Both Delta and United airlines issued very similar statements to the National Rifle Association in the wake of the Parkland shooting: no more discounted rates for members.
On Saturday morning, Delta confirmed on Twitter that it had contacted the NRA “to let them know we will be ending their contract” for such discounted fares to members attending the association’s annual meetings.
The airline also said it requested the NRA remove its information from the organization’s official website.
Later that afternoon, Delta issued a longer, more comprehensive statement on its own official website.
"Delta’s decision reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings,” reads a message posted to the Delta News Hub. “Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken this action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on its business. Delta continues to support the 2nd Amendment.”
In the airline’s statement, Delta added that it once withdrew a sponsorship from the theater company that staged a rendition of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” which portrayed Caesar as a Donald Trump-like figure.
“Delta supports all of its customers but will not support organizations on any side of any highly charged political issue that divides our nation,” wrote the airline.
United Airlines soon posted a similar tweet informing followers of its decision to cut ties with the NRA.
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines — two of the nation’s other largest carriers — had not previously offered discounted fares to the NRA’s annual meeting.
“To clarify, American does not have a group travel program with the NRA, nor do we appear on their website," the carrier confirmed in a statement obtained by Forbes.
A Southwest employee also confirmed the airline had no affiliation with with the NRA on a Southwest community message board.
The NRA has since fired back at the growing list of brands that are ending their relationships with the organization, calling it a “shameful display of political and civic cowardice” in a statement posted to the organization’s official site.
"The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school’s security preparedness, the failure of America’s mental health system, the failure of the National Instant Check System or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement,” the statement also reads.
“In time, these brands will be replaced by others who recognize that patriotism and determined commitment to Constitutional freedoms are characteristics of a marketplace they very much want to serve.”