United Airlines has become the first major airline in the United States to offer gender-neutral ticket booking options for non-binary or gender non-conforming fliers.
The company announced its new policy on Twitter this Friday, March 22, confirming that the new ticket options are “now available.” According to a press release, travelers can now choose from ticket designations “M(male), F(female), U(undisclosed), or X(unspecified)” so long as the gender on the ticket corresponds with the gender markers on their passport or government-issued ID.
The can also select from the titles “Ms.,” “Mr.,” or “Mx.” at booking.
Fly how you identify. Our new non-binary gender options are now available.
— United Airlines (@united) March 22, 2019
“United is determined to lead the industry in LGBT inclusivity, and we are so proud to be the first U.S. airline to offer these inclusive booking options for our customers,” said United’s CCO Toby Enqvist in a statement.
The company also teamed up with HRC and The Trevor Project to offer new employee sensitivity training initiatives. Training sessions reportedly included education about pronouns, gender norms and expectations, and general LGBTQ competency in the workplace.
Though United is the first major airline to officially implement this sort of policy, other airlines—including fellow Airlines For America (A4A) member brands Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest, and JetBlue—have discussed making similar moves toward trans inclusion.
In February, A4A actually confirmed that as of June 1, 2019, all members airlines will have a new ticket booking measure that “[allows] for ‘unspecified’ and ‘undisclosed’ as [gender] options in addition to ‘male’ or ‘female.’”
Of course, these non-binary-inclusive booking procedures require that trans travelers have legal documentation that matches how they identify—and in the vast majority of the U.S., this isn’t an option yet for non-binary people.
Since most states don’t currently offer gender-neutral government-issued IDs, the National Center for Transgender Equality recommends that non-binary travelers bring back-up forms of ID that reflect the gender they booked their ticket under to avoid stress.