US airlines to introduce non-binary gender options

Travel news

US airlines to introduce non-binary gender options

By
19 February 2019

By | 19 February 2019

Travellers can soon select from choices such as undisclosed, unspecified, or Mx during the ticketing process

Major carriers in the United States will allow passengers to choose from non-binary gender options during their ticketing process.

United, American, Delta, Alaska, Southwest and JetBlue are reportedly in the process of updating their ticketing tools. The change should be complete in a few weeks.

Major US airlines will soon introduce non-binary options during ticketing process — Ceri Breeze / Shutterstock US airlines to introduce non-binary gender options Group Created with Sketch. Major US airlines will soon introduce non-binary options during the ticketing process — Ceri Breeze / Shutterstock

The airlines have announced that they plan to make a change towards being more inclusive in dealing with a diverse range of customers.

According to United Airlines spokesperson Andrea Hiller, the carrier plans to enable the selection of M for male, F for female, U for undisclosed or X for unspecified from the gender menu when booking. They might also have the option of picking Mx as a title. Other airlines are planning to implement a similar classification.

Hiller added that United wants “all of our customers to feel comfortable and welcome no matter how they self-identify”.

The United States, as well as international traders groups, have recently adopted a new standard to handle customers with non-binary IDs. While the standard is not mandatory and serves more as a guidance tool, it will take effect from 1 June.

A new standard to handle customers with “non-binary” IDs will take effect on 1 June — Shutterstock US airlines to introduce non-binary gender options Group Created with Sketch. A new standard to handle customers with non-binary IDs will take effect on 1 June — Shutterstock

According to Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association, the change will let airlines comply with requirements under US and foreign laws that information on the airline ticket must match with what is on the passenger’s ID used for travel.

The new measure to establish non-binary choices for travellers is welcomed by various campaign groups for transgender people.

“It’s a significant step forward for non-binary individuals, so they are not faced with a mismatch between their ticketing information and their legal identification,” said Beck Bailey of the Human Rights Campaign.