“At first I didn’t think I read it right,” Jeff White, a student at the University of West Florida, 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.”
White was the unfortunate recipient of a Delta boarding pass earlier this month with an unusual confirmation code: H8GAYS.
A Delta spokesperson clarified that “these confirmation codes are computer-generated and are completely random. We will make every effort to ensure that a similar combination does not occur in the future,” and apologized for any “concern or misunderstanding” the code may have caused White.
White, who is an IT major, said he’d like assurance that Delta’s IT department prevent others from receiving offensive messages when they check in: “What surprises me is they 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. “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.”
White was flying to from Pensacola to Albany, N.Y. by way of Atlanta. This has no relevance whatsoever.