United first airline to offer ‘non-binary’ gender booking options

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FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 file photo, United Airlines jets are seen as a plane approaches Newark Liberty International Airport, in Newark, N.J. United Airlines will woo high-fare passengers by retrofitting more than 100 planes to add more premium seats on key routes. United announced the moves Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (AP […]

(WTNH) — Options for United Airlines customers have expanded to become more inclusive for passengers that do not identify as “male” or “female”. On Friday, March 22, 2019, the airline released a statement announcing the trailblazing efforts of including non-binary options throughout their booking channels.

Customers now have the ability of selecting M (male), F (female), U (undisclosed) or X (unspecified) in addition to gender-inclusive title “Mx”. The selection, however, must correlate with proper identification, like a passport, with that information already provided. 

United Airlines has worked together with the Human Rights Campaign and The Trevor Project on employee training initiatives. The company has taught employees about preferred pronouns and gender norms to make the airline a more inclusive space for customers and employees.

“At the Human Rights Campaign, we believe being acknowledged as the gender you identify with is part of treating everyone with dignity and respect,” said Beck Bailey, acting director of the Workplace Equality Program. “By providing non-binary gender selection for ticketing and the gender-inclusive honorific ‘Mx’ in user profiles, United Airlines is taking an important step forward for non-binary inclusion.”

The suggested standard by two airline trade groups, Airlines for America (A4A) and the global International Air Transport Association (IATA) have approved these international best practices for passengers using “non-binary IDs”. American, Alaska, Delta and Southwest Airlines have also confirmed that they will soon be offering the option.

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