It is one of the sounds you associate with being at an airport, the chimes sounding over the loudspeaker, before a voice announces ‘ladies and gentleman …’, but it may become a thing of the past.
Some airlines have realised that the announcement is a little outdated and have started the process towards using more inclusive gender-neutral language as part of the flight protocols.
Japan Airlines announced last month that it would be ditching the ‘ladies and gentlemen’ greeting from its flights and European budget carrier EasyJet and Air Canada are also opting for more inclusive language in their announcements.
From 1 October, Japan Airlines started using ‘attention all passengers’ and ‘good morning everyone’ in its English-speaking messaging. The Japanese messaging on its flights has always been gender-neutral, according to local media.
“We aspire to be a company where we can create a positive atmosphere and treat everyone, including our customers, with respect,” Japan Airlines spokesman Mark Morimoto told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“We have committed to not discriminate based on gender, age, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or other personal attributes.”
In March, Japan Airlines announced it would allow female flight attendants to wear trousers and ditch their high heels at work, following a feminist campaign that took off.
The move by Japan Airlines is especially provocative in socially conservative Japan where same-sex marriage remains illegal and being openly gay is still seen as taboo.
Air Canada started using gender-neutral greeting one year ago and EasyJet followed suit at the end of last year, after the outdated nature of their announcements was brought to their attention by a patron on Twitter.
Dear @easyJet, are you in some kind of competition to see how many times you can reinforce gender binaries? “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls”, perfume strictly segrated again by “ladies and gentlemen”. Ditch sir/madam too. An organisation as huge as yours must do better.
— Andi (they/them) (@InductiveStep) August 29, 2019
What do you think of the move by airlines to use more inclusive language? Do you support it? Should all airlines adopt this approach?
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