastian sent out a memo to employees that insisted the airline's aim is to stay neutral in the gun debate.
"While Delta's intent was to remain neutral, some elected officials in Georgia tied our decision to a pending jet fuel tax exemption, threatening to eliminate it unless we reversed course," Bastian said. "Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale."
Delta will also review discounts offered to other politically involved groups. "We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature," Bastian said.
Delta is one of Georgia's largest private employers - a state in which 31.6% of residents own firearms.
The Georgia Senate passed the tax measure 44-10 after the jet-fuel provision was removed, while the House followed with a 135-24 vote.
Actually as Managing officers of a publicly traded company, they have a fiduciary responsibility to make as much profit as possible for their investors....I'd fire & sue them for mismanagement of @Delta @DeltaNewsHub pic.twitter.com/in8bQtucXN— Zoo9guy ن (@Zoo9guy) March 2, 2018
So DL decides to vacuously virtue-signal.— Tony Camatto (@tonycamatto) March 2, 2018
Expected consequence - they pissed off half their customers
Unexpected consequence - they pissed off some key legislators that represent some of those pissed-off customers
C'est la vie