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Delta Faces Calls for Boycott Over Georgia’s Controversial Voting Bill

Delta Faces Calls for Boycott Over Georgia’s Controversial Voting Bill
Joe Cortez

The term #BoycottDelta was trending on social media, after comments by the airline’s chief executive Ed Bastian appeared to praise Georgia’s controversial new voting regulations. A memo attributed to the leader says the bill “improved considerably” before it was passed by state legislators.

Delta Air Lines is fighting back against a growing call to boycott the carrier, after comments attributed to airline chief executive Ed Bastian appeared to praise Georgia’s passing of Senate Bill 202. The memo was published by Delta on March 26, 2021, which quoted Bastian as saying the law “improved considerably” as it moved through the legislative process.

Demands to Boycott Delta After Bastian Points Out “Positives” of Voting Overhaul

The comments were made in an internal memo to Delta’s employees after Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 202 into law. According to CNN, the bill would create new identification demands on absentee ballots, while limiting the use of drop boxes for absentee ballots across the state.

In the original statement, Bastian is quoted as saying the airline “engaged extensively with state elected officials in both parties to express our strong view that Georgia must have a fair and secure election process.” Although opponents of the bill say it will create an undue burden on voters in minority and underserved communities, the memo points out some of the law’s positive features.

“The legislation signed this week improved considerably during the legislative process and expands weekend voting, codifies Sunday voting and protects a voter’s ability to cast an absentee ballot without providing a reason,” the memo reads. “Nonetheless, we understand concerns remain over other provisions in legislation and there continues to be work ahead in this important effort.”

In additional comments to employees, Skift reports Bastian didn’t walk away from his opinions. Instead, he focused on the fact taking a different position could have created more problems for the airline.

“I know that many of you are disappointed, frustrated, and angry that we did not take a stronger public stand against specific measures in this bill,” said Bastian, according to Skift. “Unfortunately, the reality is that would have made it much harder to shape the legislation at all, and we would have lost a seat at the table.”

Voices calling for a boycott of Delta and other Georgia-based companies include the progressive political group MediasTouch.com and Keith Olbermann. The hashtag #BoycottDelta continues to get hundreds of tweets per hour, with the airline facing serious backlash for their position.

Delta One of Many Georgia-Based Companies Facing Boycott Calls

It’s not just Delta that is facing the scorn of the public over Georgia’s Senate Bill 202. Activists are also calling on the public to boycott Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball, as the sports league is planning to hold their All-Star Game this year in Atlanta.

View Comments (40)

40 Comments

  1. tkelvin69

    March 30, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    They are a crappy airline and now can add unethical to the list.

  2. Bowgie

    March 30, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    I’m not buying Ed’s “seat at the table” argument. Whether you agree with him or not on the Georgia election bill, wading into this political fight was a really dumb move by Delta.

  3. hfb606

    March 30, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    If you can find ID to get welfare checks you can find ID to vote. Screw this woke liberal garbage. Delta still has my business!

  4. Gone4Weeks

    March 31, 2021 at 4:29 am

    Can Delta, Coke, and other Georgia based companies stand up to the “woke ass cancel culture” and just please tell them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine….. Malcom X said it best 50 years ago, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

  5. Aloha1

    March 31, 2021 at 4:32 am

    Bull. Read the law and ignore the Communists. This bill PROTECTS elections. Stay strong Delta.

  6. BMGRAHAM

    March 31, 2021 at 5:19 am

    They are a great, very ethical airline. Go ahead, boycott. More space for decent people. Plus I highly doubt that anyone with common sense will actually boycott them.

  7. arcticflier

    March 31, 2021 at 5:26 am

    Why drag Jackie Robinson into this?
    How does boycotting a day celebrating the first Black Athlete to play in MLB advance ending racism?
    When will the madness stop?

  8. flurb

    March 31, 2021 at 5:40 am

    Once again, Olbermann hits the nail right on the head.

    I just cancelled 4 reservations and rebooked on Jet Blue.
    I will not drink any Coca Cola products. (Pepsi is better anyway…)

  9. awayIgo

    March 31, 2021 at 5:47 am

    I am tired of people getting all upset over what the press claim is in a bill- instead of what is actually in it! Requiring ID to vote is not a big deal. We show ID to fly, to cash checks, to go the the MD, to drink in a bar, etc. etc. Georgia is offering FREE ID to those who need.

    Signatures change and matching is very difficult., A photo ID is needed for so much. Why is it acceptable to allow voting with minimal to no proof of,who someone is?

  10. fotographer

    March 31, 2021 at 6:30 am

    why is asking for an ID before you vote wrong?

  11. almdvm

    March 31, 2021 at 6:31 am

    This will not be a democracy very long if we cannot identify everyone that votes. Everyone has to be id’d to fly, buy certain things, and get licenses to do many things so stop the BS that law is discriminating to a group.

  12. RacingJunkie

    March 31, 2021 at 6:38 am

    Real zinger there Kelvin. You got’em!

  13. c502cid

    March 31, 2021 at 6:47 am

    It gives me a solid reason to switch my business to Delta now. If they don’t cave to the woke mob I will. Thanks for the heads up!

  14. cscasi

    March 31, 2021 at 7:50 am

    tkelvin69
    Prove your comment. Words are cheap. Perhaps another liberal socialist type?

  15. craig44485

    March 31, 2021 at 8:06 am

    How about instead of creating laws about voting rules and access, create some laws to make it easier to help people get government issued/approved ID’s?

  16. cmd320

    March 31, 2021 at 8:13 am

    If I’m boycotting Delta it’s only because of their crappy onboard service currently. Otherwise, I couldn’t care less about their politics.

  17. SUPERTRAVEL

    March 31, 2021 at 8:17 am

    The U.S. government must get involved in elections at the Federal level and standardize every State’s requirements. It is highly likely that some Democrat-led states need to strengthen their rules while some Republican-led states need to loosen them. Can’t give a bottle of water to someone standing in a voting line for hours? That’s ridiculous.

  18. xlnja

    March 31, 2021 at 8:29 am

    Once again, the mainstream media is regurgitating false Democrat talking points to sway low-information voters who don’t read past the headline. Requiring ID to vote is common sense. You need an ID for everything in this world. Democrats calling the ID requirement a barrier for minorities is condescending at best. At worst, it’s a red herring so they can continue to stuff the ballot box.

  19. polinka

    March 31, 2021 at 9:07 am

    tkelvin, that may be your opinion but it’s not the majority opinion as SWA is consistently ranked among the top 3 domestic carriers.

  20. polinka

    March 31, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Yes, I’m an idiot. Thought it was about SWA, not Delta. I change my comment completely. Delta sucks.

  21. MEaton

    March 31, 2021 at 9:15 am

    I disagree completely with tkevin69. a) Delta is an outstanding airline that has provided an excellent workplace for thousands of people for nearing 100 years, b) Delta has consistently supported intelligent, reasoned, legislation that benefitted its employees, its passengers and the airline industry as a whole and c) has always supported legislation that affected all of it’s locations, particularly the greater Atlanta area and Georgia in general. I sincerely hope that they don’t become another great company that bases it’s legislative support on trying to chase the approval of the “Woke Generation”. The Cancel Culture we are living through scares us all. I am happy to see that Delta has the guts to stand up for many, many Georgians that agree with Delta, but remain silent for fear of the backlash from the far left that brands anything or anyone that disagrees with them, Racists, Homophobes or Traitors. Enough is enough!

  22. BC Shelby

    March 31, 2021 at 10:54 am

    ….since 2012, Delta also has has funded Republican PACs far more than ones for Dems. Particularly so in the last three elections,supporting the former Oval Office occupant twice and Brian Kemp in 2018.

    I was also very displeased when they circulated anti union propaganda within the company several years ago.

    There are times I still miss both Northwest and Western, this is one of them.

    Joe and Pete need to get on the ball and not just save but improve our passenger rail system.

  23. kikap

    March 31, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Wish these woke idiots also boycott CNN and Coke

  24. Bighits

    March 31, 2021 at 11:32 am

    Seriously? So you have a problem with that but don’t you realize that in order to go through and book a flight and travel anywhere you have to show proof of an ID. How ignorant can you be to complain about showing ID’s to vote. Just be accountable in life like most tax paying American Citizens and problems solved.

  25. kikap

    March 31, 2021 at 11:38 am

    If requiring ID deprives minorities from exercising a constitutional right then requiring ID deprives the same minorities from protecting their lives and the lives of others from violent crime and tyranny, a right protected by the second amendment. Does this mean that woke regressives want firearm dealers to stop asking for ID when purchasing firearms? Waiting periods in some states also have to go. No waiting periods, no IDs, no background checks, complete freedom!

  26. jficht

    March 31, 2021 at 11:46 am

    I’ll have to fly Delta.

  27. DCABarry

    March 31, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Delta is innocent, leave them alone. If their value proposition, fare, schedule and service, favor your needs one should fly them. That’s it. Delta’s CEO erred here…stay away from politics!

    The truth is we have only three real airlines today (plus Southwest.) Thanks to the US Government regulators and their permissive allowance of mergers earlier this century, we consumers have very few domestic choices. So to “dog” Delta is not a smart move on any US flyer’s part. Yea, go ahead cripple Delta and strengthen the real dog airlines: Spirit, Allegiant and Frontier. That would be an awful future for American travelers.

  28. rylan

    March 31, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Well Delta caved and now they’re out publicly against the law.

    I guess its such a huge atrocity to have to provide ID if you are mailing in a ballot, not having absentee voting start months before an election, keeping voting boxes in more secure areas instead out on the street where they’ve been vandalized, and streamlining runoffs so they don’t take months.

  29. sfoeuroflyer

    March 31, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    For crying out loud. Does politics have to infect every tiny spec of our lives? This call for boycott is a form of virulent cancel culture mixed with distortions. Where did the notion come from that said we should have early voting? Unchecked mail ballots? Ballot harvesting? Essentially the entire democratic world has one way of voting: you show up in person on election day and vote, placing your ballot in the ballot box. Limited exceptions for people who can’t come in person to vote. If one can’t see the evils created by wide open mailings, harvesting, so called early voting, there can not be civil discourse. One wants great access to the polling places to make voting easy and avoidance of measure that make it easy to cheat. And leave the airline out of it.

  30. Long Zhiren

    March 31, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    A more appropriate boycott would be against American Airlines & Spirit Airlines. AA lets elitists like John Kerry fly without masks while regular peasants must so that diseases can only be spread by special people or else be put on no-fly lists. Spirit Airlines kicks off autistic kids who have medical exemptions to mask rules.

  31. DeltaFlyer123

    March 31, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    As I see it, all Bastian said is that the final legislation is better than how it started out. His primary focus is (and should be) on running the airline rather than picking fights with the government. He already had a bout with the mayor of Atlanta, and it’s not feasible for a multibillion dollar company to move its HQ elsewhere. The important consideration is that the airline treats all their employees and customers fairly and compassionately, and there’s nothing more he can do. If there’s a problem in Georgia, it’s because of the racists that voted this bunch into office.
    I’m a two-million miler on Delta and will remain loyal for the rest of my life.

  32. ijgordon

    March 31, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    Come on people, you don’t actually need ID to fly, there are alternative methods of identity verification. Just like with voting. This is an unnecessary burden that clearly targets a specific segment of voters.

    https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

  33. thooks30

    March 31, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    In all seriousness I’m curious to know how many people in this thread have read the bill instead of regurgitating what they’ve heard on their preferred news network?

    Also, let’s call a spade a spade. Everyone in this thread has taken part in some sort of “cancel culture”. Let folks boycott what the choose to boycott. It’s their choice.

  34. wbcoleman

    April 1, 2021 at 1:10 am

    It is a sad commentary on contemporary life that Delta management should be terrorized by an idiot like Keith Olbermann.

  35. Tongie1

    April 1, 2021 at 5:24 am

    Being bullies and calling for boycotts of companies because they can’t get their way of thinking pushed thru is wrong in itself. I will stand up to these bullies and back companies being bullied. I am not afraid to show my ID and proud to be identified.

  36. DeltaFlyer123

    April 1, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Ed Bastian has always been an upright, honest, responsible CEO. All he said is that the final draft of the bill was an improvement over the previous version. As Delta’s CEO, his primary responsibility is to the airline’s shareholders and customers, and not politics.
    I am a Delta 2-million miler, have been eminently satisfied with the company especially their response to the pandemic, and will always support Delta (and Skyteam).

  37. ND Sol

    April 2, 2021 at 5:56 am

    ijgordon, so you are on board for using the same standard as the TSA for those that don’t have their ID to vote? Note in the following, that in order to fly you must have an ID, you just don’t have to have it on you. As such, you will be scrutinized and have to provide quite a bit of personal information (not to mention the full pat down). If you can’t be verified, you can’t fly.

    “In the event you arrive at the airport without valid identification, because it is lost or at home, you may still be allowed to fly. The TSA officer may ask you to complete an identity verification process which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity. If your identity is confirmed, you will be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint. You will be subject to additional screening, to include a patdown and screening of carry-on property.”

    “You will not be allowed to enter the security checkpoint if your identity cannot be confirmed, you choose to not provide proper identification or you decline to cooperate with the identity verification process.”

    I recall the case a few years back in Pennsylvania where there was a lawsuit about the inability to obtain a photo ID. The judge ruled against the plaintiffs and before the attorneys could get an appeal started, the lead plaintiff went down and obtained her photo ID. Not as much a barrier as one might think. Also, are not photo IDs required to obtain the vaccine against SARS-CoV-2?

  38. mc4bbs

    mc4bbs

    April 2, 2021 at 6:48 am

    Delta has changed their stance from a soft approval to a firm NO. Georgia retaliated by attempting to revoke their jet-fuel tax break, but failed.

    This is not so much getting identification from voters, but to systematically PREVENT persons of colour from voting at all by making it difficult. They do this by:

    – Making providing any food/beverage to people waiting in line to vote ILLEGAL.
    – Shutting down the number of polling sites in black communities (making lines unbearably long — 4-8 hours waiting with no food/drink long!)
    – Curtailing the hours you can vote on the weekend, and a FULL ON ATTEMPT to stop Sunday voting (stopping pews to polls)
    – Curtailing the hours you can vote during the weekday.
    – Curtailing the number of days (if any) you can “vote early”
    – Curtailing voting by mail, attempting to stop it completely.

    These are only the ones I am aware of off the top of my head, but the list goes on.

    Between gerrymandering and voter suppression, the republicans are attempting to disenfranchise blacks, latinos and other non-white, non-rich people from voting and it needs to be STOPPED any way possible.

    Delta is once again on the side of RIGHT by speaking up; however, this isn’t the first time Georgia has pulled shit like this. Delta, Coke, Home Depot and all other businesses need to EXIT GEORGIA for good!!

  39. ND Sol

    April 3, 2021 at 5:14 am

    mc4bbs, clearly you did not read the bill as most of the items you list are just not true. How do you feel about the home state of our President and its voting rules?

  40. cairns

    April 6, 2021 at 11:12 am

    mc4bbs voters have more opportunity to vote in Georgia than they do in NY or Delaware. Read the bill before spouting off.

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