Air Canada Banning Flight Attendants From Referring to Gender of Passengers

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I don’t identify as a “one” or “body”

    “Greetings manySoul” sounds better! Respect my greetings!

  2. I will no longer refer to Air Canada as an airline. From henceforth I shall refer to them as Social Terrorists.

  3. Or, AC could take the best of Canada and the USA and address one and all on the PA as, “Eh Youse.”

  4. Or, to avoid getting sued under the Official Languages Act yet again, simply use the Montrealais “Bonjour hi!”

  5. 0.3% of the population of the US identifies as Transgender. The UK tentatively estimates about 0.3% to 0.7% of their population identifies as Transgender. The disproportionate amount of time and treasure dedicated to servicing the needs of a minuscule proportion of society is frankly absurd.

  6. Of course the change makes sense: gender is not germane to the experience of flying; the seats, food, drink, bathrooms are the same. Why insist on using archaic terms in the greeting? I don’t think I’ve used “ ladies and gentlemen “ in welcoming situations for at least 20 years….”everyone” works fine and is more appropriate and inclusive.

  7. The bias in this article really discredits your overall blog. Regardless of where a person stands on this issue, this is a travel blog and I’m not coming here to read your personal commentary on situations like this. One Mile At A Time reported the article under the headline, “Air Canada Will No Longer Refer To Passengers As “Ladies & Gentlemen” whereas you flogged it as “Air Canada Banning Flight Attendants From Referring to Gender of Passengers” as if somebody’s rights are being taken away.
    Please stick to what you do best: travel.

  8. Welcome aboard Air Canada. We ask that you remain seated during takeoff. Air Canada would like to thank you for flying with us. Airlines ask its passengers to follow all safely guidelines to ensure every passenger has a comfortable flight. Saying thank you as the greeting between all is best.

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