Major airlines in America will soon offer passengers more options who don’t identify as “male” or “female” when booking tickets to travel. The announcement came after an industry trade group, Airlines for America (A4A), and International Air Transport Association members recently approved a new standard to account for non-binary IDs.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began requiring passengers to enter their gender and date of birth when booking flights in 2009. This requirement was a direct result of 9/11 when TSA created the Secure Flight vetting program, which is a behind the scenes watch list matching process that happens before passengers arrive at the airport.
“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,” Airline for America spokesperson Vaughn Jennings said.
What pro-LGBT organizations are saying
Major airlines are making the additions to be more inclusive for diverse passengers and the news is being praised by advocacy groups.
“NCTE applauds the A4A for adding gender options that are reflective of the diversity of their passengers,” Arli Christian spokesperson for The National Center for Transgender Equality said in a statement.
“Non-binary people face unnecessary, invasive, and discriminatory scrutiny by airlines, airports, and security services alike. A4A’s work is in line with other states who offer gender-neutral designations on IDs and is an important step toward ensuring safe and smooth travel for all passengers regardless of their gender.”
These new options for travels will begin on June 1, however, according to International Air Transport Association spokesperson Perry Flint that the decision of when or if to apply the new standard up to individual airlines.
Delta Airlines is not part of A4A, but they are also working on adding non-binary options for their customers.
“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 said in a statement.
Source – abcnews.go.com, edition.cnn.com, travel.earth, kq2.com