Home Articles The CEO of Delta Air Lines Just Went on LinkedIn and Made a Truly Stunning Confession
Articles - Marketing Strategy - March 1, 2019

The CEO of Delta Air Lines Just Went on LinkedIn and Made a Truly Stunning Confession

When you sit down and talk frankly, it's really interesting what people sometimes say.

This week, we observed the one-year anniversary of the evil, senseless, tragic mass murder at Parkland High School in Florida. 

That timeline also means we’re now at the one-year point after a less-important but still-memorable event: the pressure that Delta Air Lines and other large corporations faced to end their preferences for members of the NRA.

Delta, as you might recall, announced it would end its discount program for NRA members — and it faced an immediate backlash for doing so. Among the ramifications was that Georgia politicians, in retaliation, rescinded an estimated $40 million in state tax exemptions that Delta was counting on.

This week, Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian, explained how it all came about. His forum: a fascinating and to-the-point interview on LinkedIn.

“The kids at Parkland”

Bastian sat down with Daniel Roth, LinkedIn’s editor in chief, for a video interview recently, a portion of which Roth posted Friday on LinkedIn.

Among the highlights — the part that truly surprised me, to be honest — is that Bastian admitted he only even learned that Delta offered an NRA discount because of the research and activism that Parkland students engaged in after the tragedy.

“I didn’t even know the discount existed,” Bastian told Roth. “The way I found out about the discount [was] from the kids at Parkland.”

As Bastian expanded, he had found the NRA’s rhetoric after the shooting to be “divisive.” But Parkland students who became almost instant activists in favor of gun control contacted him directly.

“I think the fact that our kids were able to have a voice is so cool,” he said, adding, “The kids went out and found who are the companies that somehow do business [with the NRA]. … Because I was accessible, they came directly to me, and within a day of saying this I said, ‘We just can’t be doing this. This is just not who we are.'”

”If you choose not to decide … “

His decision prompted a real backlash…

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