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Delta Air Lines treated so badly by 2015 state legislature – we all should worry

Delta - Atlanta's hometown airline (Special: Delta Air Lines)

By Maria Saporta

Imagine if a Fortune 100 company were considering relocating its headquarters to metro Atlanta, and that company would employ 33,000 people in Georgia and generate $300 million a year in state and local taxes and fees.

Just imagine how our elected leaders and economic developers would drool and fall all over themselves offering incentives to offer that company.

Now consider this.

Delta Air Lines is a Fortune 100 company that is the top private employer in Georgia – providing jobs for 33,000 people statewide.

When it was coming out of bankruptcy in 2007, Delta had a choice – keep its headquarters in Atlanta or move to Minneapolis.

richard anderson

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson, first a director and then CEO, and the board decided to keep the airline based in Atlanta.

Now I’m wondering if he’s second-guessing that decision.

No one company and no one executive was treated more disrespectfully during the 2015 legislative session than Delta and Anderson.

His crime?

He had the audacity to speak his mind about what he thought was in the best interest of Georgia’s economic future.

As the 2014 chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Anderson felt obligated – as have our best business leaders have over the past many decades – to speak out for inclusion.

In the 1960s, Atlanta business leaders spoke out for tolerance and acceptance of racial integration.

And in today’s environment, Anderson urged the state to be welcoming to people from all over the world by having a less restrictive immigration policy and to steer away from social legislation – the religious freedom bill – that could be seen as discriminating against gays and lesbians.

Both those positions would make Georgia more economically competitive.

And as part of his swan song as Chamber chair, Anderson told state legislators they must be willing to raise taxes to meet the transportation infrastructure needs in the state.

(Guess what, that’s what they ended up doing – but never mind the facts).

So here is how one leading state legislator reacted to Anderson’s comments.

Earl Ehrhart

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart

“Every time he opens his mouth, he makes my job easy,” State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, a Republican from Powder Springs, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Ehrhart’s job? To go after Anderson and Delta to reinstate an aviation fuel tax that had been removed when the airline was coming out of bankruptcy.

“He’s a private citizen. He’s welcome to chime in on anything. [The religious liberty bills] didn’t drive me,” Ehrhart said. “But will I more than happily take advantage of those who are tired of him chiming in to pass a piece of legislation? Absolutely.”

Now two facts.

The estimated $20 million in new jet fuel taxes (Delta’s share likely would be about $16 million of that) that will be collected will NOT go towards solving our transportation problems. It is mandated by federal law that the revenue has to go to fund airports, which have their own ample revenue sources. In other words, the state won’t even benefit from its mean spiritedness.

Second fact. Since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2007, Delta has added 6,500 jobs in Georgia. How much in tax credits would Georgia pay a new company adding that many jobs? Think about the $23 million in incentives the state gave to Mercedes Benz USA for just 800 jobs.

Delta - Atlanta's hometown airline

Delta – Atlanta’s hometown airline (Special: Delta Air Lines)

In other words, reinstating the jet fuel tax wasn’t about the money.

It was about small-minded people wanting to teach a big-time CEO a lesson to keep his mouth shut about policies that actually are in the state’s best interests.

And we tout ourselves as being the No. 1 state for business in the country.

How can we really say that with a straight face when we treat our largest private employer this way?

What makes things worse was the absence of support from top state elected officials and business leaders – people who should have stood up for Delta and Richard Anderson.

The silence was deafening.

And that scares me, because I know it would not take much for Delta to move its core corporate headquarters to New York City – a city that would welcome its top executives with open arms and with an inclusive attitude towards business.

delta atlanta

Delta – Atlanta 70th anniversary (a couple of years ago)

Fortunately, Delta is taking the high road ­– for now.

“We are proud of our seven decades as Georgia’s hometown airline and the historic partnership between Delta and the city of Atlanta,” said Trebor Banstetter, a Delta spokesman. “We absolutely have no plans to relocate our headquarters.”

But people around town have told me that Delta’s executives are not happy, calling top leaders to voice their displeasure with the way the session transpired. Again, it’s not the money. It’s the vindictive and punitive way Delta was treated.

That’s no way to treat one of your treasured companies – much less your largest private employer – and much less the company which does more to make Georgia an economic development magnet than any other.

Here is what Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed had to say in a brief interview a few days ago:

“I don’t think there is any more important corporate citizen than Richard Anderson and Delta, and what they do for the city and state.

I view this through the lens of what would we have done if there was a decision being made between Atlanta and Minneapolis. If we ever were in that conversation, that tax credit would be a fraction of the incentives we would offer to keep Delta’s headquarters here.

Richard Anderson made the decision to keep Delta as an Atlanta company, and that’s why I supported and support them receiving favorable tax treatment.

I think we all make a huge mistake if we don’t view this through the lens of competitiveness.

I do believe we have some repair work to do on that relationship.

I don’t think that story is over yet. We all need to stay at it.”

Why don’t we start with defeating Rep. Earl Ehrhart in the next election?


Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.



  1. mnst April 13, 2015 12:36 am

    Earl Ehrhart brought shame on himself and his constituents with his actions this year. If the CEO of Delta had been speaking out in favor of “guns everywhere” or some other far-right nonsense I doubt you’d be hearing from Ehrhart.

    Republicans claim they’re in favor of lower taxes, but they’re willing to raise taxes as a weapon to silence political opposition from the minority—and to me, that’s about as onerous and repressive a tax as any government could possibly levy.Report

  2. InfraredGuy April 13, 2015 8:08 am

    Why the crocodile tears ? Delta has gotten lots of breaks especially tax breaks that have made them millions in additional profits, Anderson is entitled to say what he wants but he has to be ready to take what comes back at him as does Maria Saporta with this article. If Anderson feels as strongly about raising fuel taxes on John Q Public to fund infrastructure then turnabout is fair play, after all he can pass his increased cost along to ticket buyers while John Q Public has to take it on the chin.Report

  3. John Futch April 13, 2015 9:39 am

    Beyond belief, except the Georgia lege is amazingly stupid.Report

  4. mnst April 13, 2015 9:56 am

    I’ll be sure to remember this line of logic the next time suburban Georgians say we shouldn’t raise tolls or taxes to pay for the roads they drive on.Report

  5. Michael Leo Owens April 13, 2015 10:05 am

    Yawn… Let’s talk about Delta Air Lines treating its passengers, especially its loyalest medallion members, so badly. Exhibit A? That decision to not count miles as miles but as dollars and all sorts of other decisions that treat us as pawns. All the while Delta rakes in crazy dough from fees and jamming flights as full as a hive of bees. MiLOReport

  6. TheFree_Lance April 13, 2015 10:39 am

    Whoa, whoa. More than little interesting that this same corporate elite sought to bury and whitewash the just-crested APS cheating scandal — that too was portrayed as “bad for business.” In truth, what is “bad for business” is what is bad for any member of civil society — corrupt, incompetent government, riven with fraud and special deals. When execs say “bad for business” what they really mean is “bad for my compensation package” — and that is a totally fair point, were it made honestly and upfront. Which happens never.
    As for Rep. Ehrhart, he strikes me as a grandstanding loon. The “religious liberty” bill was the sort of made-up issue you get when you essentially have one-party government and very few elected officials with IQs above their waist sizes. But here too — a self-inflicted wound by a Metro Atlanta mindset which is deeply risk-averse, reflecting that Fortune 100 DNA. All it would take is for everyone so “displeased” and outraged by the status quo to take one election cycle and vote Libertarian and break the RedBlu duopoly stranglehold on power. Otherwise, be content with more hissy fits, clucks of disapproval, and back-channel politicking. Reverse, then repeat. Over and over.Report

  7. Clarkite April 13, 2015 10:41 am

    Ms. Saporta:  I couldn’t agree with you more.  I am shocked by the treatment Richard Anderson and Delta has received by the Georgia Legislature.  I am a 68 year old native of Atlanta.  I grew up with the understanding that Georgians drank Coca-Cola and flew Delta.  I wonder if some in the legislature understand that the first rule of economic development is to take care of your existing businesses.  Delta and Coke have been good for Georgia, it’s time that Georgia recognize the importance of being good to them.Report

  8. InfraredGuy April 13, 2015 11:04 am

    mnst I am sorry but you have no logicReport

  9. Vijay Reddy April 13, 2015 11:44 am

    We need someone to stand up and demand Georgia start to take its future seriously.Report

  10. inatl April 13, 2015 3:08 pm

    Thanks for shining a light on this.  I wish the fact these funds were limited to airports was more widely known.   Jay Bookman also has a great piece on why the $5 a night hotel room tax is problematic.    This whole gas tax for roads also will no doubt end up leaving counties and cities holding the bag, like with the tag tax.

    The Georgia State legislature is an embarrassment.Report

  11. jeffrey8569 April 13, 2015 3:16 pm

    Sad that a   CEO   of  Company  thinks  he  speaks  for the  citizens of  GA  or a  specific  House  District. Yes,  he is   private  citizen  but   he   does not  speaks   for the  other  citizens of  GA.Anyway Delta  has   crappy   customer  service and  treats it flyer program  members  like   crapReport

  12. em April 13, 2015 7:30 pm

    I am always amazed at the  comments from frequent flyers who think they are entitled to free upgrades and tickets. Meanwhile their respective companies don’t do anything for their customers. I am a frequent flyer and Delta has outstanding customer service. Maybe you don’t like the service due to your crappy attitiude. So shameful for you  to say that all of those hard working people at Delta, whom you looped into your comment, provide horrible customer service. I see those people working hard and being nice to self serving, arrogant, eliteists who should be kicked off the flight talking to individual employees, whom they have never met, like they are dogs. I hope you remember those are the same people who will help you if you have a heart attack or other ailments,, putting your luggage on the plane, serving you food and drinks, etc. 

    Big business should get breaks for all of the money and jobs they provide, Goofballs like Eckhart have no clue and never should re-elected or elected to begin with to represent the people of our state including Richard Anderson one of the citizens Eckhart WORKS FOR. 

    Mr. Owens – I am sure you know Delta is in the transportation business. Delta, just like the company you work for or worked for if you are retired, is in the business to make money not donate their services. Full planes mean revenue which is the goal of all companies. They listen to customer comments and try to accomodate/design the experience accordingly. They can’t put 50 seats  with 20 passengers on the flight and survive. They do offer corporate private jet service if you require that much room for yourself. This is the sky miles program they changed from previously, who all the frequent flyers mostly getting their tickets paid by their company, complained about leaving because they were getting ripped off by the new program. Funny now you complain about getting taken advantage of now.Report

  13. mnst April 13, 2015 8:08 pm

    @jeffrey8569  He didn’t ever claim to speak for Georgia citizens; he spoke on behalf of Atlanta’s Chamber of Commerce, which he was the president of at the time.Report

  14. Jim Stafford April 13, 2015 10:39 pm

    mnst Hold on- you were hoping a bigot actually read the article before responding? He couldn’t possibly have done so, since he was sharpening his axe at the time.Report

  15. Burroughston Broch April 14, 2015 1:54 am

    Maria, this manufactured PR scuffle is part of Delta’s strategy in their ongoing negotiations for a new 30 year lease at Hartsfield Jackson. Nothing more.Report

  16. Gracey66 April 14, 2015 2:04 am

    How typical of Georgia politics.  “We should try to legislate morality!  Why that there’s more important than our economic future!”
    The south – where we CONTINUE to vote against our best interests for generations and generations.  Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.  
    Atlanta has continued to NOT invest in infrastructure that insures that Delta employees can get to the airport in inclement weather (snowpocalypse 2014 anyone?).  While I hope and pray Delta doesn’t abandon Atlanta, I can absolutely see why they would want to after this little BS stun of State Senator Dumbass.  I thought the Republicans were supposed to be FOR big business?!  As the leader of the Republican party in GA, the Governor needs to have a little discussion with his flunkies.Report

  17. Gracey66 April 14, 2015 2:05 am

    That’s called voting!!!  #VoteBlueReport

  18. djfeldma April 14, 2015 5:44 am

    I completely agree that the GA legislature is a complete mess, and that this is shameful.  At the same time, Delta spends roughly 60-70% of its political funds on these crazy Republican candidates  So, they should expect to get bitten by the monster they created.  These are the kinds of things Delta (and the rest of us) should expect to see until the likes of Delta start supporting more rational people.  That may mean going Democrat until the Republicans get it that they need to eject the Christian extremists.Report

  19. Susan Mumpower-Spriggs April 14, 2015 8:10 am

    I applaud Richard Anderson/Delta for its inclusionary practices and public statements. While I advocate for an end to corporate tax loopholes, rebates, and “tax expenditures” that cost citizens billions of dollars in lost revenues, the ideological imposition of taxes as a punishment for an opposing view is abuse of government. Let’s hope Georgians start electing responsible representatives who put the public good before ideological positions and the money in their pockets.Report

  20. Vinayak Gaikwad April 14, 2015 9:41 am

    Jinny ShinReport

  21. Sdarter April 14, 2015 10:17 am

    And what about stopping the internationally recognized and respected LEEDS certification for State owned buildings to please a few tree farmers who refuse to adopt modern sustainable tree farming.. Its a black eye to Ga Tech’s efforts to be an international center for architecture and modern development. Meanwhile Charlotte is circling Atlanta like hungry shark trying to replace it as the south’s center. Its biggest ally is the small minded thinking at the Georgia legislature. I wonder if Porsche and Mercedes know what they are getting into.Report

  22. mnst April 14, 2015 10:19 am

    Sdarter In many ways, the biggest threat to Georgia’s economy is the average Georgia voter. We can only hope that continuing demographic shifts will result in a more even mix of crazy to not-crazy in our state legislature.Report

  23. mnst April 14, 2015 10:22 am

    @djfeldma This is an important point. This is yet another sign that the Republican party, historically the party of big business, has been completely co-opted by a far-right faction of social conservatives. It is vitally important the Georgians stop voting for candidates based on God, gays, and guns and instead consider who has the state’s interests, and not lobbyist’s, at heart.Report

  24. ChuckGamble1968 April 14, 2015 11:21 am

    It would be great to vote reps like Earl Ehrhart out of office.  The problem is that there are no other candidates with common sense that are interested in running for office.  Politics these days, especially state legislatures like Georgia’s, seem to only be attracting the fringe candidates who only care about passing ridiculous social agendas instead of doing what’s best overall for the state’s population.
    I don’t live in Powder Springs, so I can’t run there.  But, I can’t imagine that there is someone there who is interested in running against these kind of nut jobs.Report

  25. Jef_Fincher April 14, 2015 11:25 am

    In the end Delta did not get penalized by a tax increase on fuel. That is the bottom line. That is what politics is all about. However, for Sporta to suggest an effort to challenge to defeat Rep Ehrhart is tantamount to saying we must challenge Mayor Reed for his firing of Kelvin Cochran the Atlanta fire chief. Guess it is just a matter of perspective. You can’t have it both ways. Anderson does not speak for his 33,000 Delta employees. Georgians need to wake up before the Georgia Legislature grows taxes faster than GDP. There is a trend in Georgia of increasing cronyism under the guise of capitalism and free markets. The Chamber and the business community in Georgia pay roughly 5% of all taxes collected. Guess who pays the other 95%.Report

  26. Joe Frank Harris April 14, 2015 1:13 pm

    mnst, not a very rational thinker are you?  You and Maria sound down right Tea Party on this.  How dare Delta Airlines be required to pay jet fuel tax the help make improvements at airports, right?   But I bet mnst you and Maria were 100% OK with these big bad Republicans increasing the gas tax for everyday drivers because that’s the “right thing to do”.  

    Well, then again, while Maria was for it she was also against it because per Maria its not OK for electric vehicle drivers to have to pay a tax for the use of public roads to make up for the fact these electric drivers don’t pay fuel tax like the rest of us for the use of the roads.  

    So let me get this straight.  We need to increase transportation funding for the good of Georgia and Atlanta except Delta, the largest transportation company in the state, should be exempt from any fuel tax well, because first they are Delta and second because the jet fuel tax would have to go to airport improvements.

    Like so many things in life the “Atlanta” Chamber of
    Commerce, Delta and Saporta are all hypocrites.   Anderson and Delta have
    also done everything they can to stifle competition in Atlanta.  They even
    squashed an inconsequential expansion at the Paulding County airport all to
    make sure they can charge Georgians higher airfares.  Don’t be confused by
    Delta’s whining.  They are all about the money and the more profit they
    can squeeze out of Georgia the better and the bigger bonuses Anderson can get- great.  Saporta is probably OK with all this excess cost on the backs of Atlantans as long as Delta throws around some charitable contributions to favorite charities (all in-town of course) and causes.  Delta already has over 80% market share at the world’s busiest airport and this monopoly is reflected in the skyrocketing air fares we are paying.  How much more of the pie does Delta want?

    The old argument it seems if it’s good for me er,
    Delta/Anderson then it must be good for you er, Atlanta/Georgia.  The CEO
    of General Motors made a similar argument to Congress decades ago- he said if
    it was good for GM then it must be good for America.  Saporta and Anderson
    feel the same way.  I don’t agree.  Delta has to be a good corporate
    citizen.  While Delta is earning billions from above market airfares due
    to their dominance of the Georgia air transportation market its not too much
    for us to ask for them to pay a fuel tax just like I do when I gas up my car
    or just like they pay when a Delta jet fuels up at numerous other airports
    around the country or just like UPS pays when they fuel up those brown trucks.  In fact, Delta and Saporta’s no fuel tax argument
    sounds down right Tea Party.  But Anderson and Saporta were all OK with
    increasing the gas tax for all Georgians, right?  
    Most major cities- Houston, Dallas, South Florida, New York, San Francisco, LA,
    Chicago, etc. etc. have two or more airports which serve to keep airfares low.
     Eventually Delta’s self serving attitude will damage Atlanta’s
    competitiveness. The amount of dirty tricks Delta has used to insert themselves into a relatively small local decision with the Paulding County airport shows how selfish and self serving they are.  We are already near the top of the list at the rate of
    airline ticket cost growth over the last few years.  Having the world’s busiest airport is not going to do a lot for local growth when coupled with North America’s highest airfares.  Detroit was once in a
    similar situation with the automakers and unions.  
    so-called “Atlanta” Chamber of Commerce only represents the old
    school blue blood companies like Delta and the city area of metro Atlanta
    (about 8% of the population).  The Chamber and by extension Anderson,
    Delta, and Maria Saporta were indirectly complicit in the whole APS cheating
    scandal and I am sure to this day they wish Gov. Deal had not gotten involved
    to get to the bottom of the mess.  
    should come as no surprise that Delta and the Atlanta Chamber have created
    enemies in the state legislature and with voters around the state for their
    self serving and self dealing.  These are the same clowns that wanted the
    overall metro Atlanta area to fund via the transportation sales tax back in
    2012 over $500 million into the City of Atlanta’s Beltline project which, while
    very nice, is by no means a regional transportation system and is basically a
    linear park system with jogging/biking trails.  Of course to the Chamber
    and Saporta and I am sure Anderson as well, this “investment” in the Beltline
    should have passed and would have made all the sense in the world to be funded
    by sales taxes on blue collar folks in Clayton or Douglas Counties.

    Being vindictive or punishing is all in the eye of the beholder.  Richard Anderson has used his position to push for a higher gas tax on all Georgians and in 2012, a higher sales tax on the Atlanta MSA all while wanting his own company to continue to be exempt from fuel taxes.  Anderson pushed for liberal immigration policies that not all Georgians agree with and marriage/religious issues that are still contentious.   Further, in a purely self serving way Delta has pushed anti competitive airport positions and a host of other items that while perhaps good for Delta profits are not necessarily good for all Georgians.  It should therefore not come as a surprise that many folks in Georgia and the legislature don’t want to go along.  

    If anything, Delta, Anderson and the Atlanta Chamber have shown an alarming lack of political savvy.  You have to get along with folks to get something done but instead Delta and Anderson have done numerous things to rile rank and file Georgians.  Maria’s “kiss the ring” attitude with Delta may work inside I-285 due to Delta’s large impact but in a large state with 159 counties and 10 million residents that won’t carry the day especially with this like this that are blatantly self serving.  Finally this general argument that Delta must get what it wants because its Delta is an insult to the thousands of other companies and citizens in Georgia who pay their taxes everyday with no special exemptions.  Delta may have 30,000 employees but they are also earning billions.  Yes they pay a lot of other Georgia taxes but we all do.  I pay income tax and fuel tax.  Its time for Delta to do the same like the rest of Georgia businesses and citizens.Report

  27. eriemilan April 14, 2015 3:26 pm

    Do u even fly?Report

  28. Larry Ceminsky April 14, 2015 6:33 pm

    Was this story an unbiased report presenting facts after discerning constituent thoughts and concerns or an editorial regarding personal insight of expectations?Report

  29. pdelfornia April 14, 2015 7:26 pm

    Let me guess,,, State Rep. Earl Ehrhart is really a DumbroCrat in sheeps clothing. He is had his head jammed up his back side,,, so typical for a Liberal !!!Report

  30. Jinny Shin April 14, 2015 7:54 pm

    Vinayak Didn’t know petty background to the story. Whether it’s true or not~ the extra tax on jet fuel will suck and put Delta in an unfair position in comparison to competitors based elsewhere.Report

  31. mnst April 14, 2015 8:52 pm

    pdelfornia You guys are totally phoning in your outrage these days… every good teabagger knows it’s DEMONCRAT I mean honestlyReport

  32. mnst April 14, 2015 8:54 pm

    @Jef_Fincher For the fifteenth freaking time, Richard Anderson was speaking on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce! Just read the damn article!Report

  33. AngelaEvans April 14, 2015 11:13 pm

    Sdarter Charlotte is losing jobs left and right, not counting jobs that almost were going to Charlotte.  Charlotte is losing out to nearby York County.  In the past 2+ years, Charlotte has lost almost $1.5B in new business.  Charlotte isn’t going to replace Atlanta anytime soon. Read the Charlotte Business Journal.Report

  34. SaportaReport April 14, 2015 11:35 pm

    Larry, this was a column presenting my point of view based on well-researched facts and extensive reporting. Hope that helps. MariaReport

  35. dann patterson April 14, 2015 11:55 pm

    @djfeldma I agree with djfeldma….As a Delta retiree, I am not pleased that Delta corporate expends so much money to elect republicans and Anderson flirts up and kisses the ass of rotten politicians like Mitch McConnell.  Ironic that now the demagogues of the ignorant, venomous Georgia hillbilly legislators turn around and sting the best airline in the world and the economic Rock of Gibraltar for Atlanta and Georgia.  This should be a learning lesson for Delta honchos who send the campaign contributions the GOP.Report

  36. ts_atomic April 15, 2015 9:58 am


  37. RustynAtlanta April 15, 2015 11:43 am

    pdelfornia He’s a Republican from Powder Springs  (http://www.house.ga.gov/representatives/en-US/Member.aspx?Member=97&Session=24) and his actions are so typical for the hypocritical far right.Report

  38. GeorgiaPeach April 16, 2015 8:56 pm

    Maria, thanks for a thoughtful article.  While a whole lot of us feel disrespected by the legislature, few of us have the influence of a Richard Anderson.  I realize it is popular to assume that corporations are only about the money, but that is not always true.  It was Delta who sent an empty plane across the Atlantic to rescue stranded Atlanta musicians and singers during a severe European ice storm–just so they could get home for Christmas.  That was a huge cost to Delta but they did it because it was the right thing to do.  (And no, I do not work for Delta.)Report

  39. Dave Cartwright December 27, 2015 10:28 pm

    I agree with Anderson on the issues. Our legislature is an embarrassment and drives (still very prevalent) perceptions of Georgia up north as really being the inbred morons from Deliverance. That said, I am appalled at the idea that we should kowtow to large private employers on much of anything.Report

  40. Richard Elliott December 28, 2015 9:10 am

    I’m not certain who ties the shoestrings of some of our legislature.  We all need to worry about some of the shenanigans and the elected officials under the Dome.  Lord help us; who voted some of these numb skulls in office?  Additionally, I could care less if Ehrhart is a Republican or a Democrat.  While he spoke his mind, the others (Democrats and Republicans) must have been asleep or not there.  Both parties are at fault.  Hate it for Mr. Anderson, but it looks like “turnabout” to me.  It’s like customer service (or NO customer service)–much like Delta offers its customers–both Democrat and Republican, if it makes a difference.Report

  41. Richard Elliott December 28, 2015 9:12 am

    RustynAtlanta pdelfornia So why didn’t the Democrats speak up???Report

  42. Richard Elliott December 28, 2015 9:20 am

    mnst Perhaps he was there for the Chamber of Commerce, but do you REALLY think the politicians heard it as Chamber music or Delta speaking?  Get real, mnst.  We realize he was there for the Chamber.  Not a problem.  While things are quite tough, Delta has had its share of tax breaks over all those years and we are all grateful for their presence and supporting our economy and creating jobs for us citizens.  Delta didn’t have a problem charging $25 for every bag going on board, did they?  They didn’t need politicians to create that economic windfall.  Extremely probable that they now make more $$$ on “freight” (baggage) than they make transporting.  Delta created more expense to their customers and we can either pay it or stay home.  It makes no difference to them.  They changed the world as we know it.  Travel agents ripped of their commissions with little notice and hundreds of thousands of travel agencies closed.  DELTA COULD HAVE CARED LESS!  Now $25/bag or arrive with what you have on.  They sure didn’t think about lowering the air fares, did they?  It always has to be Delta’s way.  NOT!Report

  43. SpaceyG December 28, 2015 7:30 pm

    Burroughston Broch, well if Mayor Reed is involved in the “ongoing” negotiation I guess Delta will be moving to Cobb County too.Report

  44. SpaceyG December 28, 2015 7:32 pm

    TheFree_Lance, “grandstanding loon.” Love it! Stealing!Report

  45. SpaceyG December 28, 2015 7:41 pm

    Joe Frank Harris mnst, ultimately, we all have to kiss someone’s ring. I’d rather smack on Mr. Anderson’s than that rather hideous “grandstanding loon” Rep. Earl Ehrhart’s, put it that way. 

    Ultimately, Rep. Mike Jacobs did us all the considerable favor of smacking down Grand Loon Ehrhart’s Jesus-fueled vision of legislating our religion. (Ehrhart’s personally-derived concept of religion, of course.) We should kiss Judge Jacobs’ ring, come to think about it, but let me not diverge. 
    Then again, I don’t frequent the friendly skies as much as I used to, so I’m not as angry with Delta as most of their current crop of frequent fliers seem to be.Report

  46. SpaceyG December 28, 2015 8:14 pm

    Maria just noted that this column was written in April. It’s suddenly the hottest thing on (ITP Atlanta) Facebook since someone last got mugged on the Beltline.
    Oh these Internets.Report

  47. No2Decatur December 30, 2015 3:22 pm

    @mnst most Teabaggers can’t read.Report

  48. MilesWRich December 30, 2015 5:46 pm

    Richard Anderson is not right wing enough for that crowd under the Gold Dome.Report

  49. Burroughston Broch December 31, 2015 11:53 pm

    Delta and Richard Anderson were pushing politicians to close the Export-Import Bank. Other more powerful corporations, including GE, were pushing the other direction. The Export-Import Bank was reauthorized this month for another 4 years. Delta and Richard Anderson lost and are being punished.Report

  50. MilesWRich January 1, 2016 8:04 am

    Mr. Broch, what does Earl Ehrhart have to do with Congress? I will tell you, nothing. You must either not read, be very stupid, or be a right wing troll. Ehrhart is a Georgia legislator, not a member of Congress.Report

  51. Burroughston Broch January 1, 2016 10:44 am

    @ MilesWRich
    If you think Delta was not applying pressure to Congress through every conceivable means, including state government, you are more naïve than you appear. Delta pushed legislators and they didn’t like it. And Delta has a history of pushing hard and of being a bit of a bully.
    And now Delta is carrying through with Anderson’s threats of moving employees elsewhere.Report


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