Airline Drops 'Ladies and Gentlemen' for Gender Neutral Terms for Flyers

British Airways has instructed its crew members to drop the usage of "ladies and gentlemen" and instead choose gender-neutral terms when speaking with passengers, according to reports.

According to The Mail On Sunday, Britain's flagship airline has now ditched the traditional phrase in a bid to "celebrate diversity and inclusion."

Its usage will also be dropped in order to respect wider social norms and also make children feel included, the outlet added.

In a statement sent to The Mail On Sunday, British Airways said: "We celebrate diversity and inclusion and we're committed to ensuring that all our customers feel welcome when traveling with us."

Newsweek has contacted British Airways for comment.

British Airways' move away from using traditional terms is only the latest example of airlines adopting more inclusive language.

Last month, Air Malta said it would also drop phrases including "ladies and gentlemen" in favor of more inclusive language.

Staff have since been told to call passengers "guests" in a bid to be more inclusive to non-binary, intersex and transgender people.

In a statement shared with The Malta Independent, the company's Executive Chairperson David G. Curmi: "For an airline with a multicultural clientele, inclusion is a very important value, and we want to express this attitude shift in our language as well."

Closer to home, Air Canada announced in 2019 that it would drop the term "ladies and gentlemen" and introduce more inclusive language.

Sir Martin Sorrell, who founded advertising agency WPP, told The Daily Telegraph that passengers no longer cared about the use of traditional language while traveling.

He added: "Whether that's fortunate or unfortunate, it's a sign of the times."

The increased usage of gender-neutral language has proved to be a battleground in the ongoing culture wars that have gripped Western nations in recent years.

But, some countries and states have fought back against a changing culture shift when it comes to gender-neutral language.

France banned gender-neutral language in schools claiming it could "harm" learning of the French language.

A decree sent to schools earlier this year aimed to end the use of so-called midpoints that designate both masculine and feminine words.

In French, nouns reflect the gender of the object they are referring to and often end in the masculine ending.

An example would be a group of friends where there were five women and just one man would be referred to as "amis," while a midpoint would change this to "ami.e.s."

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Stock photo: A British Airways flight. British Airways will reportedly drop the usage of "ladies and gentlemen." Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images