American Airlines offering non-binary booking options

SALISBURY, Md. – American Airlines now offers non-binary booking options for travelers booking a flight. Previously when booking flights, passengers would have to choose male or female. Now, those passengers will also have the option of gender U or gender X. It’s a change that those in the non-binary community say makes a huge difference.

“It validates us, it shows that there is more acceptance in the world and the community, and in companies,” Christiana McBride, a transgender female, said.

For most people, non-binary booking options for flights may seem like a small feat. But for McBride, it’s a big step.

“It makes a huge difference,” McBride said.

American Airlines announced the change writing in part, “Taking care of our customers and team members is what we do, and we are glad to be able to better accommodate the gender preferences of our travelers and team members.”

McBride says accommodations like this help those who don’t identify with their gender given at birth, feel more included.

“It can be a mental issue for a person, it makes a huge difference when you’re able to have the proper marker on that ID or on your ticket, it means the world,” McBride said.

It’s a change that McBride says she knows won’t be welcomed by all, but that will hopefully lead to more conversations.

“Yes, there’s going to be issues when people don’t accept that, but the more and more people educate themselves on trans issues, educate themselves on non-binary issues, the more and more people will come to understand,” she said.

And with this booking option made, McBride says she’s looking forward to even more inclusive changes for non-binary communities.

“Passport, federal, that’s where I would like to see the biggest change made, it would just show that the world is becoming more accepting, the world is going to learn to understand us more,” she said.

American Airlines says the gender chosen during booking should still match the ID that will be used for security. Passengers need to update their gender by calling the reservations team, but the option will be rolled out onto the airline’s website in early 2020.

Categories: Local News, Maryland