Soon, you’ll be able to choose among four gender options when you book your airline tickets in the USA.
American, Alaska, Delta, Southwest and United Airlines have confirmed that they intend to offer four options for gender when booking tickets:
- F – Female
- M – Male
- U – Undisclosed
- X – Unspecified
This comes at the urging of Airlines for America, the same lobby group that loves to attack the Gulf carriers.
United will likely be the first, hinting at a change coming in the weeks ahead with some specificity:
In the coming weeks, customers will be able to identify themselves as M(ale), F(emale), U(undisclosed), or X(unspecified), corresponding to what is indicated on their passports or ID. … Customers who do not identify with a gender will have the option of selecting ‘Mx.’ as a title. We are excited to share this next step as we continue to break down barriers to promote inclusion.
Meanwhile, it may take a bit longer at Southwest:
While we don’t have a timeframe to share, Southwest is currently investigating solutions and the technical requirements needed to provide our Customers non-binary gender marker options during the booking process.
Delta also has not outlined a specific timeframe:
As part of Delta’s ongoing efforts to accommodate the needs of diverse customers throughout our business, we are planning to offer a non-binary gender option during the booking process.
American Airlines told the Chicago Tribune its reason for the change:
We certainly have a very diverse customer base. This will be well-received, and we’re happy to do it.
At least in theory, federal law requires the name on your ticket to match the name on your ID. As more U.S. states allow for non-binary gender options on driver’s licenses and other forms of state-issued identification, it was only a matter of time before the airlines followed.