The airline industry will soon change the way it asks customers to state their gender during the booking process.
According to the Airlines for America (A4A), the trade group representing most major U.S. airline carriers will be adding “unspecified” or “undisclosed” to the traditional “male” and “female” options.
The change, expected to be phased in by June 1, reflects the fact that a number of states already permit residents to identify by non-binary genders. Seven states and the District of Columbia allow a designation of “X” instead of male or female on state IDs and even driver’s licenses. But it will be up to each airline to determine how they’ll make the change.
In a statement, A4A said the change is designed to “accommodate the needs of all travelers,” and that it reflects a “culture of diversity and inclusion, both in the workplace and for our passengers.”
Airline members of the A4A organization include American, Southwest, and United. Delta no longer belongs to the group, but it announced separately that it will also implement the new policy. It is expected that the change will be adopted throughout the industry, as IATA has also approved the new standard.
United, meanwhile, made its announcement via Twitter, posting: “In the coming weeks, customers will be able to select the gender with which they most closely identify during the booking process.”