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New gender-neutral options included in flight booking systems

Gender-neutral options are now to be included in booking systems to cover the non-binary airline passengers.

Airlines across the globe are working to keep up with the time by introducing options that will make every passenger feel included. So, flights are about to be less frustrating for non-binary individuals.

Major US Airlines have reported being in the process of changing their ticketing process. Changes will include choices such as ‘unspecified’ or ‘undisclosed’ under the “gender” selection.

This is a change that’s meant to be more inclusive while dealing with a diverse range of clients.  The decision has received applause from campaign groups among the transgender population.

United Airlines

United Airlines pioneer in gender neutral ticketing

United Airlines became the first American carrier to offer a non-binary option in late March of 2019. That allowed their passengers to select the title ‘MX’.

Thus, United became the pioneer of gender neutral ticketing in the U.S.

As part of the change implementations, United Airlines worked with The Trevor Project and Human Rights Campaign. The focus was to work on employee training initiatives.

The initiatives were also meant to teach the employees how to use the preferred pronouns. Covered was LGBT competency in the workplace. Other steps were also taken to make United Airlines an inclusive space for both the employees and passengers.

United Airlines plans to allow people to select an ‘M’ for Male, an ‘F’ for Female, and an ‘X’ for ‘Unspecified’, or a ‘U’ for Undisclosed. This can be done while booking tickets from both their website and the mobile booking app.

Ms. Hiller, the Airline’s spokesperson, said:

“The move is to make sure that all our customers feel comfortable and welcome no matter how they self-identify’’.

Other U.S. airlines are now following United’s lead

American Airlines implement gender neutral binary booking

Delta, American, Southwest, Alaska, and JetBlue are also following suit. They are reporting that they are in the process of updating their booking systems. Like United, they will include a binary option on the gender menu within the next few weeks.

International airlines trade groups and members of Airline for America recently approved a new, non-mandatory standard to handle customers with non-binary ID’s. The program is set to take effect from June 1st, 2019.

Neutral gender policy at Southwest Airlines

Non-U.S. airlines

Outside the United States, Lufthansa Group which owns the Lufthansa, Swiss, plus Australian airlines, said that implementation was still under consideration.

Air New Zealand reported that it was exploring the non-binary gender options at this time.

The shift comes as seven U.S. states and District of Columbia (D.C.) permit their citizens to identify by non-binary genders. Also, a few countries within the European Union permit self-identification by their preferred gender.

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The benefits of the third-option ID

As of January this year a total of 11 US states, Washington DC included, offered a third option on IDs.

Interestingly, the International International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has allowed an “X” to be used for gender for over two decades since 1996. 

The ICAO is a body that develops global passports standards,

The airline decisions are a great step that will lessen the burden of non-binary individuals. Such individuals will no longer be faced by miss-match between their identification documents and their ticketing information.

The change offers a promising step towards inclusivity and equality. It makes it logistically simpler to book flights for people who don’t identify as male or female.

At least, in theory, the law requires the name that’s on your ticket to match with the one on your ID.

As more and more states allow non-binary options on driver’s licenses and other state-issued identifications, it was just about time before the airlines followed the course.

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