United Airlines becomes the first U.S. carrier to offer gender-neutral options during booking
On March 22, United Airlines became the first U.S. airline to offer gender-neutral options (other than male and female) during the booking process. Passengers now have the option to choose between U (undisclosed) and X (unspecified) – corresponding to what is indicated on their passport or other government-issued identification.
Another option, available during booking of MileagePlus frequent fliers, is the gender-neutral title “Mx” (pronounced ‘mix’) along with the traditional Mr., Mrs., and Ms.
United worked on its implementation process counted with the Human Rights Campaign and The Trevor Project to train employees about travelers’ preferred pronouns, the persistence of gender norms, LGBT competency in the workplace, and other steps to make the company an inclusive space for both customers and employees.
United chief customer officer, Toby Enqvist, said the company 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.”
In February, IATA (International Air Transport Association) has agreed on standardizing such procedures to become effective in June 1.
Sources: breakingtravelnews.com, “United Airlines to offer non-binary gender options during booking.” Mar24, 2019
skift.com, “United Becomes First Airline to Add Gender Identifications for Non-Binary Flyers” by Sean O’Neill. Mar 22, 2019
travelweekly.com, “United allows customers to identify as gender-neutral” by Robert Silk. Mar 22, 2019