It’s difficult to avoid feeling a little sympathy for Delta Airlines, isn’t it? First, gun control advocates threatened to boycott the airline for offering a routine corporate air fare discount to members of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Then, after Delta rescinded the discount in the wake of the latest school shooting event, the conservative Republican government of its home state of Georgia retaliated by rescinding its corporate tax break!
So what’s an airline to do? Grant a routine discount and be attacked for supporting gun rights? Or rescind that very discount and be attacked for opposing the Second Amendment?
Fortunately, airline management may have finally decided upon a reasonable approach with its declaration of a new corporate policy. Henceforth, Delta announced that it would avoid granting fare discounts to “any group of a politically divisive nature.” It then commenced an internal review of all of its discount arrangements in order to identify any such groups.
Had such a policy been already in place, the NRA discount would not have been offered in the first place. The reason? A general corporate policy of non-partisanship, as opposed to any specific antipathy towards the NRA.
It is indeed a reasonable approach, isn’t it? So reasonable, in fact, that one can only wonder why Delta didn’t hold off on its hasty NRA discount rescission announcement until it could complete its internal review in accordance with its new policy.
Perhaps Delta rushed its announcement because of a desire to stem all criticism immediately. But had it waited to complete its internal review, the criticism may have only continued for a relatively brief amount of time. Indeed, it may have then been replaced by praise for crafting a deliberative solution to a thorny problem.