A Delta Air Lines customer flying from Pensacola, Fla. to Albany, N.Y. says he was shocked earlier this month to find that the confirmation code on his boarding pass read as an anti-gay slur: "H8GAYS."
Jeff White, a student at the University of West Florida, told the Washington Post that he was initially shocked when he first read the confirmation code.
“At first I didn’t think I read it right,” he said, according to The Telegraph. “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.”
Following the incident, Delta Air Lines went on to apologize for any “concern or misunderstanding," explaining that the codes are computer generated, TIME is reporting.
White, however, stated that he was surprised Delta officials had not blocked the offending combination of letters and numbers from the company's system. “I’m sure they removed many four-letter words that would be seen as offensive,” he stated. ”I’m surprised that ‘gays’ and ‘H8’ weren’t blocked as well.”
Earlier this year, another airline, Jetstar, came under fire after a customer had his checked bag returned to him with the words "I Am Gay" written in large block letters formed by luggage tags.