Will Delta End Support for LGBT Civil Rights In the Name of Ending Discounts for ‘Divisive’ Groups?

Regular readers know that I’m thrilled by the support travel companies have given to same sex marriage. Travel providers do tend to be more socially liberally than the countries in which they’re based. That’s true all over the world, they bring people into contact with other cultures and bring foreign experiences home.

Delta has been a sponsor of the Seattle and New York Pride parades and has demanded exclusivity so that other airlines couldn’t be sponsors too. In fact Alaska Airlines employees couldn’t march in uniform in Seattle. In other words, they could not attend as Alaska employees, they had to hide one part of who they are if they wanted to join the march. Ironic.

Delta includes LGBT organizations in their group discount program.

In the aftermath of their experience ending a discount relationship with the NRA, walking back the symbolism of the move and taking heat from Georgia politicians over the decision they’ve said they are now considering ending discounts for all politically divisive groups. They don’t want to appear to be singling out guns. They also don’t want to get questions on issue after issue, having to answer for every group with which they do business.

We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature.

But that’s not as simple as it sounds. They have to make a decision as to what constitutes politically divisive. While a majority now support same sex marriage, it’s an issue which is very culturally divisive. Perhaps they’ll argue that by definition the movement is inclusive, or that the Supreme Court settled the issue, so continued support for LGBT civil rights isn’t divisive. That’s exactly the sort of judgment they’ll still have to make.

The alternative to this mess of course would be to take a stand for their beliefs, instead of merely saying that their values ‘aren’t for sale’ but saying they won’t do business with groups that are consistent with the company’s values if those groups are ‘divisive’.

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. Delta has placed themselves in a great pickle here, they took a little heat over the play issue when it happened -lots of ant-Trumpers swearing to boycott the move that. And they are taking much more heat here because there was much higher visibility. Frankly, they should have found the intestinal fortitude to say whe they provide a discount it doesn’t mean they support the whatever event the discount applies to. I know your choice of LPBT was due to your own personal interest Gary, but it’s not a good comparison. A more apt comparison is a group like Planned Parenthood, I suspect if they were having a large national event Delta was probably asked to provide a discount code, and they probably did, cause you gotta put butts in seats. It will be interesting to see what they do in 2020 when 1,000s of people are heading to either the DNC or RNC convention.

  2. Hahaha, anyway Gary, we gays have the money to fly and NRA dummies typically don’t. I’m not sure what money Delta is loosing, but it’s sure not the gays.

  3. @gary, thanks for sharing the youtube segment. Ironic that Martin Sheen now plays a gay man in the Netflix series, Grace and Frankie.

  4. @LosAngeles

    Use “spellcheck” on your next post before you refer to people as “dummies”.

    In its present form, your post makes you sound like an angry, ignorant queen.

  5. The gays won!
    The gays Won!
    The gays won!
    You know why? Because they HAVE employees who are LGBT. The last state we won State Constitutional Amendments & regular State Law that gave ppl who are gay the right to marry was won in large part with the support of local business.

    I’ll never forget the fight in Minnesota. I’ll never forget General Mills going to the State Legislature and telling them to quit banning gay ppl from getting married as it harms their ability to recruit the best and the brightest. Business wants to recruit and employ the best and the brightest which includes people who are LGBT. Business support is very very important in our democracy and I thank Delta for standing firm. Make no mistake at the end of this, Delta is still gonna publicly support rights for ppl who are LGBT.

    Now for Steven, let’s carry out your proposition that we should legislate religious beliefs into our nations laws. Deerfield Michigan, highest concentration of Iraqi’s outside of Iraq. They are now a majority population in Lenawee County . Our friend Gary’s wife drives to visit her friend in Deerfield Michigan. Leaving to go home she pulls into a gas station to fill up. The gas station owner tells her he cannot sell her gas unless she is accompanied by a close male family member, it’s his religion. Every gas station in Deerfield Michigan is owned by Muslims, nobody will sell her gas unless she is accompanied by a close male family member. What is she supposed to do? If you had your way the Muslim gas station owners would be perfectly within their rights to refuse service, because after all it’s their religious beliefs and this is their business.

    Second at MSP all the taxi drivers are Muslim immigrants and they all refused to transport blind people with seeing eye dogs as the salavia of a dog is impure in the Muslim faith so they would not transport blind people. This REALLY HAPPENED!

    We need, it is very important, that businesses take a public stand on behalf of their employees and to stand for Equal Rights.
    There are many different religions with various beliefs, however once we all mingle in our shared spaces all must be treated equally or else we simply have chaos and Gary’s wife will never get back home.

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