LONDON – Following the uproar surrounding a passenger being refused a Gender ‘X’ ticket, Delta has pledged to add a non-binary booking option by the end of 2022.
This commitment follows a three-year promise from the carrier to do so but has been accelerated in the aftermath of this controversy.
In a statement to NBC News, a Delta spokesperson commented the following:
“Delta Air Lines is a proud, long-time supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and we understand that being seen and acknowledged is part of having an equitable travel experience”.
“While we quickly shifted focus due to COVID in early 2020 to helping customers navigate the rapidly changing environment and government regulations, we are back on track to be able to offer a non-binary gender option in our booking systems in 2022.”
This means that Delta would join the likes of American and United in offering this feature to its customers.
In a lengthy series of Tweets, Dawn Henry, an Arizona mother to a non-binary adult child, accused Delta Air Lines of discrimination after she was unable to buy a plane ticket for her child as a Christmas present.
“@Delta is discriminating against #nonbinary individuals and not allowing them to fly despite legal ID issued by states that allow X on birth certificates and state-issued IDs,” the mother said on Twitter.
Following TSA’s directions to call the airlines directly, she called Delta to make the reservation, but a representative told her that “she was unable to change the gender designation to X,” and that the ticket must have male or female gender designations.
After explaining that her child is non-binary and their birth certificate has an “X” gender marker as does their identification, the representative put her on hold.
Then, “a @Delta supervisor in Atlanta came on the line and told me that their system only uses male/female and I can only use one of those. I explained again that my adult child is #nonbinary and #LGBTQ and their ID is X and TSA requires them to match,” she wrote.
“The @Delta supervisor got short with me and said, sorry, that’s the policy,” with the supervisor adding that she believes “that is not discriminatory, it’s just their policy.”
Dawn responds, “Then the policy is discriminatory.” She hung up, unable to get the plane ticket from Delta, and unable to find another airline offering flights on the same route for a similar price that recognizes non-binary identification.
Whilst this move was most likely made in response to this incident, its good that Delta is taking the reigns of initiative and fast-tracking this as quickly as possible.