A little bit of good news goes a long way right now, and here’s a simple piece. Another airline is replacing “ladies and gentlemen” greetings with gender neutral messages on the plane, and in the airport to make more travelers feel welcome.

JAL Joins Gender Neutral Airlines

Qantas was arguably the first global airline to welcome “everyone” on board years ago, dropping gender based greetings in favor of a more laid back and inviting message for all. Last year, Air Canada joined the call, changing all greetings to include “everyone”, like “good morning, everyone”.

Now just months later, according to The Telegraph, Japan Airlines (JAL) is following their leads, replacing gender based greetings in airports, and on board with gender neutral salutations in all foreign languages. The actual Japanese greeting is said to have always been gender neutral. JAL will become the first Japanese airline to do so.

Last year, JAL and Virgin Atlantic independently operated charter flights in support of PRIDE and the LGBTQ community, and the on board greeting news is a continuation of that commitment.

Currently, no major US airlines offer a gender neutral greeting, though that’s expected to change imminently with the news. If global airlines have proven anything in recent years, it’s that they’re incredibly adept at copying each other when good news spreads.

Unlike many of the world’s leading G7 countries, Japan does not currently outwardly support same sex marriage in law, which makes the new move from Japan Airlines even more meaningful. Japan has added protections for same sex couples, but has stopped short of lawful inclusion in many cases.

Travel and inclusion have always gone hand in hand by the sheer fact of opening borders, and it’s fantastic to see yet another major airline pick up the charge to make everyone feel welcome, regardless of how they identify. JAL was one of the world’s most timely airlines, and is now also one of the most welcoming.

Airline service is always defined by humanity and personal interaction, and welcoming everyone, without minimizing anyone, should only add to the feeling on board.

Doumo arigatou gozaimasu, Japan Airlines. Who’s next?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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