Delta and United abruptly reverse course, sever contracts with the NRA

Delta Airlines Boeing 777 passenger jets are serviced at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, New York, with the airport's 32 story, 321-foot tall control tower in the background. (CREDIT: Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Delta and United Airlines announced Saturday morning that they are terminating contracts with the NRA to provide discounted flights to the organization’s annual convention in May.

The airlines previously advertised discounts of two to 10 percent for NRA members. On Friday night, ThinkProgress was able to obtain a discount in excess of 10 percent using Delta’s NRA code on a sample flight from Miami to Dallas, where this year’s convention will be held.

In a tweet Saturday, Delta said it is asking the gun lobby to “remove our information from their website.”

Less than 12 hours earlier, in a statement to ThinkProgress, Delta defended its contract with the NRA as “routine.”

The travel information listed on the event website denotes participation in a routine, publicly available pricing program available on for group travel. Any group with more than ten people traveling from more than two departure cities, within a defined period, can qualify​ for a group discount (excluding weddings and family reunions). Delta has more than 2,000 such contracts in place.​

United had a similar program providing discounted flights to NRA members traveling to the annual convention. In a statement Friday night, United told ThinkProgress that it “does not have an affiliation with the NRA.” The company said its arrangement to provide discounts for travel to the NRA conference resulted from its  “standard meeting agreement process.”

On Saturday morning, shortly after Delta’s decision, United announced it was also ending its discount program with the NRA.

Delta and United join numerous corporations who have decided to sever their ties with the NRA, reflecting a rapidly changing political environment after the Parkland massacre. Last Tuesday, ThinkProgress published a list of more than 20 companies that provided incentives to NRA members. In just a few days, most of those companies have announced they are cutting ties with the gun lobby.

UPDATE: This post has been updated to include the statement from United canceling their program.