British Airways Announcements Go Gender Neutral

British Airways Announcements Go Gender Neutral

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British Airways will become the latest airline to go gender neutral, according to a report on FlyerTalk.

No more “ladies and gentlemen” with British Airways

British Airways’ announcements are expected to be more gender neutral starting in the coming days. Specifically, onboard announcements will no longer reference “ladies & gentlemen,” as has historically been the case. Rather the airline will switch to something more gender neutral, though the exact greeting that will be used remains to be seen.

It’s not yet known the extent to which the airline will go gender neutral. For example, will gender references be eliminated with airport announcements as well, and in one-on-one interactions, including with the call center, ground agents, and flight attendants?

British Airways is switching to more gender neutral communication

British Airways isn’t the first airline to make this change

In October 2019, Air Canada became the first major airline to change its greetings to be more gender neutral. The airline started using the term “everyone” in place of “ladies & gentlemen.”

Air Canada was the first major airline to adjust its communication

In October 2020, Japan Airlines made a similar change, also adjusting its announcements to be less gender specific. The airline replaced “ladies & gentlemen” with a greeting based on the time of day, like “good evening.”

Then in July 2021, Lufthansa Group progressively introduced similar gender neutral communication. Announcements now start with “dear guests” or “good morning/evening.”

The reality is that if you were flying an airline that changed how passengers are addressed, odds are that you’d never realize the change was made. Meanwhile I know this means a lot to the small percentage of people who are directly impacted by this. If nothing else, personally I welcome anything that makes airplane announcements shorter, since they’re consistently unnecessarily wordy. Eliminating “ladies & gentlemen” with every single announcement accomplishes that.

Lufthansa Group recently switched to more gender neutral communication

Bottom line

British Airways will shortly be changing its inflight announcements, to make them more gender neutral. You can expect that inflight announcements will no longer start with “ladies and gentlemen.” We should find out shortly just how far-reaching these changes are, and how exactly passengers will be addressed.

(Tip of the hat to Paddle Your Own Kanoo)

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  1. Carolyn Partrick

    I can’t afford to fly BA but welcome the news that airlines are abandoning the use of ‘ladies and gentlemen’... the term is old-fashioned and rarely used anyway. It excludes children and those who don’t identify as either of those things. The word ‘lady’ applied to me has always annoyed me... I much prefer to be called a woman.

  2. CeyanTagliente

    The real test for British airways is whether or not they hack off five or six or ten of the mind numbingly long chapters they read of their PA book EVERY time they pick up the microphone.

  3. Jay

    Good excuse to be rude to the people they serve, huh? Ladies and Gentlemen shows respect to the people being addressed. “Everyone” shows complete lack thereof. It is a word that someone of superior rank uses to address his/her subordinates.

  4. Steven E

    How did we arrive at this and who’s driving it - I’m so glad I’m a child of the 60’s who grew up feeling loved without any type of electronic media and where we always felt safe and uninhibited. I’m at a loss to climb onboard this ride

  5. Graham

    Strange. Who do they think they are addressing? All passengers will be ladies, gentlemen, boys or girls.

  6. Stuart

    I'm offended. I'm not sure about what. But I'm offended.

  7. John

    "THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING. Welcome aboard British Airways, homo sapiens sapiens of diverse reproductive and excretory organs, and an especially warm welcome for those who are surgically and emotionally transitioning between those diverse organs."

    Can't wait to hear this announcement on my next BA flight. Oh, that's right. I don't fly BA because it's a super crap airline compared to my usual ride on illustrious SQ. Oops.

  8. SeeSharp

    As long as BA won't let me rebook my wife's airline tickets because my voice sounds male, they are not truly gender neutral.

  9. beerandcheese

    Lucky - Thanks for posting this. The comments so far are not surprising. I know you often stay out of the fray, however BA is not making this change to shorten announcements.

    De-gendering announcements is about inclusivity.

    1. AGrumpyOldMan_GA

      Ladies and gentlemen isn’t inclusive? It’s the only two options in human biology. Seems pretty inclusive to me.

  10. Sam

    I am offended by dear... too close a reference to you horrible meat eaters...
    I am offended by good morning... how dare you tell what to feel about the morning or wish me well... in fact, I am offended my morning... a loved one died in the morning... why bring that up...
    I am offended by Angus... too self-righteous.... he should be banned...
    I am offended by this post.

  11. Arie

    It's called evolution. Accept it or not, its here and it takes less effort and time to get used to it than it took you to get potty trained.

    And if you really think that God created just man and woman then maybe he decided it's time for a refresh after a few thousand years? God has been used in arguement to repress one or another group since the dawn of religion. This is no different.

  12. Guillermo

    This is ridiculous. How about the feelings of the ladies and gentlemen. How about our feelings?
    I guess since we are the majority, it does not count.
    Let’s just respect everyone without insulting anyone.
    If you are born with the men equipment you are a man until you do a sex change and vice-versa.
    If you like to have same sex, sex, fine, who are we to judge, Nobody cares, just...

    This is ridiculous. How about the feelings of the ladies and gentlemen. How about our feelings?
    I guess since we are the majority, it does not count.
    Let’s just respect everyone without insulting anyone.
    If you are born with the men equipment you are a man until you do a sex change and vice-versa.
    If you like to have same sex, sex, fine, who are we to judge, Nobody cares, just be happy and have sex with whomever you want, but please don’t try to change the world. You are a man until you do a sex change and you are a woman until you do a sex change.
    There are more important issues in the world to worry about things that don’t really matter.

    1. AA

      Having a colored section at the back of the bus didn’t offend the majority of society but we realized it alienated people and didn’t need to be done. Saying “ladies and gentlemen” doesn’t offend the majority of people but “good morning travelers” doesn’t offend anyone so why not adopt verbiage that doesn’t offend people while still allowing the majority to have a comfortable existence.

      Sorry for the comparison, I should realize that those of...

      Having a colored section at the back of the bus didn’t offend the majority of society but we realized it alienated people and didn’t need to be done. Saying “ladies and gentlemen” doesn’t offend the majority of people but “good morning travelers” doesn’t offend anyone so why not adopt verbiage that doesn’t offend people while still allowing the majority to have a comfortable existence.

      Sorry for the comparison, I should realize that those of you who argue against progress like this would probably prefer we still segregated buses. How is life on the wrong side of history anyway?

    2. ANGUS

      Is your understanding and comfort of your own gender and sexuality so fragile that you need to called “gentleman” in every service interaction?

  13. henare

    After the discusdsion on LH's change wrt these issues I guess I'm surprised to not see so many "I'll never fly BA again!!!1!" ... clowns who have a problem with this sort of acknowledgment may have figured out that, when they rule out flying on the carriers who understand the diversity of their customers, they'll end up walking to most destinations.

  14. GLCTraveler

    What a F'ing joke.....

  15. Joel

    Lord. Even if you are in transition, "moving around", or confused - ladies and gentlemen still covers you. No hate or bad ju-ju at all if you're changing things or feel different than what you're born as, but ladies and gentleman still covers you no matter where you fall.

  16. Greg (he/him/his)

    If you are somehow disturbed by an airline no longer saying "welcome aboard, ladies and gentlemen," I would proffer that you have some deep set insecurities about yourself that you should work on before criticizing an airline for using language that doesn't change the meaning of the message.

  17. Norman

    This is nothing. I am a reproductive health care physician and humans reproduce by mating of males and females.
    We can no longer use the terms 'men' and 'women' but instead people or individuals. Some people have prostates and some have uteri. Except the ones with uteri identify as males and some with prostates iidentify as females.
    All this is only going to get more confusing.

    1. F U

      If you are a reproductive health physicians you should know some people are born with neither.

    2. Jonathon

      I'm not sure that there even is a particular medical specialty that could be referred to "reproductive health care physician". The knowledge base for something like that would have to include specialized training in genetics, obstetrics, plenty of others.

      In either case, F U (really?) is correct. Any physician with that sort of specialty would be acutely aware that ~.05% of live births have some form of genital or genetic abnormality. In fact, that...

      I'm not sure that there even is a particular medical specialty that could be referred to "reproductive health care physician". The knowledge base for something like that would have to include specialized training in genetics, obstetrics, plenty of others.

      In either case, F U (really?) is correct. Any physician with that sort of specialty would be acutely aware that ~.05% of live births have some form of genital or genetic abnormality. In fact, that would be the only reason for such a specialty to exist. Why would someone go through a special residency and fellowship if there are only two sexes?

  18. James Walters

    Now if only they change the toilets in the lounges to be unisex. Crazy they are labeled men and women when they are single use. Get with the times British Airways.

  19. Christine

    Will my statement email still call me viscountess?

    1. henare

      Asking the important questions ...

  20. ANGUS

    Amazing how insecure some men in the comments are about their own sexuality and perceived gender norms. I can’t imagine living my life feeling so threatened by how someone else wants to identify their sexuality or gender, it sounds tiring. Get some therapy.

  21. jash

    Wow so many people in a tizzy about something that does not affect them.

    Says so much more about you people than the sad words you write from your privileged place.

  22. Ken

    I'm just here to laugh at all the people outraged at a PRIVATE company doing what they want in the name of customer service. Disgusted? Think this impacts your life in any way? Think it is the end of the world? Don't fly them. Stay bitter -- we expect nothing less. But I hope you'll at least communicate your distress to BA directly, instead of whining to a bunch of strangers online.

  23. simon

    The issue with changing to pander to these ultra minorities, is where does it end.

    What do you have to change next with this precedent

    Changing is wrong

    1. Vanessa

      ‘Changing is wrong’…??!?! Really? Was it wrong to abolish slavery? Was it wrong to give women the vote? Was it wrong to abolish child labour?

      Change is what makes humanity rise.

    2. ANGUS

      If you think change is wrong I assume you ride everywhere in a horse and buggy so therefore this change by British Airways will never impact your life.

  24. Jeffrey I Chang

    I hope British Airways embraces gender diversity, The best method is to use XIR or XIM in their announcements.

    Good Evening, XIR!

    Thank you, XIM!

    Have a Good Day, Xop!

  25. Doug

    This is so stupid. What's becoming of our world?

  26. AlanD

    I flew on two LH flights earlier this month (one TATL and one intra-EU) and couldn’t help but notice that all announcements from the flight deck and FAs were still gendered in both German and English. How slowly is LH rolling this out? Or is there some dissent from crews?

    1. Never In Doubt

      This is about British Airways….

    2. DCA Will Always Be "National"

      Except the article specifically calls out that LH did the same thing in July of this year. Reading and/or reading comprehension is not your strong suit, eh?

  27. Jonathon

    I just can't wait to watch the thoughtful, nuanced, and respectful debate that results from this article among OMAATs leading intellectuals. The comments posted in the Lufthansa thread a few months ago are a model of decorum, so I'm confident everyone involved is going to walk away with a positive outlook on the future of humanity over the next day.

    1. Jeffrey I Chang

      I can't wait to be asked for my preferred pronouns when getting my pre-flight champagne.

      "Good Evening, I am Rainbow Unicorn and I will be your flight attendant. My preferred pronouns are XIM, XIR, They, and Zim. May I ask your preferred pronouns? Are you gender fluid? I you are and your gender changes during this flight please advise us of your new pronouns."

    2. Jonathon

      Thank you for contributing to the discussion! Based on the example scenario you developed, I have questions about a few of the points I think you're trying to make:

      1) Do you personally know someone who identifies as queer/trans? If so, have you seen many instances where they change their gender identity as it suits them every few minutes?

      2) Do you know that many/most individuals who identify as something other than traditional male/female...

      Thank you for contributing to the discussion! Based on the example scenario you developed, I have questions about a few of the points I think you're trying to make:

      1) Do you personally know someone who identifies as queer/trans? If so, have you seen many instances where they change their gender identity as it suits them every few minutes?

      2) Do you know that many/most individuals who identify as something other than traditional male/female pronouns are comfortable being referred to as "they"? It's a very simple way to get around all of the very specific pronouns without the fear that you might be using the wrong one.

      3) Have you ever personally experienced a situation where a trans/non-binary person became angry or scolded you for using the wrong pronoun? The English language, like many languages, is structured such that the gender of an individual is used to distinguish between multiple individuals within a sentence. I work closely with 3 individuals who prefer non-traditional pronouns, and they've never once lashed out or communicated concern when I've accidentally used the wrong one. However, accidentally saying the wrong thing because of the way we all learned English is very different from staring someone in the face and willfully ignoring their request to be referred to in a certain way.

      4) Are you aware that any person of legal age can have their name changed upon request, regardless of their gender identity? It's an arduous process, but the law doesn't distinguish between someone who changes their name from Tom to John and someone who changes their name from John to "Rainbow Unicorn".

      I hope this additional information makes you feel a little more comfortable the next time you interact with anyone who prefers non-traditional pronouns!

  28. Rob

    Yup, let's have the 99.99999999% of people completely alter, disrupt, and abolish their language for the benefit of the 0.00000001%. Let's abolish the word "man" and "woman" while we're at it. In fact, let's completely ablate all external and internal genitalia of every newborn so that everyone is "gender-neutral" (something that, by the way, biologically CANNOT exist). Would that make you all happy?

    Let everyone live how they want to live, be tolerant, kind, and...

    Yup, let's have the 99.99999999% of people completely alter, disrupt, and abolish their language for the benefit of the 0.00000001%. Let's abolish the word "man" and "woman" while we're at it. In fact, let's completely ablate all external and internal genitalia of every newborn so that everyone is "gender-neutral" (something that, by the way, biologically CANNOT exist). Would that make you all happy?

    Let everyone live how they want to live, be tolerant, kind, and loving, STOP fixating on nonsense -- and start solving actual problems that need actual solving. Disease, war, poverty, you know, stuff like that. Not getting outraged if someone says "good afternoon, Mrs. So-and-so", because that clearly must mean a lack of respect of your non-binary, butterfly-werewolf-self, right?

    My goodness, what a bizarre world we live in.

    1. Textuality

      Are BA's communications team well known for their work on disease, war and poverty? I don't know, I think they're probably best off sticking to what they know.

      As for disrupting language... do you have some extreme need for the cabin crew to address your gender? I'm a cis male and I'm quite happy for them to say hello however they choose, give us the safety info and get on with the flight.

      Always amuses...

      Are BA's communications team well known for their work on disease, war and poverty? I don't know, I think they're probably best off sticking to what they know.

      As for disrupting language... do you have some extreme need for the cabin crew to address your gender? I'm a cis male and I'm quite happy for them to say hello however they choose, give us the safety info and get on with the flight.

      Always amuses me that the people shouting loudest are always the ones accusing others of being perma-offended.

  29. Eliz Reid

    Vinod - you are medically incorrect. In addition to transgender people there are people born "gender undetermined". In the past these babies had surgery to "correct" them and they were usually raised as girls/women. Please be more open minded and understand we don't all fit into predefined classifications.

    1. Alonzo

      Just like there are people who don't have the ability to diet and lose weight. Lmao, the arguments people make about micro percentages are hilarious. Talk majority.

    2. Jonathon

      Thanks for contributing. To add some context for your point, I've posted a link that provides a decent summary of the various genital abnormalities present at birth at the bottom of the post.

      Using incidence data collected in a variety of studies, a conservative estimate is that .05% (one half of 1%) of babies present with some form of genital abnormality, many of which refer to babies whose labia (or penis) is shaped similarly to...

      Thanks for contributing. To add some context for your point, I've posted a link that provides a decent summary of the various genital abnormalities present at birth at the bottom of the post.

      Using incidence data collected in a variety of studies, a conservative estimate is that .05% (one half of 1%) of babies present with some form of genital abnormality, many of which refer to babies whose labia (or penis) is shaped similarly to a penis (or labia).

      There were 3,605,000 live births in 2020, which means roughly 180,000 babies with genitalia inconsistent with their karyotype were born last year alone.

      I also recommend you look up klinefelter (and similar genetic abnormalities), where babies that present as male are born with an additional x chromosome (XXY vs XY or XX). That means they are in some ways genetically male (XY) and female (XX).

      The examples I describe above refer to sex, not gender or gender identity. But I hope they give you a clearer sense that sex has never been a matter of two mutually exclusive categories (male/female).

      https://www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14141/all/Ambiguous_Genitalia

  30. rrapynot

    Sounds like you are offended by something you claim you wouldn’t even notice.

  31. Steve

    Dont think i have ever noticed genders during passenger announcements nor would i care either way. Then again i care more about overhead bin space than finding something to be offended by everyday.

  32. rrapynot

    “Dear fools who paid premium prices for Ryanair service levels” would be better for British Airways.

  33. Vinod

    Great - my favourite airlines caving in to "cancel culture" / "wokeness" and the socialists.

    Common, BA - don't fall for it!

    God only created Male and Female.

    1. Angus

      Vinod, god created people to be kind and love one another. Sorry you missed the memo, your issue isn't religious it is within you.

    2. Vinod

      To Angus: The LOL was to your comment that the "issue was with me".

    3. ANGUS

      Vinod,
      The fact of the matter is you base your opinion on a book of poorly written fiction and not medical fact. You are indeed part of the problem.

    4. ANGUS

      Vinod, is “lol” the most intelligent response you can come up with?

    5. Jeffrey I Chang

      "Vinod, god created people to be kind and love one another."

      God and man is a failure, then.

      Take a look at the radiation burns from those that survived Hiroshima. Ask a person that survived Dresden. How about those that lost their entire families due to the napalm attacks on Tokyo? Read the accounts of the Coventry Blitz.

    6. rrapynot

      Different gender identities exist and they don’t affect you negatively in any way.

      God on the other hand is a complete fabrication. However, when I read the Bible at catholic school I seem to remember that God was keen on living thy neighbor but not so keen on judging them.

    7. Nick

      Says the person who comes from a culture and religious background that has a huge oldest transgender and eunuch traditions. Just. WOW

  34. Chris

    Icelandair have been using "dear passengers" for quite some time (definitely pre-2019). It wasn't weird at all.

    1. Rob

      I was trying to recall the airline that did that, so thanks for reminding me. I noticed that styling simply because I had not heard it done that way before, but yeah there was absolutely nothing strange about it, and if it made someone else feel more included, I am all for it.

Featured Comments Load all 62 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Jay

Good excuse to be rude to the people they serve, huh? Ladies and Gentlemen shows respect to the people being addressed. “Everyone” shows complete lack thereof. It is a word that someone of superior rank uses to address his/her subordinates.

Graham

Strange. Who do they think they are addressing? All passengers will be ladies, gentlemen, boys or girls.

Stuart

I'm offended. I'm not sure about what. But I'm offended.

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