Delta Air Lines Refuses Gender ‘X’ Ticket for Non-Binary Child

Alan Wilson from Peterborough, Cambs, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – In a lengthy series of Tweets, Dawn Henry, an Arizona mother to a non-binary adult child, has 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.

Henry explained that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) “requires that the boarding pass reservation match your state-issued ID”, and that the TSA “accepts X as a gender marker on state IDs”.

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.

A Delta spokesperson told NBC News that the airline has “begun the complicated process of updating” its booking system to be more LGBT+ inclusive and will offer a non-binary gender option sometime this year.

The spokesperson said: “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.”

Henry said she is not seeking legal action against Delta.

“I am glad they are finally promising to follow through on a commitment they made four years ago, but a promise is not enough,” she told NBC.

“I will not stop pursuing this until every U.S. Airline with a discriminatory reservation system has made the long-overdue changes,” she added.

About the author

Alessio Olivetti

UK-based journalist, analyst, private pilot.

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