Air Canada Drops 'Offensive' 'Ladies and Gentlemen' Greeting, Goes 'Gender Fluid'
Airline to address passengers with 'gender neutral' greeting
Air Canada has begun efforts to become more inclusive of its customers by dropping its traditional “ladies and gentlemen” or the French “mesdames et messieurs” when greeting passengers boarding its aircraft.
The move signaled a significant change to the carrier’s protocols.
Air Canada crew will now be ordered to address passengers with gender-neutral greetings such as “good morning everybody” in a bid to become more inclusive of gender-fluid passengers.
According to the company's memo:
"We want to ensure an inclusive space for everyone, including those who identify with gender X.”
Pilots, flight attendants, and gate agents will be required to change their language while addressing passengers.
According to a report from CTV News Montreal, an airline spokesperson said:
“We will be amending our onboard announcements to modernize them and remove specific references to gender."
“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 recently ordered by a court to compensate a French-speaking couple who claimed the airline “violated their linguistic rights” by making announcements favored the English language over French.
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Judge Martine St-Louis granted the couple CAD$21,000 ($15,800) — CAD$1,500 per the complaint.
The airline was then ordered to send the passengers a formal letter of apology.
“Air Canada has not upheld its linguistic obligations,” said the judge.
The court then highlighted the Canadian constitution, which requires equal weight to be given to English and French in certain situations.
Some signs on their domestic flight, such as “exit,” were only in English.
But the French text was much smaller, suggesting an imbalance, according to the Thibodeaus.
It was also noted that seatbelt buckles only said “lift” in English.
But the couple were particularly offended by the boarding announcement.
The Thibodeaus timed the English version of the speech to run y 15 seconds.
But the couple claim he the speech was much more thorough than the five-second French announcement.