US travel firms back NRA boycott

BANGKOK, 26 February 2018: A backlash against the powerful US National Rifle Association sees major travel related companies cutting ties in response to calls from #BoycottNRA campaign.

The grass-roots campaign targeting NRA member benefits was launched after 17 people were shot dead, 14 February, at a Florida school.

At the weekend big name airlines, United and Delta, pulled the plug on travel discount programmes they had been offering an estimated 5 million NRA members.

In the US hotel industry, Best Western and Wyndham announced they were cutting ties. They were joined by car rental firms Avis, Hertz and the Enterprise group ( Alamo and National).

The Washington Post ran a story that indicated NRA is losing support from companies in insurance, banking and technology.

United and Delta were offering discounted travel offers to member of the NRA. Delta in a tweet said it was ending a contract for “discounted rates through our group travel programme. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website.”

United notified the NRA that “we will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and we are asking that the NRA remove our information from their website.”

They were joined by the a major insurance company MetLife, and a growing list of companies that announced they were severing ties.

In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the NRA accused the companies of “a shameful display of political and civic cowardice,” according to the Washington Post.

“Let it be absolutely clear,” the NRA’s statement said. “The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world.”

#BoycottNRA has netted a string of rapid, prominent victories and exposed vulnerabilities in a gun rights lobby that had seemed untouchable before 17 people — most of them students — were gunned down last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida,” the Washington Post reported.

Banks and insurance firms were among the companies cutting ties with NRA, but it still remained uncertain if VISA USA Inc would join them and cut ties.

Some companies have, so far, not responded to boycott calls such as FedEx, that still gives NRA Business Alliance members up to a 26% discount on shipping expenses. Google, Amazon, Apple and Roku all stream an NRA-produced video channel despite pressure from gun-control groups.