Virgin Atlantic Updates Gender Identity Policy

Virgin Atlantic Updates Gender Identity Policy

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Virgin Atlantic has historically been a pretty progressive airline, especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ policies. The airline has today unveiled an updated gender identity policy, and the airline even has a pretty catchy campaign to promote it.

Virgin Atlantic removes gendered uniform requirement

Virgin Atlantic has today launched an updated gender identity policy, giving pilots, flight attendants, and ground teams, the option to choose the uniform that best represents them, regardless of their gender, gender identity, or gender expression.

As it’s described in the press release, this cements Virgin Atlantic’s position as the most inclusive airline in the skies. Virgin Atlantic will let employees choose either the red or burgundy uniforms, depending on which best reflects them.

To go along with this, Virgin Atlantic is rolling out optional pronoun badges for all both employees and those traveling with the airline, intended to allow everyone to clearly communicate and be addressed by their pronouns. If customers would like to have one of these, they can ask for their preferred badge at the check-in desk or Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.

Virgin Atlantic has also updated its ticketing system to allow for those who hold passports with gender neutral markers to select “U” or “X” gender codes on their bookings, as well as gender-neutral titles, like “Mx.” Currently only travelers from select countries (including the United States, India, and Pakistan) are able to hold these passports, and travelers must travel on the codes that match their passports.

Here’s how Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer, describes this new policy:

“At Virgin Atlantic, we believe that everyone can take on the world, no matter who they are. That’s why it’s so important that we enable our people to embrace their individuality and be their true selves at work. It is for that reason that we want to allow our people to wear the uniform that best suits them and how they identify and ensure our customers are addressed by their preferred pronouns.” 

Meanwhile here’s how Jamie Forsstroem, a flight attendant at Virgin Atlantic, describes this development:

“The updated gender identity policy is so important to me. As a non-binary person, it allows me to be myself at work and have the choice in what uniform I wear.”

Virgin Atlantic’s campaign with Michelle Visage

To coincide with the launch of this new policy, Virgin Atlantic has released a couple of videos featuring Michelle Visage. There’s the below 30 second clip, showcasing the new policy.

Below is a longer version with some quotes from people involved as well.

This is all part of Virgin Atlantic’s “Be Yourself” campaign. Earlier this year, Virgin Atlantic unveiled the “See The World Differently” ad, intended to showcase diversity by highlighting some of Virgin Atlantic’s more flexible policies around appearance.

Furthermore, back in 2019, Virgin Atlantic replaced its “Flying Ladies” with “Flying Icons,” also intended to be more inclusive.

Virgin Atlantic no longer just has “Flying Ladies”

Bottom line

Virgin Atlantic has updated its gender identity policy for uniforms, and employees can now wear the uniforms that they feel best represents them. This is Virgin Atlantic’s latest move to be more inclusive, as the airline has also given employees a lot more latitude with makeup, tattoos, and more.

Conversations (49)
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  1. Pj Guest

    Ridiculous. Like other corporations that pull this crap; they won't be getting my business. Perhaps there is a planet where these lunatics can go believe whatever they choose to believe they are. I choose to remain and live on Earth; where there are only two genders. SICKENING.

    1. Dempseyzdad Gold

      Awww...triggered? So insecure in your own life you have to attack complete and total strangers for living their life as they want. These people do not bother me in the least, even though I may not agree with them. Why should it bother you?

  2. Duck Ling Guest

    What is interesting is that this new policy has had quite a lot of kickback from Virgin crew themselves.

    Why?

    Airline crews are paid a variety of ways but generally the longer the flight the more the hourly rate. And, the more expensive food is in the destination country, the higher the meal allowences paid.

    So, there are popular and unpopular trips. And this isn't solely down to the money factor but also the desirability...

    What is interesting is that this new policy has had quite a lot of kickback from Virgin crew themselves.

    Why?

    Airline crews are paid a variety of ways but generally the longer the flight the more the hourly rate. And, the more expensive food is in the destination country, the higher the meal allowences paid.

    So, there are popular and unpopular trips. And this isn't solely down to the money factor but also the desirability of the destination. 24 hours in NYC is generally more preferable than 24 hours in Lagos for most crew,

    However....a cis male cabin crew member wearing a female cabin crew uniform to say Islamabad or Dubai or Lagos...I mean you get the gist. It ain't gonna go down well.

    So, Virgin have given an exemption to the crew that self identify as 'other' and choosing to wear an alternative uniform from being rostered those routes.

    This has understandably upset many of the other crew who will have to continue to serve these 'unpopular' destinations.

  3. makesense Guest

    I am fleeing all corporate brands who do virtue signalling - I find it disgusting to use a human cause or a social aspect to, at the end of the day, make money. That's really ok for non-for-profit but for corporate brands, that stinks.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      You're gonna ultimately have like 2 places to shop.

      Essentially all large corporations do this, in some way or other, for/to some group or other.

  4. iamhere Guest

    Allowing the staff to chose the uniform is one thing, but having the gender neural on boarding cards will create problems for people especially if they are flying to countries that don't accept this (either society, politics, and/or the systems). Consider if you got one of those passports or boarding passes and you go to somewhere that is not equipped to handle it then what do you do. We have to understand that a lot of the world's functions are not set up for this.

  5. Dave Guest

    “At Virgin Atlantic, we celebrate diversity. That’s why we’re giving all our staff the choice of red, or maroon”

  6. Dempseyzdad Gold

    Yeah...I figured there would be a post from someone with a deep-SEATED (look it up) mental illness who simply must mock and belittle others to try and cover his own weakness and inadequacy. Having an "opinion" on how others live their lives, opens yourself up to the same scrutiny.

    What a sad, sorry existence and burden it must be to be so much better than the rest of us.

  7. Hank Tarn Guest

    It seems to me that patriotic and socially conservative older white men, are the most persecuted group of people on earth these days. The woke elites have no time for our concerns and our views.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Ah yes, straight White males-- so persecuted.

      But who knows, maybe if they keep up the struggle, they could achieve something in Western society! Hell, we could even see a straight White male become President of the USA someday.... maybe even 44 times in a row.

  8. Claude Guest

    All marketing is some form of vitrue signaling

  9. tipsyinmadras Diamond

    Trans, non-binary, gender-non-confirming folks aren't harming you in any way - what's with the intense animosity? It doesn't cost you anything to be considerate and kind.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I actually get what 'The handsome and Great' JoJo is trying to say. Even zib/co is probably reading way too much right wing propaganda.

      "Today I feel like a boy tomorrow I could be a girl next week"
      If that is fine and you should be considerate about their preferred identity.
      Why is it racist if a Caucasian wearing 'blackface' if that person does identify as a 'black' for that day?
      I...

      I actually get what 'The handsome and Great' JoJo is trying to say. Even zib/co is probably reading way too much right wing propaganda.

      "Today I feel like a boy tomorrow I could be a girl next week"
      If that is fine and you should be considerate about their preferred identity.
      Why is it racist if a Caucasian wearing 'blackface' if that person does identify as a 'black' for that day?
      I don't condone such behaviors but it does get me thinking.

      If you can choose a preferred gender why can't you choose a preferred race?
      Where is the line drawn?

  10. saeed Guest

    I'm a bit confused...is red supposed to be an ostensibly female color and burgundy an ostensibly male color (seems a bit odd but ok) and employees are free to choose their preferred color? Or are employees also free to choose pants or skirts as well?

    I mean, be yourself, by all means...i just never viewed burgundy as a male color.

    1. UniformInsider Guest

      It just happens that the masculine uniform is burgundy, and the feminine uniform is red, but calling them out by their colour other than the uniform's 'gender' is more inclusive.

      WestJet recently launched their new uniform and planned the 2 different fit collections under un-gendered collection names. Staff are allowed to wear either the "men's" or "women's" uniform.

  11. makesense Guest

    That Virgin does it, why not, it is indeed inclusive. But that Virgin communicates about it in a campaign is purely virtue marketing.

  12. Airfarer Diamond

    My next flight with them is early November, I'm gonna get a badge in the clubhouse. I just haven't decided which one yet.

  13. Endre Guest

    Well done, Virgin Atlantic. That’s how it should be, unlike all the ‘quiet quitters’ at the US3 who love making everyone’s experience as miserable as possible.

  14. SamB Gold

    As Ben mentioned, even Pakistan and India, which are conservative in many ways, offer a third gender option on their passports. It reflects the fact that, like many other societies around the world, their cultures have had trans and gender non-conforming people for thousands of years. It's nothing new. And for the asinine comments below, FAs do the exact same job as each other regardless of uniform or pronouns. Your stupid attempts at humor fall flat.

  15. David O Guest

    Vote with your sterling, euro, yen and dollars.

    1. DMNYC Guest

      I will, and will consider flying Virgin Atlantic much more than I currently do.

    2. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      I will happily continue flying Virgin to the UK

  16. John T Guest

    The fact they've used mostly 'activists' who aren't even Virgin crew for the launch suggests this won't affect many of the actual cabin crew. This feels a bit more like a marketing ploy for their recruitment drives than something that will actually be taken up by many staff.

    1. George Romey Guest

      I would agree. This is marketing virtue signaling. I've never cared about the sex of my cabin crew. Can they do their jobs well and in the event of an emergency will their actions help save lives? Period.

    1. Jason Guest

      ? I'm gay. Should I know who this person is?

    2. makesense Guest

      Not at all, that's a right to be gay and be completely ignorant of famous drag queens. According to one of the most famous dictionary, to be gay is to be "sexually attracted to people of the same sex and not to people of the opposite sex". Full stop. Everything else is activism and marketing. Thanks god, we can be gay and not in the "gay culture", which doesn't mean it's bad but not have...

      Not at all, that's a right to be gay and be completely ignorant of famous drag queens. According to one of the most famous dictionary, to be gay is to be "sexually attracted to people of the same sex and not to people of the opposite sex". Full stop. Everything else is activism and marketing. Thanks god, we can be gay and not in the "gay culture", which doesn't mean it's bad but not have a taste for it or a knowledge of it. Reversely, one can be straight and watch the Drag race.

    3. DCAWABN Guest

      She's RuPaul's BFF and a waste of space as a judge on nearly every season of RuPaul's Drag Race in the US and all seasons of UK and Down Under. Also, probably the only cis-woman to actively look more like a drag queen than nearly EVERY drag queen competing on the show. That's quite the feat.

    4. Jackson Guest

      No normal person cares about this crap.

    5. Jason Guest

      I've never seen that Rupaul show, though I'm aware of its existence. Overall I think this is a nice move. As long as the service continues to be good on Virgin Atlantic (I love flying them) then this is fine, as far as I'm concerned.

    6. makesense Guest

      Someone who is gay or straight or bi, or any other option, but doesn't think that their sexual orientation makes their identity. Their identity is more driven by their country, nation, culture, town, hobbies, tastes, traits of characters, passions, people they love, faith, etc..

    7. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      the fact that people using words like "crap" and "normal" is exactly the reason that this is important.

    8. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "the fact that people using words like "crap" and "normal" is exactly the reason that this is important."

      Is it though? ........ gonna go with: no.

      You're conflating reality TV about people who choose to compete as transvestites, with the daily lives of people born as transsexuals.

  17. Brandon Guest

    Not sure how these other comments are relevant - why are people getting pressed by identities and will in no way affect them? It's obviously different if a FA wanted to fly the plane - that is not their job scope and it will affect lives. If someone has a gender preference, how about letting them be who they choose to be? It doesn't affect you personally does it? You do know there are also intersex people in this world and this occurs naturally when they are born?

    1. Gary Eldonrek Guest

      But why, oh why, make such an outward, in-your-face display? It seems arrogant to assume that most people even care. I don't. Also, I don't understand the disdain for discipline and shared identity with a corporation. What's next, combat soldiers being allowed to express their gender preference on the battle field? Where does it end? It's quite ironic that an airline with the word, "virgin", in it would go so far as to make an...

      But why, oh why, make such an outward, in-your-face display? It seems arrogant to assume that most people even care. I don't. Also, I don't understand the disdain for discipline and shared identity with a corporation. What's next, combat soldiers being allowed to express their gender preference on the battle field? Where does it end? It's quite ironic that an airline with the word, "virgin", in it would go so far as to make an outward reference to sexuality, which is the grounding place of gender. I, for one, am NOT on board with it. The focus of our minds should be somewhere else more beneficial to everyone.

  18. Eric Guest

    Nobody cares what the FAs are wearing or what made-up pronouns and titles they want to use for themselves. We do care about the quality of service we receive.

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      I care.

      And educate yourself: https://www.outsports.com/homophobia/2021/11/18/22787608/who-cares-gay-athlete-hate-people-lgbtq-homophobia

    2. XPL Diamond

      "I don't care" is not a homophobic or transphobic statement. To the contrary, it means we've moved beyond being musty old busybodies from the past who think your gender identity, whom you love, or what you do in acts of love, are my or the community's business. It means I will only expect you to do your job, not police your lifestyle. There is no phobia behind "live your life however, I just need you to be a good FA".

    3. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      If you were truly unfazed about gender expression, you'd also be OK with recognizing and honoring trans/non-binary folks, and probably wouldn't be putting this much effort into a comment

  19. Syd Guest

    If I bought basic economy but identify as flying upper - will they ensure my inclusivity in upper?

    1. GenderFabulous Guest

      Slow clap. Great retred of the most tired and lazy trans joke.
      Plase do make an effort next time you try to hurt our feelings, sweetie ️‍⚧️️‍

    2. Syd Guest

      lmao you can keep your feelings, I wouldn't care to hurt it if they paid me for it.

      But if we're living in fantasy world we either respect every fantasy or respect no fantasy at all. Anything else would be unfair - and I hear fairness is something you must care very deeply about.

    3. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      the fantasy world is actually the one where you're dead-set on thinking it's still 1952.

      there's absolutely no reason that recognizing trans, non-binary, and queer people should be controversial

    4. makesense Guest

      There is nothing about trans is Syd's comment.

  20. World_Traveller New Member

    Great! But if a flight attendant identifies as a pilot, do they get to fly the plane?

    1. Eric Guest

      Yes, but just hope the pilot doesn't decide to identify as an FA in mid-flight...

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.

GenderFabulous Guest

Slow clap. Great retred of the most tired and lazy trans joke. Plase do make an effort next time you try to hurt our feelings, sweetie ️‍⚧️️‍

5
Eskimo Guest

I actually get what 'The handsome and Great' JoJo is trying to say. Even zib/co is probably reading way too much right wing propaganda. "Today I feel like a boy tomorrow I could be a girl next week" If that is fine and you should be considerate about their preferred identity. Why is it racist if a Caucasian wearing 'blackface' if that person does identify as a 'black' for that day? I don't condone such behaviors but it does get me thinking. If you can choose a preferred gender why can't you choose a preferred race? Where is the line drawn?

4
SamB Gold

As Ben mentioned, even Pakistan and India, which are conservative in many ways, offer a third gender option on their passports. It reflects the fact that, like many other societies around the world, their cultures have had trans and gender non-conforming people for thousands of years. It's nothing new. And for the asinine comments below, FAs do the exact same job as each other regardless of uniform or pronouns. Your stupid attempts at humor fall flat.

4
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