Mum slams ‘discriminatory’ airline as she could not buy ticket for non-binary child

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Mum Dawn Henry was trying to book a flight for her adult non-binary daughter when she discovered a problem. While her daughter is registered as X on her state-issued ID, Delta Airlines only allowed two genders: male or female.

Under the Twitter handle Aurora Dawn, the mum published a long thread of explanation and took multiple shots at the “discriminatory” policies of some airlines.

She claimed: “Delta is discriminating against non-binary individuals and not allowing them to fly despite legal ID issued by states that allow X on birth certificates and state-issued IDs.

“This thread is the ongoing saga of me trying to purchase a ticket for my non-binary adult child.”

She then provided some context and said: “TSA requires that the boarding pass reservation match your state issued ID. TSA accepts X as a gender marker on state IDs. The problem isn’t with TSA. The problem is airlines, like Delta and Alaska Air.”

She continued: “TSA told to call the airline to get them to add the correct X gender marker by hand when booking. I figured this was a common step b/c the majority of states allow non-binary gender designations on state IDs. US Passports will allow X in 2022.

“Today I called Delta to make the reservation. The rep who answered my call was really trying to help, but she was unable to change the gender designation to X. I explained what TSA had told me about the non-binary designation. I was put on hold.

“The Delta rep was determined to help, but after over 30 minutes on hold, she told me “they” said it doesn’t matter what the ID says, use what’s on the birth certificate. I explained that the Birth Certificate also says X. I was put on hold again.

“After some time on hold, 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.

“The Delta supervisor got short with me and said, sorry, that’s the policy.”

The mum’s problem was she needed a ticket that matched with her daughter’s ID, which said X.

She explained: “I pointed out it has that effect if TSA requires matching documents and there’s no way to buy a ticket with a gender that matches the state-issued non-binary gender on the ID.“

Calling out the “discriminatory policy”, the mum said she got upset and “hung up”.

“So I still have no airline ticket for my non-binary adult child.”

Aurora then took on Delta and said the airline did not “allow” non-binary people to fly.

She continued: “But as it stands, at least with Delta, non-binary people are not allowed to fly. The supervisor said that’s not true. But when a policy makes it impossible to buy a ticket that will comport with TSA guidelines, the result is the same. And that’s discrimination.”

Non-binary people do not identify with either female or male genders exclusively.

A Delta 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. 

“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.” 

Several major US airlines, including Delta, announced they would offer a non-binary option for their booking process three years ago.

Only American and United Airlines did so.



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