EasyJet swaps ‘ladies and gentlemen’ for more gender inclusive language

Airline responds to trans passenger’s concerns

Helen Coffey
Tuesday 24 December 2019 10:42 GMT
Airlines are starting to become more gender inclusive
Airlines are starting to become more gender inclusive

EasyJet is reportedly moving away from using gender binary greetings onboard, such as “ladies and gentlemen”, in favour of more inclusive language.

The move followed online complaints from trans lecturer Dr Andi Fugard, who questioned the airline’s choice of language earlier this year, tweeting: “Dear @easyJet, are you in some kind of competition to see how many times you can reinforce gender binaries? ‘Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls’, perfume strictly segregated again by ‘ladies and gentlemen’. Ditch sir/madam too. An organisation as huge as yours must do better.”

At the time, easyJet responded: “At easyJet we do not discriminate against any individual – passengers or staff members. We are a pan-European airline with the aim of connecting people of all nationalities across Europe so there is certainly no room in our organisation for discrimination of any kind.”

Dr Fugard asked what guidance easyJet staff receive on gender with regards to including trans and non-binary people when making announcements. EasyJet replied that “It’s something we’ll take on board and pass to the relevant teams. We have a wide programme of work currently ongoing in diversity and inclusion and it’s an area we are committed to focusing on.”

Since then, the carrier has provided guidance on how to welcome all customers in a friendly and inclusive way, such as using the greeting “welcome everyone”, an easyJet spokesperson told The Independent.

They said: “We want our crew to be welcoming to everyone onboard and so have provided some guidance to them of how to best do that in a way that is inclusive for everyone.”

It follows Air Canada’s decision to ban staff from addressing passengers as “ladies and gentlemen” when making onboard announcements in an effort to be more gender inclusive.

Standard practice has been for passengers to be greeted with “ladies and gentlemen” or “mesdames et messieurs”.

The Canadian national carrier announced in October that it would be updating its official phrasing to address customers with “hello everyone” or “tout le monde”.

“We will be amending our onboard announcements to modernise them and remove specific references to gender,” said a spokesperson.

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