The American Airlines Reservation System Now Lets You Pick Your Gender From Four Options

Last year a new airline standard was rolled out no longer requiring passengers to declare a gender to fly. Several states provide an ‘X’ option (unspecified) on their IDs for gender, for instance. A ‘U’ option for undisclosed is also available.

American Airlines added this to AAdvantage in December but only just rolled this out for Secure Flight – the airline notified agents on Friday that this is now available in Qik.

When this became available last year for AAdvantage, and with other airlines rolling this out to reservations, I’d just assumed American was already doing this for secure flight. It surprised me to see they only just rolled it out.

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. Those last two are a bit confusing. They should just combine them to “in therapy – TBD.”

  2. @ Brian

    One would have thought they could just look in the mirror before a shower.

    But what happens if my passport doesn’t match?

  3. With the two new options and little recourse to verify at security checkpoints why is this still a required piece of information?

  4. @Robert The only reason I can possibly think of is for gender specific amenity kits. That being said, AA doesn’t have gender specific amenity kits, so there is no reason.

  5. @Robert Actually, gender could be used on an AA codeshare with Qatar Airlines to make sure the passenger gets the correct gender-specific amenity kit. And if you are marked as non-binary, all bets are off on how the Qatar Airlines crew will react to it.

  6. If gender has evolved from an fixed indication of biological sex (objective) to an adaptable, fluid feeling of personal identity (subjective) then it serves zero function for security or otherwise in regards to airline travel. Either keep the category of biological sex or eliminate the category all-together. Adding these additional options makes it as useful as asking a passenger’s favorite flavor of ice cream.

  7. @ Doug

    But even biological sex can be wrongly assigned when the baby is born.

    Tha’s more complex than that.

    And hopefully that’s good it is a complex topic.

  8. @Bob we are talking about extreme outliers and those people should adapt to us not the other way around

  9. @Jason and Brian – always a smart plan to be on the wrong side of history! SMH. Sad about those Confederate statues coming down too I’m assuming?

  10. @UA-NYC – lol. Where does it end? Nobody was saying everything done since the inception of our country was great through today’s lens. Obviously, times change. Do we beat up Obama (and rip down his road name signs) because he was against gay marriage when he ran for President in 2008? Or when he was also against gay marriage when he ran for re-election in 2012? Come on now!

  11. @UA-NYC — At the current rate, there will be no history. We’ll just have some statues of IG or tik tok stars until some journalist digs through their old social media and gets them canceled, too!

  12. @Brian – times change, people change – it’s the sign of evolving as a person (contrary to say Agent Orange and the broader Republican Party). Give it a shot. It’s people with attitudes like you who said that legalizing gay marriage was a “slippery slope” that would lead to polygamy and bestiality. Didn’t quite end up that way…

    Know where you can learn about Confederate generals all day long if you’d like? Textbooks and the internet. Doesn’t mean they deserved to be lionized with statues.

  13. Biological sex should be the determinant when distinguishing for identity and security purposes. Some are born where feelings of gender is mismatched from the physical sex. These people can get gender confirmation surgery and or plastic surgery. They can have their “sex” changed on identity documents. For the ones who are intersex or gender fluid and don’t live as male or female, having gender x is ok. As a conservative I have no problems with companies and the government having an option for people who suffer from gender mismatch. As long as people won’t be fired for using the “wrong” pronoun and won’t be forced to “celebrate” genetic abnormalities, it is fine. One more option that 2% of the population can use. If it gets abused by people who clearly are male or female, then that could cause security concerns.

  14. Wow. I think it’s time for me to leave View From the Wing. There’s just so much anger and ugliness in the comments. I need to find a happier, more positive travel site. Suggestions? Yes, I’m serious…

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