The airlines group will remove “Ladies and Gentlemen” from their welcome speech to passengers for all its companies. The airline industry is moving forward more gender-neutral and inclusive communications.
Since June 2021, Lufthansa introduced gender-neutral language within the group. It will also have an impact of external communications with customers as travellers will no longer be welcomed by “Ladies and Gentlemen“. The change comes as June is considered as a LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the United States.
According to Bild, the directive will apply to all the airlines companies of the group: Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brusels Airlines and Eurowings.
More changes are expected to come in the future. But Timotheus Piechatzek, Lufthansa’s equal opportunities officer explained to Business Insider Germany “it 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 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 towards gender-neutral communications in the aviation industry.
Industry-wide changes towards 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 flightdeck. 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 took the decision 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 their messages.
Before gender-neutral vocal communications, airline companies such as British Airways or American Airlines also provided non-binary booking options.
- Lufthansa schafft „Damen und Herren“ an Bord ab, Bild, July 2021, Free access
- Warum die Lufthansa jetzt gendert, Business Insider, June 2021, Free access
- Drone Advisory Committee, Federal Aviation Administration, June 2021, Free access
- Japan Airlines ditches ‘ladies and gentlemen’ for gender-neutral greetings, World Economic Forum, October 2020, Free access