Airline passengers will soon have gender options other than 'male' and 'female'

Airline passengers will soon have gender options other than 'male' and 'female'

Airline passengers will soon have gender options other than 'male' and 'female'

Five of America's largest airlines plan to offer passengers the option to identify as a gender other than male or female.

"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", United Airlines released in a statement.

The airlines say they are making the change to be more inclusive in dealing with a diverse population of travelers.

Beginning in the next few weeks, new gender options - undisclosed or unspecified - will appear on some airline booking pages.

The move was praised by advocacy groups for transgender people.

Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest and United are all members of the industry body.

With regards to the update, American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller commented, "We certainly have a very diverse customer base". These will include M for male, F for female, U for undisclosed, and X for unspecified.

Airlines for America, an airline trade group, announced recently that some airlines are taking steps to make travel more seamless for nonbinary and gender-nonconforming passengers. The effectivity date was set to June but it will be up to the airlines on when they are planning to change or upgrade their systems.

Finally, Beck Bailey, deputy director of the Human Rights Campaign's Workplace Equality Program said that the airlines' action is a welcome change and called the non-binary gender decision as "a necessary shift". The "Mx." option for title will reportedly be available as a choice through United's website and app as well.

In 2017, OR became the first state to allow a third gender option on ID documents; in addition to "male" OR "female", residents also have the option of "X" for a nonspecified gender. California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Arkansas and Washington, D.C., also allow a nonbinary choice on licenses. They advised transgender people to begin carrying a second form of identification like a passport.

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