Keen to avoid a similar public relations disaster that has engulfed Delta Air Lines over its involvement in new voting laws in its home state of Georgia, American Airlines came out swinging in opposition to similar legislation that passed the Texas state senate last night.
“Earlier this morning, the Texas State Senate passed legislation with provisions that limit voting access. To make American’s stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it,” a statement released late Thursday by the Dallas Fort Worth-based carrier read.
The new law, known as SB7, was introduced in response to baseless claims of mass voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential elections. The legislation limits access to early voting, prohibits drive-in voting and makes it illegal for elections officials to send out voter applications.
While American Airlines didn’t comment on whether its government relations department had any say in creating the new legislation, the airline put out a forceful statement denouncing the contents of the bill.
“As a Texas-based business, we must stand up for the rights of our team members and customers who call Texas home, and honor the sacrifices made by generations of Americans to protect and expand the right to vote,” a spokesperson commented on Thursday.
Other prominent Texas-based corporations, including Dell, have also taken aim at SB7. There are fears that the law could make it harder for Black people and other ethnic minorities to take part in the democratic process.
“Voting is the hallmark of our democracy, and is the foundation of our great country. We value the democratic process and believe every eligible American should be allowed to exercise their right to vote, no matter which political party or candidate they support,” American’s statement continued.
Texas governor Greg Abbott and lieutenant governor Dan Patrick support the new legislation – both endorsed former President Trump’s allegations of voter fraud in last years elections. Patrick lashed out at American saying that the airline hadn’t even read the legislation before publicly denouncing it.
“Texans are fed up with corporations that don’t share our values trying to dictate public policy,” Patrick said. “The majority of Texans support maintaining the integrity of our elections, which is why I made it a priority this legislative session.”
“By the way, this is the same American Airlines that in 2017 led the fight to try to force us to allow boys to play girls sports in Texas and take away their scholarships. They are probably still fighting for that today and it is likely they have not read Senate Bill 29 either.” Patrick continued.
SB29 is designed to limit lobbying activity connected with certain legislation including laws around ethical issues – such as gender.
Photo Credit: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.