When United Continental Holdings Inc. chose to put people over profits, they knew it would be a controversial move, but the CEO was unsure what kind of far-reaching impacts his decision would make, if any.
In the month following the massacre in Parkland, Florida, CEO Oscar Munoz ended a long-running National Rifle Association discount offered to members. The stance risked hurting the company’s bottom line by alienating right-to-own gun supporters.
“Sir, it wasn’t political,” Munoz said at the United Continental Holdings Inc.’s annual meeting “It was personal with regard to my family at United.”
After the death of 17 students, including the daughter of a United captain, the tragedy hit too close to home.
“That’s why we made the decision,” Munoz said. “We aren’t here to make political conversation or strike political debate. We’re here to serve customers.”
Fortuantely, in the following months, United decision was praised, and the company hasn't seen an impact.
United was not the only airline to discounts for NRA members—Delta became the center of controversy in Georgia. The state’s lawmakers removed fiscal measure’s tax break on jet fuel for the airline.