3 Links I Love: Delta’s Voting Rights Fiasco, Avelo Livery, Stuck in Mexico

Delta, Links I Love

This week’s featured link

Ed Bastian memo: Your right to voteDelta News Hub
It’s been a tumultuous week for Delta. I can’t quite figure out what the strategy was here. If I were guessing, I’d say this is what happened to turn this Georgia voting law issue into such a mess for the airline, though I have no actual knowledge.

  • Government affairs told the comms team to shut up while they tried to work on “improving” the bill or the angry Republicans would get angrier at Delta.
  • After the bill passed, government affairs told comms to put out a middling, mild semi-endorsement that at least praised the process and would help fluff the egos of the angry Republicans. Assuming government affairs would have balked at a strong rebuke of the bill, Delta should have just said nothing at this point and it would have been better off.
  • All hell breaks loose publicly when Delta appears to support the bill and wants to suppress voting rights. The calls for a boycott begin.
  • Comms tries to salvage this thing, but government affairs somehow gets it softened to the point where further communications are only internal and are just wishy washy in order to not make the angry Republicans more angry at Delta.
  • Naturally and predictably, internal communications get leaked and external furor rises as the news cycle extends its focus for longer on Delta.
  • Some adult in the company finally steps in and realizes that this is too far gone for them to just keep doing half-measures, so Ed puts out the statement which finally takes a real stand, thereby ensuring that now everyone is angry, including the angry Republicans.
Video of the week: Avelo is getting closer to launch. Here’s a nice time lapse video showing the painting of the first airplane. I think we can all agree that the world has needed another purple airline.

Two for the road

American Airlines Statement on Texas Voting LegislationAmerican Newsroom
Apparently American was watching Delta and learned from its mistakes. This, of course, is far easier than going first. But would American have even bothered issuing a statement at all if Delta hadn’t turned this into an airline issue?

‘I can’t believe this is happening’: Travelers recount tales of getting stuck in Mexico after positive COVID-19 testsUSA Today
This weighs heavily on everyone traveling internationally. I’ve done it myself recently (trip report coming), and I can attest to the anxiety that comes with it. Fortunately, I didn’t have any issues testing positive, nor do most people. It’s just not a great policy in the first place, however, as the article shows. A woman was sick and had to quarantine but her husband went home… and then tested positive.

21 comments on “3 Links I Love: Delta’s Voting Rights Fiasco, Avelo Livery, Stuck in Mexico

  1. I miss the days when companiies publicly stayed out of politics and were not run by PR/Comm departments that were trying to appeal to Angry Democrats or Angry Republicans.

    1. +1! David C gets it.

      Politics are very polarized right now. And, though it may not seem like it if you live in California or the northeast corridor, this country is pretty much split 50-50. Whatever you say is going to piss off 50% of your potential customers and that’s bad business. Which is why Delta, Coke, American, etc should just stay out of this.

      1. Unfortunately Two things are missing here & I’ll do my best to explain them or explane them if you will.

        1. All large companies lobby & own their representatives in Washington & their respected states as two supreme court decisions in the 1970’s affirmed the practice.
        2. As a result, it’s Impossible for a Delta or anyone else to run a foul with these politicos or the public no matter what they do or don’t do. Staying quiet on a third rail subject such as this voting law maybe perceived as a defacto endorsement & speaking out will get you punished.

          1. Agreed. Simple test for a corporation: does the proposed legislation DIRECTLY affect our business? Yes or no. If not, the corporation says nothing on the topic. Honestly, unless you’re running a niche lifestyle brand, it’s unimaginable to me why any corporation would adopt a policy other than this. Corporations should be apolitical.

        1. An additional detail here is that people (including employees) have noticed that corporate opinion and power often gets noticed above and beyond that of the individual or even citizen interest groups. If you’ve got a big lever, why not pull it?
          I think until and if we see some rebalancing away from corporations and work as the main force in American life, you’ll continue to see corporations pressured to take a stand on “political” issues

  2. I like the look of the Avelo plane, with one exception… The stripes on the tail are in a bit of an interwoven “777” pattern, yet the plane is a 738. Just seems inconsistent to me. Beautiful plane, though.

  3. Avelo’s livery is certainly better than Breeze in one substantial respect – it’s high contrast.

    In lower light, or at oblique angles, you can’t read the name of the airline on the Breeze livery, and that’s a serious failing.

    1. Agreed. Like what SAS did awhile back and put the titles in silver against a gray backdrop. Who thought *THAT* was a good idea? They should have at least painted a blue or red outline to make the letters distinguishable.

      The previous look of Frontier, silver on white, suffered a similar visibility issue.

  4. On the Delta issue: Classic airline PR blunder here. This industry has a long and dreadful history of being just plain awful when it comes to external communications and PR crisis management. The odd thing here is that Delta is usually the one airline that gets it right at least sometimes. When I teach PR in my mass media class, airlines come up often in the crisis management section. Usually United wears the crown when it comes to bad crisis management. (Everyone remember “United Breaks Guitars” or literally dragging someone off a flight?) And Delta is usually the “good case.” Sad to see a little of the magic wearing off the Atlanta bunch.
    Those in Dallas and Chicago must be smiling. PR is up next week in class, so I have new material!

      1. Where’s the Delta apologist when we need him… oh, wait he was grounded!

        The whole thing with Delta, Home Depot & other companies based in Atlanta is the fact that we have a state run by a republican (Brian Kemp) who is hell bent on doing anything that would prevent certain classes of citizens from voting. This is Jim Crow redux. Now Texas is watching & companies located there better be mindful of what impact their words may have in terms of PR. . Piss off one of these powerful conservatives as Delta did, expect retribution.

        1. I wonder how Delta would react if it became standard practice to not match a photo ID/specific person to a ticket?

          So by requiring a photo ID is Delta, or any airline making it harder for certain people to fly?

        2. You’re sounding like Lyin Biden here! And not only Texas but about 40 states are looking at ways to strengthen voting laws. And as for MLB they are punishing a progressive metro area (Atlanta) because they don’t like the Georgia Republicans, kinda like cutting off your nose to spite your face as they say. Wonder if they will move their headquarters from New York since some of New York’s laws are tougher than Georgia’s….in NY you have to give a reason for requesting an absentee ballot, don’t have to in Georgia. And the whole thing about not being able to pass out food and water to the voters in line (another Biden lie) is just so political parties can’t do it to influence votes….the precinct itself can do it.

  5. Quick question. Did Delta ever accept their Cranky Flier Award? If not, I would be interested in purchasing it directly or make a contribution to your favorite charity in exchange for it.

    1. MissTheMasters – Nope, I have heard nothing from Delta. As of now, I’m not planning on giving it to anyone else, but if it changes, I’m sure I’ll talk about it here.

  6. The problem for corporations right now is that both sides absolutely insist that they take a stand with them, or get boycotted. The companies are just trying to piss off as few as possible.

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