Is Delta Threatening Politicians Over $20-$60 Million in Handouts?

An Atlanta television station reports that a Georgia state lawmaker has taken to the floor of their legislative chamber to denounce Delta’s lobbying tactics.

The lawmaker is opposing the extension of jet fuel tax breaks that are worth $20 to $60 million per year to Delta — saying that he supported the breaks during the Great Recession when the airline was hurting but that with $3 billion in profits it’s no longer appropriate for them to continue.

His claim is that Delta is threatening lawmakers with elimination of air service from their districts if they oppose the tax break. The TV station puts another Delta lobbyist on TV to say that such tactics wouldn’t be appropriate, and Delta denies the claim.

Delta took a stand against crony capitalism, opposing re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank when it was in their interest to do so (they view Export-Import bank as subsidizing their foreign competitors). But they not only want tax breaks for themselves, they pass out elite status to friendly politicians as part of advancing their interests.

(HT: Drew N.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Yes, and they also support Obama’s amnesty. Probably to get cheap labor by hiring more Chinese FAs.

  2. If this guy’s claim’s about DL are true, then it’s mostly a big yawn. Most powerful companies would act like that in a given circumstance. They may be more subtle about it, but the message would be the same. This is just business as usual, IMO. And it’s not like politicians are paragons of saintly virtue, either.

  3. @Darth Chocolate — Delta’s probably more interested in immigrant labor for cabin cleaning, wheelchair assistance, etc. than in-flight service.

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