Starting in June US Airlines Will Offer New Gender Options When Booking Tickets

US airline trade group Airlines 4 American confirms that it has “approved a new international standard that will allow for ‘unspecified’ and ‘undisclosed’ in addition to ‘male’ or ‘female.’”

Effective June 1, 2019 this accommodates passengers who have an ‘X’ on their IDs for gender. This is currently an option for state IDs from Arkansas, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington, D.C.

Delta is not a part of the major airline lobby shop, they stopped paying dues when want they wanted from the government diverged from that of some of their peers. However they also confirm that they’re “planning to offer a non-binary gender option during the booking process.”

I don’t expect this all to be ready across the board on June 1 since carriers have to separately update their booking platforms.

This strikes me as a matter of respect rather than functionality (it’s awkward to force people into a box that their state government doesn’t require). I’m unaware of any reported issues with TSA declining to permit passengers whose IDs show a gender that differs from what’s in the secure flight data of their reservation from passing through a security checkpoint. Apparently the data field just requires a single chacter but cannot be left blank.

Update: United says they’re mere weeks away from rolling this out, and offers additional details:

As part of our commitment to inclusion, we want to ensure all of our customers feel comfortable and welcome no matter how they self-identify, which is why we will begin offering our customers the ability to select the gender with which they most closely identify during the booking process. Beginning in the coming weeks, customers will be able to identify themselves as M(ale), F(emale), U(undisclosed), or X(unspecified), corresponding to what is indicated on their passports or ID. Also, customers who do not identify with a gender will have the option of selecting “Mx.” as a title. We are excited to share this next step as we continue to break down barriers to promote inclusion.

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. […] Canada’s immigration agency says its documents aren’t actually limited just to the Roman alphabet because they also support “some French accents” along with apostrophes, hyphens, and periods. They just do not support numbers. And they blame it on the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization. By the way airline systems didn’t used to support genders other than male or female but those systems were updated. […]


  1. inb4 uptight old geezers start talking about how this represents the downfall of society or some stupid bullshit

  2. DNA doesn’t lie. Except in extremely rare circumstances you have either two X chromosomes (female) or an X and a Y chromosome (male). What is next? Can we identify as an animal if we choose? Or a certain ethnicity? Or perhaps we can choose the year we would like to identify our birth as. If someone wants to live in an alternate reality that is their preogative however basic information which could potentially have security implications should not be allowed to be manipulated to perpetuate a false designation that does not exist in nature.

  3. I’m a 50 y/o identifying as a 6 month old. Oh, and now I get to pre-board before you 1Ks.

  4. Why why why. I’m not an old geezer and find this stuff ridiculous and out of control. Rome fell for a reason.

  5. Thank goodness!

    I have suffered horribly from this over the many years I have been on this earth.


    Sarcasm emphasized.

  6. Yep, I’m going to start identifying as an elderly person, even though I’m 25, so that I can start using a wheelchair and get early boarding before all the gender dysphoric people.

  7. A number of European countries have X as an entry for the sex field on passports, as do a variety of Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries in Asia. And those passports have been used for travel to/from/within the US.

  8. The “downfall” of society comes more from those individuals chastising Elizabeth for writing the truth. Of course, when you don’t have a valid argument, your only option is to demonize.

  9. @ Elizabeth: SHHHHHHHHH! There’s no room for years of science in this safe space.

    I too would now like to identify as something else, namely an infant under 2 in order to fly free domestically! Any takers?

  10. @thejetsfan… not only does your handle imply bad judgment, your post removes all doubt.

    Left wing nutjobs have no boundaries.

  11. Sometimes when I wake up I feel like I’m 80 years old. As such, I demand my rights the be entitled to social security and Medicare and that I be able to change my birth certificate, passport, and drivers license to reflect that. Moreover if you dare say I am actually in my 40s, then that is elder abuse, age discrimination, and hate speech.

  12. I’m an old geezer white male hetero, but it never ceases to amaze me how it’s not enough for some people to have their rights, they’re only happy when denying others the same rights.

    And these over-entitled, hypocrite people demand respect for (pretending to) live by a 2,000 year old fiction book.

    Right wing hypocrites have no boundaries.

  13. Thankful that the majority of commenters here have got things right.

    People can identify as whatever they want, that’s their choice. It’s also up to their friends and family how much they agree and want to encourage their identification.

    But to put pressure and enact legislation to force people to comply with what is not reality and what is not backed by biological science is both absurd and setting dangerous precedence.

  14. @Gary

    I don’t think it’s about respect. I’m an American born person of Taiwanese descent. But if I identify as a recent immigrant from Cuba, that should not be recognized by the government or other institutions.

    I understand why you had to be circumspect in your article becuase the LGTB movement is extremely powerful and influential, contrary to the image they like to protray as being full of marginalized and oppressed people. They will demonize anyone they think is not on their side.

  15. It is disappointing to read so many people in the prior comments try to reduce gender identity down to a negligible topic. Just because you have not experienced difficulty on this does not mean nobody else does. We must not assume the challenge is not real.

    Many of you have said this is like changing your age to qualify for additional fare or boarding benefits. I’m telling you, the people championing the gender identity issues are not doing this to gain a superior edge. They are just trying to be at your level.

    For you to assume something is unnatural just because it is a departure from how you lived your life is shortsighted. I think we can do much better than that. As an improving society, I think we should challenge traditional ways to become better.

    Thanks for reading.

  16. @Elizabeth S: Well said. And people with intersex conditions are still either male or female – not some weird third sex. In fact intersex people have repeatedly asked the trans activists to stop appropriating intersex conditions to support their agenda. So we’re back to, again, just two sexes.

    Age and race are just as fixed as sex, so by the same logic applied by trans activists, one should be able to identify into a different race or age.

    Those who suffer from gender dysphoria need real support for their mental health and underlying conditions. It is neither respectful nor ultimately supportive to encourage a person’s mental delusions.

    @Ben: Well said. In the UK in particular, people who do not adhere to trans activists’ agenda have been subject to threats of, and actual, violence by trans activists. The targets include feminist organisations, lesbian and gay groups, etc. The UK Women’s Party has been forced to cancel meetings due to bomb threats by trans activists. Trans activists were responsible for The Green Party allowing a convicted child molester to gain influence in the party and to be part of an advisory panel on family and children’s issues. Women in UK college lesbian groups have been kicked out for refusing to agree with the position that it’s transphobic for a lesbian to decline to have sex with a fully intact male-to-female transsexual (i.e., a male with a penis and testicles). LGBT groups have been co-opted by trans activists to the extent that lesbians and gays are also finding themselves pushed out if they don’t agree with the trans agenda. These are but small samples of the degree to which trans activists are willing to go in order to further their agenda.

  17. @Sean:

    Gender Identify is a self-created drama. Male Female are the only two options. if somebody else elects to not fit into those categories, that is their right. Demanding that the rest of the world agrees and adjusts to it is completely insane.
    What if I identify as a cat (because why not, right?) and then my wife books me as her support animal? I get to fly for $125 anywhere.
    I hope you see how incredibly insane it is to challenge the very basics of life and society.

  18. @ken adams and many others missing a crucial point.

    By identifying themselves as a third gender they are not gaining any benefits over you (or others you consider worthy or entitlements).

    Therefore, comparing this to identifying yourself as a cat, as a baby, as an senior is either disingenuous (sell one of your guns to buy a dictionary to learn what this word means) or stupid.

    Not sure which category you all fall in – dishonest rich republicans or uneducated, ignorant, imbecile hillbilly republicans regurgitating fox news crap.

  19. @Matt Clancy You would be well-served to apply a little effort to learn the definition of “straw man” and ad hominem. The analogies offered by the previous commentators are not associated with “gaining benefits”, but rather, to point out the ridiculousness of overriding centuries of scientific evidence with mere declarations.

    Not sure which category you fall in – arrogant, over-educated, common sense lacking leftist or rich, guilt-ridden, virtue signaling SJW regurgitating MSNBC crap.

  20. @Matt Clancy

    You failed to make a valid point, but you are good at attempting to insult.
    If these confused people (are they still people?) are not doing this to gain anything, then why do it?
    A society can only function when there are rules and boundaries. But I guess that is too much to ask for some of you.

    And to show yow how out of touch you are with reality… I don’t need to sell any of my guns to buy a dictionary. I could have googled that word if I had not learned the meaning of that word in elementary school already. See how useless and ineffective ANY of your suggestions are?
    The real question is why do corporations fall for this stuff? Are they THAT afraid of offending 0.003542% of the population?

  21. Hooray for James N and Ken Adams, and others with some sense!

    I am for LGBT rights and for gender reassignment surgery if the individual wants same. But, that still boils down to a binary choice — you are Male or Female.

  22. @Matt Clancy

    You are (perhaps deliberately) obscuring the real issue. The issue is not that a very small percentage of people want to be considered non-binary or gender fluid, which they can if they want. The real issue is why are they putting tremendous pressure on private companies, public institutions, and the government in order to be recognized publically.

  23. Wow, such as group of patriots concerned with accuracy and fiscal responsibility…

    I wish you were equally concerned with trump’s lies and with a ballooning debt that just passed $22 trillion – thanks to the tax cuts to billionaires. Of course this will never be reported on fix news.

    But what am I saying, republicans only rediscover the constitution and embrace fiscal responsibility when democrats are in office.

    One more thing, I hope you all enjoy your tax refund. Given that I don’t believe any of you here is part of the 1 percenters, you likely fall in the second category of republicans I described above, and will be getting less than last year.

    Very smart group.

  24. Seriously internet commenters never fail to not understand basic law and regulations. The airlines are NOT doing this because of some individual’s whims. States have legally allowed people to have an x on their ID. The states enacted these laws because whether you like it or not there are people that are biologically not male or female and for those of you who say there are only male and female that not what biological science proves nor what actual medical professionals support. The airlines need to have documentation that matches the state’s ID. If you don’t have an ID with an X then this doesn’t effect you so why not STFU. And if an airline changing their system to reflect again their LEGAL state ID is going to ruin your world, you need to stop being a snowflake and mind your own business.

  25. I’ve flown on an X passport for years, and every time, it causes confusion and disarray behind the counter. I generally enjoy the process; since I fly business, everyone is very keen to help but usually paralyzed by cryptic error messages on the computer. A growing number of staff and supervisors tend to gather, and make increasing desperate calls to various IT support lines, until I gently prompt them to change the gender marker to something more standard. CBP even has a document on the web that explicitly states that their airline data feed only allows “M” or “F” as gender markers.

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