We’re a long way from back when United Airlines used to offer men-only flights. This year U.S. airlines started offering new gender options to passengers when booking their tickets.
The TSA requires passengers state a gender as part of their ‘secure flight information’. This accommodates passengers who have an ‘X’ on their IDs for gender. United explained to me that they offer “U(undisclosed), or X(unspecified)” genders and “customers who do not identify with a gender ..have the option of selecting “Mx.” as a title.”
Now Air Canada is telling flight attendants to avoid referencing gender altogether. Via Google Translate (from French, natch):
[T]he expression “ladies and gentlemen”, which is included in Air Canada’s flight attendant manuals and has been used for decades in greetings to passengers, will be replaced by a neutral term.
Staff on board aircraft will have to use courtesies such as “hello, everyone” or “good evening, everyone,”
Copyright: ronniechua / 123RF Stock Photo
An announcement sent by e-mail to Air Canada employees on September 19th indicated they’d receive further correspondence when the new rule goes into effect.
No word on how to refer to it when Air Canada places an older woman and younger man – two strangers – together in a single bed hotel room during irregular operations. Apparently the woman felt gender did matter in that case.