US airlines to change ticketing process to allow passengers to choose a non-binary option under gender
The airlines' sites will soon include gender option choices like undisclosed or unspecified. Reports state that there could also be an additional optional title of Mx.
Multiple major airlines in the United States have said that they will soon change their ticketing process to allow passengers to choose the gender they identify themselves with, which will also include the option of identifying themselves as other than male or female, reports state.
The airlines' sites will soon include gender option choices like "undisclosed" or "unspecified." Reports state that there could also be an additional optional title of "Mx." The airlines reportedly said that they are including other options to make themselves be more inclusive while dealing with a diverse population of travelers, according to the Daily Mail.
Soon after the announcement was made, it was welcomed by multiple advocacy groups for transgender people. Human Rights Campaign's Beck Bailey commented on the decision, saying: "It's a significant step forward for non-binary individuals, so they are not faced with a mismatch between their ticketing information and their legal identification." He added that although he did not know of people with non-binary identification being kept off planes but the fear of being stopped because of their gender identification added to their stress.
While the Transportation Security Administration said that passengers must use the name, gender and birth date on their ID cards issued by the government. US airlines like Delta, United, Southwest, American, JetBlue and Alaska on Monday confirmed that they were in the process of updating their booking tools. They also said that they were planning to add a non-binary option on the gender menu on their websites.
American Airlines spokesperson Matt Miller said: "We certainly have a very diverse customer base. This will be well-received, and we're happy to do it." The change in the gender options is said to be incorporated within the next several weeks.
While United Airlines' spokesperson Andrea Hiller said that the airline is set to let passengers select 'M' for male, 'F' for female, 'U' for undisclosed or 'X' for unspecified from the gender menu when booking tickets on its app or website. It will also allow the option of choosing 'Mx' as a title.
The spokesperson also added that the airline wants to ensure that "all of our customers feel comfortable and welcome no matter how they self-identify." A new standard to handle customers with "non-binary" IDs was recently approved by the US and international airline trade groups. The standard takes effect on June 1 and is not mandatory but acts more like guidance.