Mr, Mrs, Miss…and now Mx?
United Airlines is now the first carrier to add on some additional pronouns and options for those booking flights. As of Friday, United Airlines customers can now identify as Male (using M), Female (using F), Undisclosed (using U) and Unspecified (using X). The pronouns used should match what is on the current passport or driver’s license.
United says it taken this step for their non-binary customers, those who do not wish to identify as any specific gender. According to the airline’s Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist:
“United is determined to lead the industry in LGBT inclusivity, and we are so proud to be the first US airline to offer these inclusive booking options for our customers.”
The brand detailed their efforts at offering not only additional options for choosing a title or pronoun, but additional and enhanced employee training to ensure that all customers were pleased with the way they were addressed.
“United is excited to share with our customers, whether they identify along the binary of male or female or not, that we are taking the steps to exhibit our care for them while also providing additional employee training to make us even more welcoming for all customers and employees,” the airliner clarified.
Both the Trevor Project (a suicide prevention group for young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning) and the Human Rights Campaign helped guide the airline in the decision-making and implementation process. While no details on the training required were released, the changes and statements suggest the airline is taking a proactive stance and reaching out to the LBGTQ audience.
According to Trevor Project Leader Amit Paley: “The Trevor Project is grateful for United Airlines’ support of our life-saving work on behalf of LGBTQ youth. We are thrilled to bring Trevor’s expertise on the mental health of LGBTQ people to United to ensure its employees maintain safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ employees and guests.”
The Human Rights Campaign also weighed in.
“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 organization said.
These changes come after a trade group meeting that passed new standards that suggest accommodating customers with “non-binary” identification. Two groups, Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association suggested the changes, which also include offering vague options like “undisclosed” and “unspecified” in addition to “male” or “female”.
While this strongly “suggested” standard is to go into effect in June 2019, United Airlines began making the switch early. Other carriers state they plan to follow suit; Delta, American, Southwest and United all intend to comply with this new benchmark before the June deadline.
~ Liberty Planet