U.S. airlines to add gender options for non-binary passengers
NEW YORK, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Major U.S. airlines will offer passengers gender options other than "male" or "female" in their ticketing process, U.S. media reported.
U.S. industry trade group Airlines for America (A4A) and International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association of airlines worldwide, have recently approved a new international best-practices standard suggesting accommodation for travelers using "non-binary IDs."
The A4A and the IATA said the change will enable airlines to comply with requirements under U.S. and foreign laws that passenger information must be in line with a person's ID information used for travel.
"U.S. airlines value a culture of diversity and inclusion, both in the workplace and for our passengers, and we work hard each day to accommodate the needs of all travelers, while delivering a safe, secure and enjoyable flight experience," the A4A said in a statement.
The new standard will become effective on June 1, yet it is up to individual airlines to make the option available on their booking platforms, according to the A4A.
The five largest U.S. airlines by passengers carried, namely American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines, have all reportedly said they plan to follow the new standard.
"In the coming weeks, customers will be able to select the gender with which they most closely identify during the booking process," United Airlines, a member of both A4A and IATA, tweeted.
"As part of Delta's ongoing efforts to accommodate the needs of diverse customers throughout our business, we are planning to offer a non-binary gender option during the booking process," Delta Air Lines, a member of IATA but not A4A, said in a statement.
Some U.S. states and cities have offered non-binary gender options on identification cards and birth certificates. For instance, New York City has included a third gender category, namely "X," on birth certificates starting Jan. 1.