Read time: 2 minutes

Time To #OccupyDelta? Union Busting Airlines Screwing Consumers While Lavishing Congress With Perks

We have written extensively about Delta here at Crooks and Liars. This union busting, consumer hating enterprise is the Scott-Walker-in -the-Sky Airlines. So it was no surprise this week when we learned more disturbing information about how Delta

We have written extensively about Delta here at Crooks and Liars. This union busting, consumer hating enterprise is the Scott-Walker-in -the-Sky Airlines. So it was no surprise this week when we learned more disturbing information about how Delta continues to screw American consumers while buying the politicians in D.C.

Over at AmericaBlog, Aravosis wrote this week how carriers like Delta have been basically making “a windfall” during recession by taxing American consumers through exorbitant baggage fees in recent years. Now comes a report from the Roll Call that Delta has been buying congressional influence through offering ridiculous perks not available to average consumers (emphasis added):

Some perks reach beyond the Beltway. Most major airlines have phones lines dedicated to customers on Capitol Hill, aides and lobbyists told Roll Call. To accommodate their unpredictable travel schedules, Members are allowed to reserve seats on multiple flights but pay only for the one they board.

A spokesman for Delta confirmed the airline has a Congressional call desk and allows Members to double-book flights.

United Continental Holdings Inc., US Airways and American Airlines, all of which are rumored to have similar practices, did not return Roll Call’s request for comment.

“We get on every single flight,” said one Capitol Hill aide familiar with process. “Every offices uses it. ... The scheduler uses it for Members and chiefs of staff who fly.”

The perks have long raised the ire of consumer advocates.

“They are treated completely differently from the time they book their ticket until the time they land at the airport,” said Kate Hanni, director of Flyers Rights, an airline passenger advocacy organization.

The news about Delta is not surprising. They have a history of rewarding members of congress – mostly Republicans – who help further their anti-union goals. As Campaign Money Watch reported recently, “Delta's been spending money wisely to try to overturn the decision to let workers organize more easily. They spent $1.6 million on lobbying during the first half of 2011, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. (Over the past ten years they spent at least $32 million to influence Washington.) Their PAC has given $826,243 to members of Congress since 2000. Adding additional incentive for Republicans in Congress to stand with them, Richard Anderson, Delta's CEO, made a $5,000 contribution to the Senate Republican's campaign committee earlier this year — apparently his first one ever.” Also reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution were Delta’s timely contributions to key Members of Congress to drive the unrelated, ideologically anti-union provisions included in the House version of the FAA Reauthorization legislation.

It sounds like Delta is making a clear stake at positioning itself as the airlines of the 1 percent. Maybe it is time to #OccupyDelta?

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $20 for 2020? Please consider a one time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage

Comments

NOTE: We will be changing to a new commenting platform in the next couple of weeks. We will supply more details as we get closer to the change. We understand some users are having problems with comments loading and this will hopefully remedy that problem

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.