Air Canada swaps 'ladies and gentlemen' for gender-neutral term 'everybody'

In a bid for inclusivity, Air Canada has decided to greet passengers as “everybody” rather than “ladies and gentlemen” in their announcements.

They will also be switching up their French announcement, changing “mesdames et messieurs” to “tout le monde.”

The flight company shared the news on Oct. 13 in an email statement to media.

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“We will be amending our onboard announcements to modernize them and remove specific references to gender,” the statement read. “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.”

Air Canada was named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2019. It ranked among the top 100 Canadian employers, as well as one of Montreal’s top employers this year.

According to Simple Flying, the new greeting protocol was shared in a company-wide employee email.

“We want to ensure an inclusive space for everyone, including those who identify with gender X,” the email read, according to La Presse. “The change will be reflected in the transmission of the Onboard Announcement Manual as part of our commitment to respect gender identity, diversity and inclusion.”

Many were up in arms about the change, with some calling the company too politically correct.

“Totally ridiculous,” one Twitter user wrote, while another commented sarcastically: “Finally! Cuz that was annoying to nobody.”

“Who cares… Just leave on time,” one person tweeted.

On the other hand, many applauded Air Canada for updating their greeting.

“Angry tweet! The world is changing and I don’t like it,” a Twitter user commented, poking fun at those complaining.

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Another Twitter user wrote: “Include all kinds, who cares. People are more judgmental than they think. One who has to go through the mental stress also doesn’t need to be reminded of how unsure they may be each time a group is identified.”

Simple Flying notes that Air Canada is following in the footsteps of other companies, like JetBlue and United, that have also made this policy change.

In 2017, the London Tube was one of the first to make this change, the Telegraph reported at the time.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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