Delta Airlines Is Very Sorry It Generated a Confirmation Code That Read “H8GAYS”

The airline says it was an honest, computer-generated error.

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That’s the confirmation code a Delta Airlines customer saw on his boarding pass earlier this month. Naturally, he was pretty shocked.

“At first I didn’t think I read it right,” Jeff White, a student at the University of West Florida, tells 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 has apologized for any “concern or misunderstanding” and explained that the codes are always computer-generated completely random. A Delta rep tells the Post that the airline will make every effort to prevent a similar combination of letters and numbers in the future.

So yes, this was probably just an honest, computer-generated error. But as White points out, it’s a bit surprising that Delta didn’t block this particular combination as a possibility. “I’m sure they removed many four-letter words that would be seen as offensive,” he tells the Post. “I’m surprised that ‘gays’ and ‘H8’ weren’t blocked as well.”

If anything, perhaps airlines should begin deliberately generating more positive codes to please their customers. Who wouldn’t enjoy looking down at a boarding pass and seeing URAQT or LUV4CATZ?