American Airlines now offers 'U' and 'X' gender markers for nonbinary flyers

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/12/20/american-airlines-now-offers.html

“We are glad to be able to better accommodate the gender preferences of our travelers and team members.” - AA

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Gods, I hate American Airlines with a passion (never have I been so poorly treated than by them), but… darn it, this is a good thing and they deserve the credit.

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And then the Trump administration grabs their database to see which Americans to put in camps, right?

I wish when I had instinctive catastrophic thoughts like this one I could say to myself, “Alright, pipe down there,” but instead I find myself saying, “Oh shit, yeah, that sounds plausible.”

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That’s all well and good once you get to the gate… I shudder to think how the TSA is going handle this new “potential terrorist tracking tool”.

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Before anyone asks, the Nazis literally did this in 1933.

It can happen again if people allow it to. We need to make sure it doesn’t.

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Found a news story explaining X, but what about U?

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It’s weird that it doesn’t seem to say. Since X specifies a non-binary gender the only thing I can think is that U falls into:

That is, if you pick U you might be male, female or anything else and you just don’t feel like telling the airline.

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Its the “why should it matter” option.

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Why does the Airline even need to know? It’s not like they have women or men only flights. All of the bathrooms are unisex. It doesn’t seem to be relevant information for their job.

Honestly, a lot of the info they collect is unnecessary for the purpose of selling an airline ticket. Maybe it would be necessary if they need to contact you and want to tell the service agent what prefix to use, but they could also just use your full name and avoid the issue.

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My best guess is that having meta data like gender on the flight manifest helps in the case where you are identifying the victims of an air disaster.

Of course we have DNA for that now. Air travel is very safe, disasters are rare, and the crashes which do happen, are less likely now to leave anything in the way of identifiable human remains. You are less likely to be able to use external genitalia to identify a body.

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Because the TSA requires them to collect that info and provide it to the TSA, I guess for cross-referencing the passenger manifest against IDs and no-fly lists.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/security/secure-flight.jsp

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Undecided?

[runs away]

Hmm. Jemanden ein X für ein U vormachen is a figure of speech that can be translated as bullshitting someone.

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According to Wikipedia, the first flight of the Convair 990 Coronado (the jet pictured) was January 24, 1961.

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They need not ask at all; knowing a traveler’s gender is absolutely useless. Knowing their sex? That actually has potential value for identification purposes after tragedy.

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The cynic in me also sees a “Paint a bullseye on your back for the TSA to do random searches”.
I think it’s great that America Airlines has recognized this, but I see this being so misused it’s scary.

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Came here to say this. Glad you spared me the problem of phrasing this.

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I’d much rather they ask if I need any extra assistance on the ticket than what gender I identify with or what genitalia I may or may not possess. It is more relevant that they know if I have a food allergy, or flying anxiety, or have mobility issues, than what may be under my clothes.

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