Airlines to give customers 'nonbinary' choice under gender

Major airlines plan to expand gender options to include more than male and female

DALLAS -- Major U.S. airlines say they will soon change their ticketing process to give passengers an option to identifying themselves as male or female.

The gender option on airline sites will soon include choices such as "Mx." or "undisclosed."

The airlines say they are making the change to be more inclusive in dealing with a diverse population of travelers.

American, Delta and United confirmed Friday that they are in the process of updating their booking tools to add such an option. They said the change will be made in the next several weeks.

"We certainly have a very diverse customer base. This will be well-received, and we're happy to do it," American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said.

United Airlines plans to let people select M for male, F for female, U for undisclosed or X for unspecified from the gender menu when booking a ticket on its website or mobile app, said spokeswoman Andrea Hiller. They will also have the option of picking "Mx." as a title.

Hiller said the airline wants to make sure that "all or our customers feel comfortable and welcome no matter how they self-identify."

Delta Air Lines plans to offer a nonbinary choice during booking, a spokeswoman said, and Southwest Airlines is looking into the technical requirement to do so, according to a spokesman.

U.S. and international airline trade groups recently approved a new standard to handle customers with "nonbinary" IDs. The standard, which is not mandatory but more like guidance, takes effect June 1.

Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association say the change will let airlines comply with requirements under U.S. and foreign laws that passenger information must match what is on the person's form of ID used for travel.

In 2017, Oregon became the first state to let residents identify themselves as neither male nor female on driver licenses and other ID cards. California, Colorado and a few other states have since begun allowing a nonbinary choice on their licenses.