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Delta Sorry for ’H8GAYS’ Boarding Pass

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Tuesday Dec 17, 2013

Delta Air Lines apologized for what they called a "completely random" confirmation code that had one passenger's boarding pass reading "H8GAYS."

According to an article in Gay Star News, student Jeff White was traveling from Florida to New York via Atlanta earlier this month when he discovered the inadvertently offensive confirmation code.

"At first I didn't think I read it right," White told The Washington Post. "I was worried that another customer might think I somehow picked that code. If I were a gay male, I might have thought that a Delta worker purposely gave me that code and that would have made me extremely uncomfortable."

Delta apologized for any concern or misunderstanding, saying that the situation was a random computer result.

"These confirmation codes are computer-generated and are completely random," said Delta spokesman Russell Cason. "We will make every effort to ensure that a similar combination does not occur in the future."

White told the Post that he would prefer that Delta's IT department remove such offensive codes from their roster of computer-generated possibilities.

"I'm an IT major, and what surprises me is that they didn't block [his confirmation code] as a possibility of the string of random numbers and letters in the software they use to generate" the code, he says. "I'm sure they removed many four-letter words that would be seen as offensive. I'm surprised that 'gays' and 'H8' weren't blocked as well."

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


  • , 2013-12-17 17:43:28

    I work in IT and back when the Internet was a bit newer and there was the drama around attack domains like, the powers that be in my company convened a meeting to come up with all the "attack" domains we could think of to register them preemptively. After 45 minutes of the most fun meeting in my entire professional career dreaming up vulgar domain names, we ended the meeting with: - about 150 names before they cut us off - a marketing team that thought the IT members were able to come up with vulgarities too easily - a executive team that realized they should probably give up trying to think of all the ways one could be possibly be insulted, and just deal with it.

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