Air Canada updates announcements to be more gender-inclusive

Oct 15, 2019

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Air Canada is breaking away from a long-standing inflight salutation in order to address the full spectrum of its passengers’ genders.

Crews will no longer use the phrases “ladies and gentlemen” or “mesdames et messieurs” when addressing travellers. The airline’s new policy instead encourages employees to use words like “everybody” or “tout le monde.”

CTV News in Montreal first reported the change.

“We work hard to make sure all employees feel like valued members of the Air Canada family, while ensuring our customers are comfortable and respected when they choose to travel with us”, a spokesman for the airline told the network in an email.

Although “ladies and gentlemen” remains a ubiquitous introduction to public announcements, it is slowly falling out of favor.

In 2017, for example, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which controls the New York City subway, enacted a policy similar to Air Canada’s. Subway commuters in New York rarely hear the phrase these days.

And within the airline industry, several carriers have moved to add a non-binary gender choice to their online booking tools.

In March, United became the first in the U.S. to roll out such an option, allowing customers to identify themselves as M(male), F(female), U(undisclosed) or X(unspecified), as long as it corresponded to the information on their passports or identification. Several other big U.S. carriers have said they plan to make similar changes.

Featured photo courtesy of Air Canada.

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