I'll readily admit that I wasn't aware of the controversy with Saudi Arabian and SkyTeam until very recently. I was reading the Delta Blog entry about fleet updates when I found a very curious post, which I thought was simply an anti-Semitic jab that they accidentally let slip through, and I took a screen capture thinking they would realise their error and reverse it. Sadly, it was only the beginning of a great deal of controversy.
Matt has done an excellent job of covering the situation. Yes, the Huffington Post article is clearly not well thought out, and Scott McCartney, who most visitors of this blog enjoy reading, has provided a good write up as well, despite the fact that he has been met with commenter vitriol that is embarrassing and reeks of knee-jerk reaction. Here are a few fundamental thoughts:
SkyTeam: perhaps you should better think through who you choose to align with. Whether the money is there or not, and whether an ally in Saudi Arabian Air is morally wrong or not, is probably not worth the hassle of the outrage that we have recently seen. And further, when something like this happens, wouldn't it be great to see which airline voted for which option?
People with Outrage: let's really think through what the country of Saudi Arabia is. A country of scum that values no one except for Muslims who toe the line? A country that would rather approach the world from an eye-for-an-eye perspective than embrace freedom? Probably so. Let's also not forget the truly disgusting, deplorable record on women's human rights. I can post all the scantily clad women in the world on this blog, but it will never make women anything less than equal to men. Reese and Inflight Dish could be posting pictures of naked men for all I care - fair is fair. And Saudi Arabia and "fair" don't belong in the same sentence.
The real issue here, though, is Delta's insistance on continuing to f*&k a chicken, every chance they get. What should Delta have done? Posted a press release and moved on. Stood behind their values and moved on. Delta posted a press release, but then they took it a step further, exposing themselves to the anger and hysteria of bloggers. Once again, Delta has shown terrible judgment in picking their battles.
As we saw with the military baggage situation, Delta insisted on opening themselves up to a beating instead of apologizing and moving on. Now, they have opened themselves to a beating again, blog posting their perspective on Saudi Arabian and opening the forum for comments. This isn't a town hall meeting on Parks and Recreation, but it feels a lot like one.
Most of us know - when we see the kind of comments that are posted to the blog - that these people are really upset, and that Delta is, in spirit, a good company. But who is their right mind would expose themselves to this kind of terrible press? There is a difference between transparency and stupidity. Delta towed the line, and once again, they jumped over and f*&ked the chicken.
Speaking of all things Israel, let's acquaint ourselves with Bar Refaeli. Beat this, Saudi Arabia: