DALLAS | Airlines to give customers ‘nonbinary’ choice under gender

DALLAS (AP) — Major U.S. airlines say they will soon change their ticketing process to give passengers the option of identifying themselves as other than male or female.

The gender option on airline sites will soon include choices such “undisclosed” or “unspecified.” There could also be the optional title of “Mx.”

The airlines say they are making the change to be more inclusive in dealing with a diverse population of travelers.

American, Delta and United confirmed Friday that they are in the process of updating their booking tools to add such an option. They said the change will be made in the next several weeks.

“We certainly have a very diverse customer base. This will be well-received, and we’re happy to do it,” American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said.

United Airlines plans to let people select M for male, F for female, U for undisclosed or X for unspecified from the gender menu when booking a ticket on its website or mobile app, said spokeswoman Andrea Hiller. They will also have the option of picking “Mx.” as a title.

Hiller said the airline wants to make sure that “all of our customers feel comfortable and welcome no matter how they self-identify.”

Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines plan to offer a nonbinary choice during booking, representatives said, and Southwest Airlines is looking into the technical requirement to do so, according to a spokesman.

U.S. and international airline trade groups recently approved a new standard to handle customers with “nonbinary” IDs. The standard, which is not mandatory but more like guidance, takes effect June 1.

Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association say the change will let airlines comply with requirements under U.S. and foreign laws that passenger information must match what is on the person’s form of ID used for travel.

In 2017, Oregon became the first state to let residents identify themselves as neither male nor female on driver licenses and other ID cards. California, Colorado, Maine and Minnesota have since begun allowing a nonbinary choice on their licenses.

By DAVID KOENIG , Associated Press