‘Ladies and gentlemen’ do not fly Air Canada any more

‘Ladies and gentlemen’ do not fly Air Canada any more

Addressing passengers as ‘ladies and gentlemen’ is discriminatory against those who don’t identify as either, Air Canada has decided. So no more gentlefolk on board, let’s just call them ‘everybody’.

Air Canada had instructed its employees to drop the tradition of calling airline passengers “ladies and gentlemen” (or “mesdames et messieurs” when speaking French). Instead, passengers will be addressed as “everybody” and “tout le monde”.

Addressing flyers as ‘ladies and gentlemen’ is ‘discriminatory’ against those who don’t identify as either, so let’s just call them ‘everybody,’ top Canadian airline has decided. So no more gentlefolk on board.

The reason, of course, is that some people have more complex attitudes to their gender than the majority of humanity, and presumably feel excluded when they hear the greeting “ladies and gentlemen.” After all, Air Canada was named the nation’s Best Diversity Employers for 2019 and it has to fulfill its reputation as such.

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“We work hard to make sure all employees feel like valued members of the Air Canada family, while ensuring our customers are comfortable and respected when they choose to travel with us,” the company said in a statement.

The move follows an earlier decision to allow passengers to put an “X” instead of “M” or “F” when booking tickets. The new rules were introduced “to ensure an inclusive space for everyone, including those who identify with gender X,” Air Canada said.

Well, it’s always good to make people more comfortable and accepted, although some inclusiveness advocates may find it too mild a move. After all, there are supposedly six genders for people to choose from – or 58, or over 100, depending who you ask – and only three possible letters on the form.

Air Canada was definitely sensible in choosing “everybody” instead of extending the binary list of honorifics, as they may have faced a backlash for not being inclusive enough. Hopefully nobody gets offended with the new, less polite address.

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