Theme park tickets and airline deals go hand-in-hand in the world of easy family vacation getaways, which is why British Airways naturally thought to bundle trips to SeaWorld as part of one of their deals. This partnership is promotional in nature, both parties benefitting from the sale of tickets. The end game here is profit, but when the integrity of this profit is called into question by over 90,000 consumers, would you not want a change to be made?
Well, in the case of British Airways, the response to the call of over 90,000 signers of this Change.org petition, backed by Whale and Dolphin Conservation, did not seem dire enough to spur any sort of change in the mind of BA representatives.
After receiving the results of the petition, BA released a statement breaking the news that the airline would not stop selling trips to SeaWorld, stating that it is up to the consumer to decide whether or not they wish to visit such attractions, “we offer services intended to make the booking of holiday experiences more convenient for members of the public who wish to visit SeaWorld attractions.”
While this is true, there is also a knowledge gap for some who do not know all of the horrific activities they are supporting by traveling to SeaWorld. When someone sees a deal to attend an amusement park, that appears “convenient” for them, it makes their decision to patronize an establishment (and airline) seem simple without any strings attached.
The BA rep then quickly waved off any allegations that SeaWorld may be abusing their animals stating, “We feel sure you will be aware that regulation of animal welfare at SeaWorld is a matter for the relevant federal and state authorities in the US.”
And then in another plea of ignorance, the representative continues, “We have no reason not to have confidence in the expertise of these authorities in what is a highly specialised field far removed from the world of aviation.”
To say that aviation is far removed from this issue is a blatant lie. When you are the mode of transport for animals that are being shipped cross country to be kept in captivity, there is a moral element there. When you are consciously making it easier for people to attend shows that represent inhuman treatment of any living creature, there are also ethical implications. The airline makes a profit off of their deals to SeaWorld, that is a very vested interest in the matter. That alone should be enough to illustrate their relationship with SeaWorld is more than just shuttling masses.
Image source: RHL Images/Wikimedia Commons