Japan Airlines recently announced that it will begin using gender-neutral greetings as opposed to “ladies and gentlemen.”

“Attention all passengers” and “Good morning everyone” will be among the new terms Japanese carriers will use for announcements at airports and on flights beginning Oct. 1, according to Arabnews.

“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 in an email.

Arabnews also reports that Air Canada and the European EasyJet said last year they would drop “ladies and gentlemen” as well.

Gender-equality advocates say corporate support for LGBT rights is growing in the socially-conservative Japan, where same-sex marriage remains illegal and being openly gay is seen as taboo, Arabnews reports.

For example, about a third of Japanese companies take measures to support gay couples, according to campaign group Nijiiro Diversity.

There was also a Japanese charity that launched a scheme offering digital partnership certificates to allow same-sex couples to receive the same benefits as heterosexual couples in April, and won the backing of businesses from banks to insurers, according to Arabnews.

However, activists say discrimination still exists, even though about two dozen cities, towns and wards issue same-sex partnership certificates to same-sex couples, despite lacking legal standing. 

Japan Airlines announced in March that it will allow female flight attendants to wear trousers and have the option to not wear high heels at work after a feminist campaign took off, Arabnews reports.

Japan airlines aren’t the only ones trying to be more LGBT-inclusive.

In March 2019, United became the first U.S. airline to give customers non-binary gender options while booking their flights, according to USA TODAY.

"United is excited to share with our customers, whether they identify along the binary of male or female or not, that we are taking the steps to exhibit our care for them while also providing additional employee training to make us even more welcoming for all customers and employees," United's Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist said in a statement in March 2019.

The airline has worked with LGBT organizations The Human Rights Campaign and The Trevor Project on training employees like using the preferred pronouns, USA TODAY reports.

"By providing non-binary gender selection for ticketing and the gender-inclusive honorific 'Mx' in user profiles, United Airlines is taking an important step forward for non-binary inclusion," Beck Bailey, the acting director of the Workplace Equality Program at the HRC, added in the same statement.

United decided to do this after the two big trade groups — Airlines for America in the USA and the global International Air Transport Association —  approved a new international best-practices standard that gave travelers the option of using "non-binary IDs" if they so wished, according to USA TODAY.

The “non-binary IDs” create an option for “unspecified" or "undisclosed" for passengers booking tickets as well as the options for "male" or "female."

In December 2019, American Airlines does something similar. The airline also gives customers non-binary gender options during their booking process, for example, choosing “U” or “X,” USA TODAY also reports.

The nation's five biggest U.S. airlines — American, Delta, United, Southwest and Alaska airlines — all previously told USA TODAY that they plan to follow suit.


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