Virgin Atlantic continues to be a leader in LGBTQ+ movements within the aviation industry with a forward-thinking update to its gender identity policy,
From September 28, 2022, the U.K.-based carrier has made it easier for both passengers and crew to fully express their identities while traveling with and working at the airline.
The update includes the addition of neutral gender markings, pronoun badges, and the right for crew to wear the uniform that they feel represents them the best.
Let’s take a look at Virgin’s updated gender identity policy in more detail.
Virgin’s Updated Gender Identity Policy
Virgin Atlantic is doing away with the standard “male” and “female” genders for passengers when booking their tickets. For passengers who identify as gender neutral or other, they will now have the option of using the respective codes and titles which reflect their identities rather than fitting into society’s binary gender norms.
Passengers with gender-neutral passport markers will now have the option of selecting “U” or “X” gender codes as well as the title “Mx'” when making their booking.
As the U.S., India, and Pakistan are the only nations currently offering such passports, Virgin is working on a longer-term plan to make sure those without such passports will be referred to correctly throughout their journey.
The airline is also giving passengers and crew the option to wear pronoun badges to further champion their individuality and ensure that both crew and passengers can address each other correctly onboard.
The pronoun badges are available on request either at check-in or Virgin’s Clubhouse lounges.
The update to the airline’s policy is all-encompassing and extends to Virgin’s staff. As of now, all cabin crew, pilots, and ground staff have the right to choose the Vivienne Westwood-designed uniform that they’re most comfortable wearing — a move that has been championed by LGBTQ+ ally Michelle Visage.
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“At Virgin Atlantic, we believe that everyone can take on the world, no matter who they are. That’s why it’s so important that we enable our people to embrace their individuality and be their true selves at work,” said Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic. “It is for that reason that we want to allow our people to wear the uniform that best suits them and how they identify and ensure our customers are addressed by their preferred pronouns.”
To help ensure the smooth roll-out of the updated policy, Virgin has introduced mandatory inclusivity training for its people across all roles within the airline.
No matter how a person identifies themselves, they will feel completely comfortable and able to express themselves authentically whether traveling with or working for Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin’s updated gender identity policy is a real game changer when it comes to inclusivity within the airline. Here’s hoping this has a ripple effect across the entire airline industry.
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