Delta Air Lines announced Saturday it is ending a discount for National Rifle Association members.
Atlanta-based Delta said it is ending its contract for discounted rates through the airline’s group travel program.
"We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from its website," Delta said in a written statement. Delta's move was followed quickly by United Airlines, which also said it would end its discount for NRA members.
The move comes as some other businesses break ties with the NRA amid debate over gun control in the wake of the deadly Parkland school shooting in Florida earlier this month. Those businesses came under pressure after progressive website ThinkProgress published a list of companies that partner with the NRA, which included Delta and United Airlines.
Delta received criticism from both sides on Twitter before and after its decision to end the NRA discount. Before Saturday, some had used a #BoycottNRA hashtag calling for a boycott of Delta and other businesses that have ties to the NRA. After Delta announced the change, others criticized the airline, saying that as NRA members they will never fly Delta again.
The NRA’s website on a page promoting its annual meeting in Dallas in May, said that NRA has “contracted special flight discounts” with United and Delta for members attending the annual meeting. It gave a discount code to use on Delta’s website when booking flights.
In a prepared statement released Saturday, the NRA said, “The more than five million law-abiding members of the National Rifle Association have enjoyed discounts and cost-saving programs from many American corporations that have partnered with the NRA to expand member benefits.”
The statement noted that “some corporations have decided to punish NRA membership in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice. 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.”
In regards to the Parkland tragedy, the group noted: “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.”
Other businesses that ended partnerships with the NRA include its credit card issuer First National Bank of Omaha, which tweeted that “Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA. As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa card.”
Rental car companies are also breaking ties with the NRA including Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Enterprise, Alamo and National rental car brands, the Avis Budget Group and Hertz. And insurance company MetLife said: “We value all our customers but have decided to end our discount program with the NRA.”
• DELTA TAX BREAK IN JEOPARDY? Conservative Republicans question state plan after NRA decision. Get details at Politically Georgia.