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Major US airlines to allow gender-neutral option on ticket reservations, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld

Major US airlines to allow gender-neutral option on ticket reservations
Major US airlines have agreed to update computer systems by the end of 2024 to allow travellers to purchase tickets with an “X” gender marker, an airline trade group confirmed recently.

US Senator Ron Wyden, in a letter to Airlines for America Chief Executive Nick Calio said that member airlines committed to the change after he had engaged with the group. A spokeswoman for the airline group confirmed that Wyden’s letter was accurate.

Airlines for America represents passenger carriers Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines , Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue Airways.

In March, the Biden administration said that Americans would be allowed to choose an “X” for gender on their passport applications and select their sex on Social Security cards.

They are among a series of travel-security measures announced by the department in conjunction with Transgender Day of Visibility. President Joe Biden is marking the day by advocating against what his administration terms “dangerous anti-transgender legislative attacks” that have passed in statehouses across the country.

“Nobody should have to misgender themselves in order to book a flight,” Wyden wrote. “And, by forcing travellers to book their ticket with inaccurate gender information, airlines also end up providing inaccurate information to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).”

Wyden’s letter said, “member airlines will publish a page on their websites detailing the specific steps that nonbinary individuals can take to obtain tickets that reflect their gender, such as working with a customer service representative who can manually update the gender marker on their ticket.”

Wyden’s letter noted that United and American Airlines “have already changed their booking process to allow travellers to book tickets with an X gender marker, but not all US airlines have followed their example.”

The State Department in June 2021 said US citizens could select their gender on applications without having to submit medical documentation. In October, it issued the first American passport with an “X” gender marker.

The TSA in March said it would implement gender-neutral screening at its checkpoints with changes in imaging technology, reducing the number of pat-down screenings, removing gender identification from checkpoint screenings and updating TSA PreCheck to include an “X” gender marker on its application.

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