Lufthansa Adopts Gender-Neutral Greetings

Lufthansa group will remove “Ladies and Gentlemen” from their welcome speech to passengers for all its companies. The airline industry is moving forward with more gender-neutral and inclusive communications.

Since June 2021, Lufthansa introduced gender-neutral language within the group. It will also have an impact on external communications with customers as travelers will no longer be welcomed by “Ladies and Gentlemen“. The change comes as June is considered LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the United States.

According to Bild, the directive will apply to all the airline companies of the group: Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings.

More changes are expected to come in the future. But Timotheus Piechatzek, Lufthansa’s equal opportunities officer explained to Business Insider Germanyit is, however, utopian – also from a legal perspective – to switch everything over overnight. But it is important to us to now consider gender-sensitive language in all regular adjustments“.

The company didn’t specify to employees which terms should be used and will be chosen at the discretion of the cabin crew manager.

This move is part of a larger change toward gender-neutral communications in the aviation industry.

Lufthansa aircraft
Lufthansa will use gender-neutral greetings on board from now on

Industry-wide changes toward non-binary communications

In June 2021, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Drone Advisory Committee laid out gender-free style guide recommendations. The term Unmanned Aircraft System, or UAS, should be replaced by Uncrewed Aircraft System or simply by the word Drone. But it also provided guidance for the broader aviation industry. The recommended language replacing airman would be aircrew, pilot or aviator, a cockpit should be a flight deck. The report notes that “on occasion, masculine crew members wielded the term ‘cockpit’ to exclude or undermine femme coworkers“.

In 2019, Air Canada was allegedly the first airline company to adopt gender-neutral greetings. In October 2020, Japan Airlines decided to adopt a generic “good morning everyone” or “Attention all passengers” in English. Announcements in Japanese are already gender-neutral. Delta Airlines also announced it would change its messages.

Before gender-neutral vocal communications, airline companies such as British Airways or American Airlines also provided non-binary booking options.

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