Published on : Monday, February 18, 2019
When booking their flights, air travelers in the United States will soon have new gender options. The non-binary option will accommodate individuals who do not fit neatly into the male or female category. The major airlines in the U.S. who plan to have these options are Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, and United. Other airlines may follow suit.
The shift toward more inclusive gender options comes after two major trade organizations, Airlines for America (A4A) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), adopted more inclusive international standards for all fliers. From June 1, A4A and IATA will allow member airlines to offer two additional options: ‘unidentified’ or ‘unspecified.’ These will be in addition to the ‘female’ and ‘male’ gender options.
The change should also streamline security procedures that have long caused distress to non-binary people, including transgender travelers. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has policies in place for security screening accommodations for transgender fliers.
Airlines would work toward updated guidelines that respect all fliers, regardless of gender or gender presentation, while also adhering to domestic and international laws about passenger identification.
United Airlines will offer ‘Mx.’ as an option along with ‘Mr.’ and ‘Ms.’