Major US carriers are making a serious change in passenger documentation, offering nonbinary gender options during the booking process for passengers who do not identify as male or female. Until now, passengers have always had to select either “male” or “female” when booking a flight, which posed complications for many who do not identify as either.
Airlines for America (A4A), a trade association representing the country’s largest airlines (Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest and United, among others) told The Daily Beast that it “recently approved a new international standard that will allow for ‘unspecified’ and ‘undisclosed’ as options in addition to ‘male’ or ‘female’.”
In the coming weeks, customers will be able to select the gender with which they most closely identify during the booking process. https://t.co/NSoaZS6krb
— United Airlines (@united) 15 février 2019
Members of Airlines for America (A4A) have already committed to updating their booking system. The new regulations are projected to take effect on June 1, 2019. According to AFP, Delta, a US carrier who’s not a member of A4A, also plans to introduce nonbinary gender options.
It’s still unclear exactly what these new booking forms will look like, but it’s likely to allow passengers to mark “U” for their gender — for “undisclosed” — or the gender-neutral “Mx” instead of just “M” or “F.”