Airline Bookings to Offer New Gender Options – The Wall Street Journal

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Airline Bookings to Offer New Gender Options - The Wall Street Journal

More gender options are needed in airline ticketing, as passengers are asked to provide personal data that must match their government-issued IDs.

More gender options are needed in airline ticketing, as passengers are asked to provide personal data that must match their government-issued IDs.


Photo:

Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg News

By

Airlines are planning to change their reservation systems to give passengers who don’t identify as male or female another option when booking flights.

Several U.S. carriers said they’re in the process of adding new gender choices, in an effort to be more inclusive and to make it easier for passengers whose documents list a gender other than male or female to supply their personal information.

United Continental Holdings
Inc.


UAL 0.18%

said in coming weeks it will add “U” for “undisclosed” and “X” for “unspecified” to the gender options customers can select when buying tickets. United also will allow passengers to opt out of titles like Mr. or Ms., and to select Mx.

Passengers making an airline reservation are required to provide personal data including gender that match what is shown on government-issued IDs.

The Transportation Security Administration said its Secure Flight screening program will accept M for male, F for female, or “any other gender code character included on a valid Government-issued ID.” The gender field can’t be left blank or listed as unknown.

American Airlines Group
Inc.

is in early stages of adding an additional gender option, and

Delta Air Lines
Inc.

said it too is working to offer a nonbinary gender option during the booking process.

Alaska Air Group
Inc.

said it plans to follow suit.

Southwest Airlines
Co.

and

JetBlue Airways
Corp.

also said they are looking into how to update their systems to make the changes.

Two industry trade groups—Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association—recently adopted a new standard to accommodate people with nonbinary gender identification.

The new standard gives options for unspecified and undisclosed gender, alongside male and female. The move will help airlines comply with U.S. and foreign government requirements that passenger data match the identification travelers bring to the airport.

“U.S. airlines value a culture of diversity and inclusion,”  Airlines for America said in a statement. “We work hard each day to accommodate the needs of all travelers, while delivering a safe, secure and enjoyable flight experience.”

More cities and states are allowing people to select a third gender on official documents. Oregon, Maine, California, Colorado and Washington, D.C. are among places that permit the “X” gender on driver’s licenses.

Write to Alison Sider at alison.sider@wsj.com

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