EasyJet swaps ‘ladies and gentlemen’ for more inclusive ‘welcome, everyone’
Budget airline carrier EasyJet has been providing staff with guidance on how to use friendly and inclusive greetings, after a customer complained that it was “reinforcing the gender binary”.
Gendered greetings onboard EasyJet flights like “ladies and gentlemen” and “boys and girls” will be swapped for greetings that don’t categorise customers into two genders.
The move follows online complaints by a transgender academic, Dr Andi Fugard, who tweeted at Easyjet last summer after flying on one of its flights.
According to The Independent, Fugard said, ““Dear @easyJet, are you in some kind of competition to see how many times you can reinforce gender binaries?
“‘Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls’, perfume strictly segregated again by ‘ladies and gentlemen’. Ditch sir/madam too. An organisation as huge as yours must do better.”
At the time, EasyJet responded by saying: “At easyJet we do not discriminate against any individual – passengers or staff members.
“We are a pan-European airline with the aim of connecting people of all nationalities across Europe so there is certainly no room in our organisation for discrimination of any kind.”
Fugard, who is a senior lecturer in social science research methods at Birkbeck, University of London, then asked what guidance EasyJet staff received around trans-inclusive language and gender-neutral greetings.
EasyJet replied: “It’s something we’ll take on board and pass to the relevant teams. We have a wide programme of work currently ongoing in diversity and inclusion and it’s an area we are committed to focusing on.”
Since then, the carrier has provided guidance on how to welcome all customers in a friendly and inclusive way, such as using the greeting “welcome everyone”, an EasyJet spokesperson told The Independent.
They said: “We want our crew to be welcoming to everyone onboard and so have provided some guidance to them of how to best do that in a way that is inclusive for everyone.”