Today, United Airlines announced it has become the first US airline to offer non-binary gender booking options, allowing passengers to input information that corresponds with their passport or identification card.
United’s new booking options will provide passengers with the option to select the title “Mx” during booking and in a customer profile, and will be able to identify themselves as M(male), F(female), U(undisclosed) or X(unspecified).
North of the border, Canadian airline WestJet has informed Daily Hive that they are waiting for the government to proceed with the issuance of code X passports before they proceed with plans to change their check in systems.
In August 2017, the Canadian government announced that although there is no current option to print “X” in the sex field of travel documents, there is an interim measure in place until this is implemented.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides an option for individuals to request “X” on their citizenship and/or immigration, and passport, until the department is able to print on their documents. The interim measure maintains “M” or “F” as the gender, with observation text added to one of the pages in the travel document, reading:
The sex of the bearer should be read as “X,” indicating that it is unspecified.
You can sign up for email updates on when “X” will be able to be printed on travel documents here.
Fly how you identify. Our new non-binary gender options are now available.
— United Airlines (@united) March 22, 2019
“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,” said United’s Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist. “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.”
United’s commitment to being an inclusive space for customers and employees includes working with the Human Rights Campaign and The Trevor Project to roll out these new changes. The airline has been focusing on employee training initiatives, including teaching employees about preferred pronouns and the persistence of gender norms and LGBT competency in the workplace.
United Airline’s changes to the booking process are now currently available.
Daily Hive has reached out to Air Canada, and this story will be updated accordingly.