Delta Air Lines last week waded into a raging debate over gun control in the wake of the shooting massacre at a Florida high school only to have the measure backfire in its home state. Now it is reviewing discounts for other "politically divisive" groups.
"Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the NRA was to remove Delta from this debate," CEO Ed Bastian told employees in a memo, which was titled "Delta and the school safety debate."
It did the opposite.
Georgia lawmakers dropped a jet-fuel tax break that Delta wanted from a tax bill they passed on Thursday, punishing the airline after it said it would end discounts for National Rifle Association members attending the gun-rights group's annual meeting in Dallas. United Airlines followed Delta's action with their own.
Thirteen people booked tickets with Delta's NRA discount for the upcoming conference, Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter told CNBC.
"While Delta's intent was to remain neutral, some elected officials in Georgia tied our decision to a pending jet fuel tax exemption, threatening to eliminate it unless we reversed course," Bastian said. "Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale."