Many airlines are making efforts to be more inclusive. For example, earlier this year we saw airlines for the first time add a non-binary gender option when booking travel, including the option to select “X” as your gender (rather than “M” or “F”).
Air Canada is largely a progressive airline, and La Presse reports on an internal memo that has been sent to employees. Currently Air Canada’s flight attendants, gate agents, and pilots, refer to passengers as “ladies and gentlemen” when making announcements, but they’ll soon be updating their phrasing to be more gender neutral.
Instead Air Canada employees will be told to start their announcements with “hello everyone” or “good morning everyone.” The timeline for this policy change hasn’t yet been revealed, but apparently it’s imminent.
As it’s explained, “we want to ensure an inclusive space for everyone, including those who identify with gender X.” Per the memo:
“The change will be reflected in the transmission of the Onboard Announcement Manual as part of our commitment to respect gender identity, diversity and inclusion. We will tell you when this transmission will be available and when to implement this change.”
I’m supportive of this change, and this seems logical enough. It will mean a lot to some people, and this change shouldn’t negatively impact anyone. If nothing else, I appreciate it because it just eliminates some unnecessary words from inflight announcements. “Hello everyone” is faster than “ladies and gentlemen” (or Turkish Airlines, where every announcement starts with “ladies and gentlemen and dear children,” cute as that might be).
I’ll be curious to see if other airlines follow Air Canada’s lead on this.
(Tip of the hat to Paddle Your Own Kanoo)