We're having a moment. In the wake of the Florida school shooting, travel companies are abandoning the National Rifle Association and its assault rifle advocacy. History would tell us that no substantial reforms will come out of this. But perhaps student and corporate pressure will make things different this time.
In the wake of the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, airlines, hotels and car rental companies are jumping on the bandwagon — sometimes under pressure — and are eliminating discount programs for National Rifle Association members.
These travel companies include Delta, United, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, National Alamo, Wyndham and Best Western.
Delta tweeted that it is requesting that the NRA remove Delta information from the NRA website as the airline is terminating discounted rates for NRA members through the airline’s group travel feature.
Delta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website.
— Delta (@Delta) February 24, 2018
United likewise is asking the NRA to erase the airline’s information from the rife association’s website, and won’t be offering discounted flights to its annual meeting.
United is notifying the NRA that we will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and we are asking that the NRA remove our information from their website.
— United Airlines (@united) February 24, 2018
Enterprise announced that its three brands — Enterprise, Alamo and National — will cease offering discounts to NRA members effective March 26.
Thank you for contacting us! All three of our brands ended the discount for NRA members. This change will be effective March 26. Thank you again for reaching out. Kind regards, Michael — EnterpriseRentACar (@enterprisecares) February 23, 2018
Hertz, too, is ending its NRA member discount plan March 26.
We have notified the NRA that we are ending the NRA’s rental car discount program with Hertz.
— Hertz (@Hertz) February 23, 2018
NRA members, effective March 26, would have to pay regular rates for Avis or Budget car rentals starting March 26.
Thanks for reaching out. Effective March 26, we will no longer provide the NRA member discount. ~Sam
— Budget Car Rental (@Budget) February 24, 2018
Wyndham announced that it “is no longer affiliated with the NRA,” and Best Western did too.
Hello. Please know, Wyndham is no longer affiliated with the NRA.
— Wyndham Rewards (@WyndhamRewards) February 23, 2018
The National Rifle Association opposes efforts to raise the age to 21, from 18, for the legal purchase of assault rifles, or any firearms, let alone the outright ban of assault rifles, as many people are calling for in the wake of the latest mass school shooting. The NRA has accused Democrats and the news media of seeking to exploit the shooting to take away Second Amendment rights to gun ownership. An NRA spokeswoman despicably condemned the mainstream news media for allegedly enjoying school shootings because of the ratings.
Twitter users have come down on both sides of issue on doing business with the NRA.
For example, actor and activist George Takei called on major corporations to follow in the footsteps of United and Delta to “cut ties with the NRA.”
United Airlines and Delta just cut ties with the NRA. That is great corporate leadership. I call on other major corporations to follow suit. Let us listen to our children, whom we have failed in the past, but whom we must not fail again.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 24, 2018
There is a backlash, too, from customers who may boycott airlines and car rental companies that broke up with the NRA.
For example, Guy Benson, political editor of TownHall.com and a Fox News contributor, wondered whether United is “actively trying to chase away my business.”
Hey @united, I’m an extremely loyal 1k customer. You’ve now severed ties w/ the NRA at the urging of an online mob, yet you maintain ties with Planned Parenthood, the most prolific ender of children’s lives in America, by far. Are you actively trying to chase away my business? https://t.co/eArS3fiF2c
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 24, 2018
Although additional travel companies will likely join in, the trend to sever links with the NRA is far from unanimous.
HotelPlanner, which powers an NRA discount website, indicated it would honor its commitment to the NRA, the Huffington Post reported.
Skift Daily Newsletter
Get the travel industry’s daily must-read email 6 days a week
Tags: avis, best western, budget, cars, delta, enterprise, hotelplanner, hotels, nra, united airlines, wyndham
Photo credit: Travel companies are abandoning the assault-rifle advocate, the National Rifle Association. Bloomberg