More Travel and Loyalty Brands Shift Political Giving

After Marriott International, American Express and JPMorgan Chase all announced they would make changes to their political contributions, more brands in the travel and loyalty spheres are following the trend. Airbnb, American Airlines, Mastercard and Visa are all reviewing their spending to align with the current political climate.

More brands very familiar to frequent flyers are announcing changes to their political spending, one day after Marriott International, American Express and JPMorgan Chase all announced they would either stop all political donations, or stop supporting those who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election. The New York Times reports more travel and loyalty brands are shying away from politics, including Airbnb and American Airlines.

American Airlines stops all contributions, while Airbnb cuts off Republicans opposing certification

Joining Marriott and American Express in cutting off donations to Republicans objectors are Airbnb and Mastercard. For the short-term home rental company, the move is more ceremonial. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Airbnb historically contributes mostly to Democratic candidates. During the last three election cycles, Mastercard donated primarily to Democrats, but still committed nearly $200,000 in funds to Republicans in 2020.

Courtesy: Center for Responsive Politics/

While Airbnb and Mastercard are taking a definitive stand, others are holding off on all political contributions until the dust settles in Washington. American Airlines, US Bancorp and Visa will each pause on their political spending for varying amounts of time. US Bankcorp issues co-branded cards for Radisson Rewards, LATAM and Korean Air, but does very little political spending: in the 2020 campaign cycle, the bank holding company contributed around $40,000 nearly equally to candidates in both parties. Data shows American Airlines donates primarily to Republican candidates, while Visa has given primarily to Democratic candidates since the 2016 election cycle.

Courtesy: Center for Responsive Politics/

Boeing Stands as One of the Major Donors to Republican Objectors

While each brand is making moves which they feel are more aligned with their corporate values, none of the major travel or loyalty brands were among the biggest donors to the 147 Republicans who openly objected to certifying the 2020 electoral college vote. However, analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics found The Boeing Company was among the top political action committee donors to the group of legislators, spending $567,000 in their campaigns during the 2020 election cycle. Other aviation-related companies on the list include Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin.

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