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Airline tells pilots, flight attendants to stop using 'ladies and gentlemen' in order to promote diversity and respect of 'new social norms': report

Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images

British Airways staff will reportedly no longer refer to passengers as "ladies and gentlemen," according to a Saturday report from the Telegraph, in an effort to promote "diversity and inclusion."

What are the details?

The airline will no longer use the feminine and masculine terms during onboarding announcements in order for the carrier to celebrate its customers' diversity.

According to the report, "The decision is believed to have been partly driven by a change in [British Airways] customers. A greater proportion of families are traveling since COVID restrictions have been eased, with business travel slower to recover."

"The airline is understood to have been keen to make children feel included in announcement as well as respect new social norms," the report continued.

A spokesperson for the airline told the outlet, "We celebrate diversity and inclusion and we're committed to ensuring that all our customers feel welcome when traveling with us."

Advertising agency founder Sir Martin Sorrell told the outlet that passengers no longer cared about the use of traditional, polite language while traveling.

"Whether that's fortunate or unfortunate, it's a sign of the times," he explained. "The important thing is not the announcements, it's the food, the Wi-Fi, the service, the speed of getting on the plane and getting off the plane."

Germanic carrier Lufthansa made a similar move earlier in 2021, following the footsteps of Air Canada and EasyJet, which implemented related changes in 2019. In September, Air Malta also announced it would no longer use the phrase "ladies and gentlemen," and vowed to utilize more inclusive language in order to avoid misgendering any of its passengers.

Of the decision, a spokesperson for AirMalta said, "Diversity and equality are core values at Air Malta, and the airline welcomes all its customers, irrespective of their nationality, race, political ideology, religion, and gender."

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