Mom slams Delta for not offering nonbinary gender options for booking flights

Mom slams Delta for not offering nonbinary gender options for booking flights
A Delta aircraft.James D. Morgan/Getty Images
  • A mom criticized Delta Air Lines after saying she couldn't buy a ticket for her nonbinary child.
  • Dawn Henry ripped the airline on Twitter for only offering customers the option to select "male" or "female" when booking a flight.

An Arizona mom has publicly slammed Delta Air Lines as discriminatory and says she could not purchase a plane ticket for her nonbinary adult child, thanks to the lack of inclusive gender options in the corporation's booking system.

Dawn Henry criticized Delta in a series of tweets last week for only offering customers the option to select "male" or "female" when booking a flight.

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," Henry tweeted.

Henry said she first discovered "this problem" when she tried to book Delta flight online for her nonbinary child — who has an "X" gender marker on their birth certificate and state-issued driver's license — for Christmas.

The Transportation Security Administration encourages travelers to use the name, gender, and birthdate indicated on a traveler's government-issued ID, and says officers "will ensure the identification and boarding pass are authentic and match."


And when Henry couldn't find the correct option for her child, she said she called Delta and spoke to a supervisor who told her the system only offered male and female options.

"I was upset by this point (not yelling, just super frustrated and in disbelief) and the @Delta supervisor was clearly not going to help in any form (and was shouting over me) so I hung up," Henry said. "So I still have no airline ticket for my #nonbinary adult child."

"But as it stands, at least with @Delta, #nonbinary people are not allowed to fly," Henry added. "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."

In 2019, Delta, along with several other major airlines, announced that they would change their booking systems so that nonbinary passengers could identify themselves other than "male" or "female."

A Delta spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday that the airline is slated to offer a nonbinary gender option in its booking system later this year.


"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," the spokesperson said. "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."

Delta told Insider that the change to allow for a nonbinary booking option "seems so simple," but "unfortunately on the backend in our booking systems it's a more complicated process, unfortunately, and is just taking some time."

"We will have two additional nonbinary options within the booking process this year," Delta said.

Delta also pointed out that TSA does not mandate airlines to provide nonbinary booking options.

"That said, we're obviously still working on it," Delta said. "It's important to us at Delta and we're focused on creating an equitable travel experience across the whole process."


The airline insisted that "it's not that we do not allow nonbinary individuals to fly with us."

"Unfortunately, until these newest options are added later this year, a nonbinary individual, unfortunately, would need to select male or female when they are booking a ticket with us," Delta said, noting there would be "no impact" on them boarding a flight.