Indian Politicians Try To Change “GAY” Airport Code

Indian Politicians Try To Change “GAY” Airport Code

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Politicians in India are trying to change Gaya’s airport code (GAY), because it’s “offensive” and “embarrassing.” Charming!

India’s “GAY” airport

Airports have three letter codes that are registered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and politicians in India want to change one code. Specifically, Gaya Airport has the code “GAY,” and a parliamentary panel is currently trying to amend that. The Committee on Public Undertakings claims that such an airport code is offensive and embarrassing for such a holy city:

“The Committee have their apprehension that Gaya being a holy city, locals might be finding it offensive or embarrassing on their city being recognised in the international community with the code name ‘GAY’. The Committee too find it inappropriate and unsuitable and therefore recommend the Government and Air India to complete all the requisite consultations and formalities in a time-bound manner to change the code of Gaya airport from ‘GAY’ to any other suitable code.”

The panel is proposing that the airport code be changed to “YAG,” which is just gay backwards, and for that matter is a lot less intuitive.

The airport code is unlikely to change

Generally speaking airport codes are permanent, and IATA only considers changes to codes if there’s a strong justification. And while these politicians might feel otherwise, I don’t think IATA considers homophobia to be a sufficient reason for this.

Nonetheless the committee is doubling down, and encouraging Air India and the government to push for this change, “to make all effort to take up the matter with the IATA and concerned organisation as the issue involves inappropriate code naming of an airport of a holy city of our country.”

Bottom line

Some politicians in India with too much time on their hands are trying to change Gaya’s airport code from “GAY” to “YAG,” since it’s so embarrassing and offensive to be associated with gays, apparently. I have a recommendation for the panel — how about renaming the city as well, because it does have “gay” in the name. You know, we don’t want people to get confused, or anything.

So while other airlines embrace diversity, including with special liveries and even “GAY” aircraft registration codes, you also have this going on in parts of the world.

(Tip of the hat to Mike)

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  1. Newyorker Guest

    No surprises here… Typical north Indian mentality and behavior!

  2. Neal Guest

    Somebody commented about going with the GAY theme to promote tourism drag shows etc, but the fact of the matter is Gaya is one of the holiest sites in Buddhism, the place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment, with multiple seasonal intl flights from Japan, Thailand, Combodia, Vietnam and Burma catering to religious tourism the last thing the residents of Gaya want is someone rediculing the name of this holy place..

  3. Nathan Guest

    This from a country that had a very well known politician named, "Sheila Dikshit".

    Not. Even. KIDDING.

  4. John Guest

    Hey. I admit I need to shed a few pounds but I don’t get bent out of shape when traveling to Fresno california. FAT

  5. Jerry Diamond

    There are a lot of places in the United States where politicians would proudly make the same proposal for religious reasons.

  6. whocares Guest

    On the contrary, they should code the airport - LGBTQIA - Lord Gautam Buddha Terminal - Quality International Airport, on Buddha's honor

  7. Sg Guest

    Reminds me from a state in the US where some politicians had to much time on hand so they decided to change the name of thier airport from McCarren to Harry Reid

  8. Tennen Gold

    Doesn't India also have an airport called "COK?" Yup, just looked it up - Cochin. Shouldn't they be up in arms about that?

    And, Japan's Fukuoka airport is "FUK." It's unfortunate, but IMHO, after the first laugh/shock, no one seems to care.

  9. X-CCCP Member

    @ "Western People" (Americans, Canadians. W. Europeans, etc.) - why do you always teach the rest of the world how to live? How the h*ll is asking for your advice and guidance?

    Speaking of India, someone asked Mahatma Gandhi what he thought of western civilisation, and he replied: “I think it would be a very good idea.” Learn to mind your business!

    1. Leigh Guest

      We live in a global economy…and culture. Deal with it.

      The idea of “mind your business” would leave many countries behind, if not isolated…which would not serve the greater good of people of India, in this instance.

      I much appreciate cultural sensitivities, but the idea of “mind your business” is archaic.

    2. Baliken Member

      I’ll agree with global economy. But there is no global culture.

    3. Chris_ Member

      The Indian committee is asking a global, international organization to change a code. So, it's inherently getting itself involved in global business and culture.

    4. raja Guest

      im indian and gay. let me tell you my experiance my country has so many homophobes and racists.

    5. Emily Guest

      Hi @raja

      I am American and I am a lesbian. I also live in a country with a huge number of homophobes and racists. For that matter, even in my family.

      You are not alone.

  10. [email protected] Guest

    Yep, it figures that these Indian politicians have WAY too much time on their hands worrying about an IATA airport code ''GAY''.

    The locals living in Dildo, Newfoundland (Canada) don't seem to be worried (or even care) about their town's name (population 1,234 as of 2016). There's an even smaller community right next door called South Dildo (population 250).

    The closest international airport to Dildo is in St. John's, Newfoundland (YYT). It's located...

    Yep, it figures that these Indian politicians have WAY too much time on their hands worrying about an IATA airport code ''GAY''.

    The locals living in Dildo, Newfoundland (Canada) don't seem to be worried (or even care) about their town's name (population 1,234 as of 2016). There's an even smaller community right next door called South Dildo (population 250).

    The closest international airport to Dildo is in St. John's, Newfoundland (YYT). It's located 37 miles (59.5 kilometres) east of Dildo.

    Maybe some of these Indian politicians should capitalize on the ''GAY'' airport by starting a ''GAY'' airways/airlines/etc.

  11. OliverCharles New Member

    Homophobia? You think the airport is scared of gay people?

    1. OPR Member

      Yeah "homophobia" is a bit of a stretch. They simply don't feel it matches their religious beliefs. Tolerance goes both ways.

  12. glenn t Diamond

    There are worse ways to put your city on the map!
    I mean, who had heard of Gaya (apart from some but not all Indians) before this controversy blew up?

    1. Kent Guest

      @glenn t - Most Indians are familiar with the city of Gaya. It is an ancient city with significance to Hinduism. Most Indians, living in India, are familiar with the geography of their country.

    2. GT Guest

      It is holiest city of Buddhists: Bodh Gaya. It is where Buddha attained enlightenment. So, I would say billions of informed would know.

  13. Endre Guest

    Heteronormative politicians and their insecurities

  14. docntx Guest

    And we are constantly told how intolerant the USA is...

  15. Josh Guest

    I wouldn't end this article with a BOTTOM line, Ben. :)

  16. John Guest

    All the snowflake western liberals up in arms about a sovereign nation's internal politics. Deal with it. Their country. Their decision.

    Maybe start looking at your own frontyard with the avalanche of armed robberies in Cali and Illinois? Or the meth epidemic? Or the homeless in San Francisco? Truth sometimes hurts when someone flings it right back at ya....

    1. Jorge Paez Guest

      You mean the meth epidemic in the conservative heartland?
      Oh, and nice trying to deflect the discussion away from Indias version of uptight, closeted Republicans!
      Don't you have to get back to your book burning?

    2. John Guest

      ? Shows how much you 'Jooooorge'. I'm not an American. Thank you for the belly chuckles.

    3. Chris_ Member

      But it's not their internal politics - they are asking a global international organization to make a nomenclature change.

    4. George Romey Guest

      The same snowflakes that claim the US is a hotbed of bigotry and hate. These are people that know nothing of the world. If they did they'd be damn glad they live in the US compared to parts of Asia, Africa and South America.

  17. Shutterbug1952 Guest

    They should rename the town – Gaga sounds appropriate. GAG is already used but I wouldn’t be surprised if the good people in Gage, Oklahoma fully understand the hurt feelings of the citizens of Gaya and would be open to help them out with their airport code.

  18. Rich Guest

    I'm sure they can commiserate with Sioux City, Iowa and Fukuoka, Japan.

  19. ffi Guest

    GYA is probably a wiser and better option than YAG

    1. glenn t Diamond

      Sorry @ffi, GYA already taken: Guayaramerin Airport, Guayaramerin, Bolivia

  20. Takala Guest

    Their is a Ghat in Varanasi Called “Gay Ghat” never seen any Homosexuals there, good luck with that one India.

  21. Eskimo Guest

    Seeing how Brandon become a synonym.
    I find "YAG" to rhyme too closely with F** another word which have the same meaning but pejorative.

    The Indians probably want to hit 2 wickets with one bowl.

    Wait for the triple play when the Indians propose changing "SFO" to "GAY".

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Eskimo

      Requesting vectors for GAY. Proceed direct to GAY.

    2. Leigh Guest

      Last line made me laugh:)

  22. uldguy Diamond

    Actually, this isn't the first time they've tried to get this changed. IATA told them to pound dirt then, and I suspect they will tell them the same this time, too.

  23. Sel, D. Guest

    I’ll have to book a flight from there to Pensacola before they change the code.

  24. Chucky Guest

    Pausing for reflection here. I think this is a perfect piece of journalism. Balanced. Somewhat satirical. Progressive. Bold. And fascinating. Maybe a small step here but speaking to a bigger step for mankind. The word gay is not an offensive word. Ever.

  25. UA-NYC Guest

    I thought this was surely a story about Texas politicians. The snowflakes…

  26. Avi Guest

    Lucky, this has been an issue for over a year. The panel asked for the change back in 2021 and the Government has already said that IATA won't change it. Also, given that Air India is now no longer with the government, it's a fairly safe assumption that they won't entertain this request anymore.

    Your post is missing the important information that the government has already said that IATA won't be making the change which...

    Lucky, this has been an issue for over a year. The panel asked for the change back in 2021 and the Government has already said that IATA won't change it. Also, given that Air India is now no longer with the government, it's a fairly safe assumption that they won't entertain this request anymore.

    Your post is missing the important information that the government has already said that IATA won't be making the change which is an important part of the story as it's essentially IATA's official response and the government's official response

  27. david Guest

    Easy. If you don't like it, don't buy a plane ticket there. And if they get rid of their code, another town would love to apply to take it over :)

  28. Vic Guest

    It took even the US a long, long time to be open to the LGBTQ community. And that acceptance is still not consistent across the country. But you expect a relatively young democracy to be open and accepting just like that? I am not at all supportive of the effort wasted on the code change, there are far bigger issues to solve for the people of Gaya, but you have unfortunately demonstrated a complete lack...

    It took even the US a long, long time to be open to the LGBTQ community. And that acceptance is still not consistent across the country. But you expect a relatively young democracy to be open and accepting just like that? I am not at all supportive of the effort wasted on the code change, there are far bigger issues to solve for the people of Gaya, but you have unfortunately demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the reality on the ground. If changing minds was that simple, democracy would have been long established in Iraq or Afghanistan, or there would be no reason for the BLM movement to exist. What is happening is stupid, and the best way to kill it is to ignore it, and not give even more attention to it through a blog because, frankly, I doubt if more than a few people from Gaya read it.

  29. Ray Guest

    Haven't they other issues to work on? You know, like kids working at illegal mines in Jharkhand? The national dependence on coal?

    1. Avi Guest

      Governments across the world are working on stupid issues when they have more serious issues to work on. Eg. Multiple US states working on different ways to make abortion an impossible task for women while there are people who need to work 3 jobs just to be able to feed their families. It's stupid, silly, a waste of time, and just overall senseless, but it's how the world works. The important thing is that it's not going to actually lead to anything.

    2. Emily Guest

      I mean what do you actually expect for national governments? Name a single government that acts in the best interests of the people (except those who have influence and financial strength). Between the US politics being the greatest comedic show, Boris trying to defend his parties, the EU full of philanders and neo-Nazis, central Asian and South American dictators, and the Eastern megalomanias, we are doomed. The only difference is that comic incidents from other...

      I mean what do you actually expect for national governments? Name a single government that acts in the best interests of the people (except those who have influence and financial strength). Between the US politics being the greatest comedic show, Boris trying to defend his parties, the EU full of philanders and neo-Nazis, central Asian and South American dictators, and the Eastern megalomanias, we are doomed. The only difference is that comic incidents from other regions of the world, especially form India, make it to this blog more frequently. Probably due to the traffic that the peculiarities of India and the east bring to this blog. I mean how many recycled posts on credit cards or business class rankings can we actually tolerate?

  30. VITOR SILVA Guest

    Juvenile, homophobic and simply absurd but unfortunately not surprising...

    1. Art_Czar Member

      "not surprising ...."? Care to elaborate for the uninitiated.

    2. Avi Guest

      "not surprising..." because it's India. There's no other country or government in the whole wide world which doesn't have homophobic folks in the government..... (please read my sarcasm) :P

      It's silly and just politicians being politicians... Stuff like this is happening everyday, all over the world. It's just on different scales by different people in different countries doing it in different ways...

  31. Sam Guest

    On the contrary, I think the city should just run with it and do a big promo campaign with drag queens and all. More tourist dollars can’t be a bad thing, right?

  32. Tibbo Guest

    Aside from being silly and unnecessary, wouldn't the change to "YAG" automatically make Gaya Canadian? ^^

    1. VT-CIE Gold

      Except that not every airport code beginning with Y is Canadian. Trashigang Airport in Bhutan has YON, and Yanbu in Saudi Arabia has YNB.

    2. Ethan Guest

      The joke is so old since last time Aeroplan treated all of airport codes starting with Y Canadian.

Featured 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.

Sam Guest

On the contrary, I think the city should just run with it and do a big promo campaign with drag queens and all. More tourist dollars can’t be a bad thing, right?

6
Avi Guest

Governments across the world are working on stupid issues when they have more serious issues to work on. Eg. Multiple US states working on different ways to make abortion an impossible task for women while there are people who need to work 3 jobs just to be able to feed their families. It's stupid, silly, a waste of time, and just overall senseless, but it's how the world works. The important thing is that it's not going to actually lead to anything.

3
John Guest

All the snowflake western liberals up in arms about a sovereign nation's internal politics. Deal with it. Their country. Their decision. Maybe start looking at your own frontyard with the avalanche of armed robberies in Cali and Illinois? Or the meth epidemic? Or the homeless in San Francisco? Truth sometimes hurts when someone flings it right back at ya....

2
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