Airlines to begin adding new gender option for ‘non-binary’ flyers
Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY. Published 12:46 p.m. ET Feb. 15, 2019
Some U.S. airlines are on track to add a new gender option for “non-binary” passengers.
The effort comes as two big trade groups – Airlines for America (A4A) in the USA and the global International Air Transport Association (IATA) – have recently approved a new international best-practices standard that suggests accommodation for travelers using “non-binary IDs.”
The suggested standard will create an option for “unspecified” or “undisclosed” for passengers booking tickets. That option would be in addition to the options for “male” or “female.”
“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,” A4A said in a statement to USA TODAY.
The suggested standard will become effective June 1. However, it will be up to individual airlines to make the option available to their booking platforms.
It appears that at least two big airlines will do so, though it’s likely others will eventually match the trade groups’ suggestion.
Delta, which is an IATA member but left A4A in 2015, confirmed that it will eventually offer the option.
“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,” the carrier said in a statement.
American also confirmed that it’s working to implement such an option.
Neither carrier offered a timeline for when it might be available.
Some U.S. states, including California, have begun issuing IDs with three gender options. Beginning in 2019, The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, California, reports that applicants for driver’s licenses in that state can now “self-certify gender as male, female or nonbinary.”