Southwest And American Pressured To Speak Out Against Texas Voting Bill

As in many states, Republicans in Texas are pushing voting law changes. They’ve passed a new bill in the state senate that “would limit early voting hours, prohibit drive-thru voting and bar local election officials from proactively sending vote-by-mail applications.”

Now that Delta has embroiled itself in the controversy of Georgia’s new voting law, former San Antonio Mayor, President Obama’s HUD Secretary, and 2020 Democratic presidential primary contender Julian Castro is calling on Texas-headquartered American Airlines and Southwest Airlines to stake out positions on the law:

Julian Castro characterizing Delta as having spoken out against the Georgia bill is a bit rich. To be clear, according to Delta’s own telling, they:

  1. claimed credit for helping to craft the final language
  2. lobbied on it
  3. then finally condemned it after it had already passed

There’s something more than a little unseemly about airlines involving themselves in voter laws which determine who is in power, when they are getting those people in power to hand them billions in subsidies. They’re working both sides of the game, and taxpayers lose.

The problem here is that airlines have politicized themselves. They’re even now part-owned by the federal government, having surrendered warrants to the Treasury in exchange for bailouts. They’ve also waged highly visible political campaigns over the last several years to keep competitors out of the U.S. market in order to keep prices high and limit consumer choices (ironically, because they argued that Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways received government subsidies).

Last summer American Airlines CEO Doug Parker even told employees he spends all his time in D.C. lobbying. Having made themselves part of the political process, it’s difficult to extricate themselves.

(HT: @David_Slotnick)

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. “ There’s something more than a little unseemly about airlines involving themselves in voter laws which determine who is in power, when they are getting those people in power to hand them billions in subsidies. They’re working both sides of the game, and taxpayers lose.”

    As opposed to every union that exists, especially public service ones?

    That’s all they do basically.

  2. No more “unseemly” than defense firms spending millions each year lobbying directly in DC for appropriations that benefit them??

  3. If airlines want to enter the political process, maybe their CEO should run for state office rather than run the airline. There is a lot of misinformation floating around about the voting law changes; especially in Georgia.

  4. Stop voter fraud. We will not have a repeat of the Great Steal of 2020. Screw these companies if they don’t like it. Take me from point A to point B and shut the hell up.

    They are just airlines, nothing more.

  5. “There’s something more than a little unseemly about airlines involving themselves in voter laws which determine who is in power, when they are getting those people in power to hand them billions in subsidies. They’re working both sides of the game, and taxpayers lose.”

    I agree with this. Even though I like the Georgia law, I thought it was totally inappropriate for Delta to (i) get involved in it in the first place, and (ii) doubly inappropriate to brag about that, then (iii) triply inappropriate to condemn the law after being predictably skewered for (i) and (ii).

  6. Joe above obviously accepts the lies that racist Trump spreads. Airlines must speak out against racist laws! Gary will likely censor me and I’ll just continue sending what he censors to the Southern Poverty Law Center which Gary rants against trying to get them to pay attention to this blog

  7. Hurray for Texas passing better guidelines that will protect legitimate votes and prevent illegal votes!!!! Go Texas

  8. Agreed. Airlines ( or any company) needs to stay out of the political arena especially a company that offers PUBLIC CONVEYANCE. Who the heck is the company president telling the voters ( and his customers) how to vote ot whether HE approves or Disapproves of any voting law. Mr Airline President(s) if you want to seek changes, run for office!!!!!!

  9. @Allen

    Racist racist racist. Everything is racist. Racist in the morning, racist in the evening. Racism in the mall, racism in the hall. We’re all racists racists racists.

    Go crawl back into whatever woke dump you came from, you feces-brained imbecile.

  10. Allen. eh Southern Poverty Law Center is an radical leftist liberal organization that makes the ACLU appear right wing conservative i.e. per a report in the Washington times “ANTIFA ISN’T A “HATE GROUP” s\clams the Southern Poverty Law Center so you might want to research them first and look at their leadership of the orginization

  11. For the most part the airlines, led by AA, they are doing a miserable job running their business and the last thing the executives need to be doing is going off on tangents. It appears they are so wrapped up in covering up their failures by dipping continuously into the federal governments hand out programs they feel they must “tow the line. “. How they, and especially Parker, now feature themselves as some sort of messenger for the socialist “social justice” garbage being peddled by the left is laughable. One of these days they may wake up to the fact that the blowhards espousing it are not the ones who support their business in any meaningful financial way. Like much of executive corporate American, they are cowering in the Jessie Jackson/Al Sharpton “shade down” model begun decades ago.

  12. Allen. The Southern Poverty Law Center is an radical leftist liberal organization that makes the ACLU appear right wing conservative i.e. per a report in the Washington Times “ANTIFA ISN’T A “HATE GROUP” claims the Southern Poverty Law Center,… so you might want to research them first and look at their leadership of the organization

  13. Wow, political discussions have infiltrated my miles and points hobby. Perhaps, Gary has lost interest in the subject at hand.

  14. GOOD GOD….leave the polo tics out of the Airlines.This WOKE phase will leave (I hope ) as soon as the woke warriors start turning on each other as soon as they can. Remember–this INFECTION needs to be eradicated along with the other SJW garbage..

  15. I would like to know how much money AA and WN spend supporting republican legislators in Texas who are trying to ram through these voter restriction laws. THAT is the tie-in to politics. They DO have an outsized influence. They also have a large number of minority employees and customers who care about voter suppression enabled by the money the airlines spend on campaign contributions. They also have a substantial number of caucasian people like me who believe voting is everyone’s patriotic duty and right that should be encouraged and not suppressed. The airlines and businesses in every state should be held accountable for the actions or lack thereof.

  16. Is the bill just ““would limit early voting hours, prohibit drive-thru voting and bar local election officials from proactively sending vote-by-mail applications.”?

    If so, I am against the part of the bill about limiting early voting hours.

    Drive thru voting needs further definition. Voting should be private, not a bullying spouse in the car or community organizer forcing you to vote a certain way.

    As to proactively sending vote by mail applications, this can be good or evil. It is evil if voting by mail is not necessary. Voting by mail is subject to extreme coercion and manipulation. A bully can force you to vote a certain way or force you to prove you voted a certain way.

    So, unless you are a partisan hack, there are good and bad points about this bill. Hacks will say it’s 100% evil or 100% perfect.

  17. Being a combat veteran it is more than disappointing that so many cannot seem to find the time to get themselves to the polls for voting. In Texas there is a two week window and no one is denied early voting IN PERSON. Folks, veterans signed blank checks for an amount up to their life for the United States . . . our way of life and you. The very least you can do as an American is to make the sacrifice of an hour or two of your time to support our Republic. There is absolutely no need for mail in vote harvesting. One person, one vote.
    BTW, those posting the ideas with the socialist liberal views and hateful politics, try to express yourself using less modal verbs.

  18. @Derek

    The only limit placed on early voting hours is that early voting centers cannot be open between 9 pm and 6 am. But it also mandates that most counties (all but the few least populous) keep all early voting centers open for at least 9 hours per day. So while it does impose a “limit” it actually forces my county to expand early voting, and I suspect this would hold true for the majority of counties as well.

  19. @Josh Nij
    Ammm…no…Gray is saying Airlines need to stay the F* out of the politics. It’s not right for them to lobby since they are owned by the government now. If you like it or not, it may or may not affect the miles & points game; and knowing more about it is better than not knowing or aware of anything at all.

  20. @One Trippe – again you seem to believe the Big Lie fed to you…unfortunate that you served our country yet also don’t believe in the universal right to vote.

    Oh – and bless your little heart.

  21. Joe: THERE WAS NO STEAL. Your guy lost fair and square, even though he said BEFORE the election that the only way he could lose was by the other side cheating. (Shades of someone whose 1920s book he read and who took power in 1933.)

    Here in Washington state we vote entirely by mail. We sign something and prove our identities when we register to vote, and when we do vote, we sign the outer envelope, and the signatures are compared. No restrictions on voting places and times, no restrictions on the boxes where we put our ballots (or we can just mail them; postage prepaid), no showing ID (the signature is our ID), everyone who is registered gets a ballot. NO fraud at all, and everyone has an equal shot at voting. Try it sometime. The Republican state governments know that their policies do not have support and they cannot win that way so they try to minimize the votes of those who won’t vote for them instead.

  22. Airlines that do this will LOSE customers. STAY OUT OF POLITICS. STICK TO YOUR BUSINESS.
    MLB, NBA, NFL are 3 perfect examples of puppets being tools of Soros and Deep State controllers

    Airlines who “get woke” (like Coke…”be less white’) are merely showing that they are manipulated tools of the globalists and those who seek to undermine our country ( by allowing fraud and illegal voting)

    Patriotic, truth and justice-loving American citizens want fair and secure elections. Accountability and transparency are key. Otherwise we have lost our rights and our sovereingty.

    Justin Traver

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