Thursday, July 7, 2022

British Airways pilots told not to address passengers as ‘ladies and gentlemen’

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Many other airlines have adopted gender neutral language as part of diversity drives
Many other airlines have adopted gender neutral language as part of diversity drives (Picture: PA / Reuters)

Passengers travelling on British Airways flights are no longer going to be addressed as ‘ladies and gentlemen’.

Language used in onboard announcements will be changed to ‘reflect the diversity’ of those travelling.

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Instead pilots are being urged to use neutral terms that are more inclusive, bringing onboard announcements in line with current practice in airports.

The decision has been made because of large numbers of children travelling post-lockdown, as well as to reflect new social norms, The Telegraph reported.

When asked about the report, a spokesman said: ‘We celebrate diversity and inclusion and we’re committed to ensuring that all our customers feel welcome when travelling with us.’

If confirmed, BA would join a host of other airlines including the German Lufthansa, EasyJet and AirCanada in using gender neutral greetings.

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Last month Air Malta announced its pilots would use phrases such as ‘attention, all passengers’ rather than gendered terms.

Pilots have previously been encouraged to bring elements of their personalities into on-flight announcements – while covering the key safety information.

FILE PHOTO: British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft takes off from Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, May 17, 2021. REUTERS/John Sibley/File Photo
Passengers are slowly starting to return to the air post lockdown (Picture: Reuters)

Other transport providers have also introduced similar practices. Transport for London stopped using ‘ladies and gentlemen’ in 2017.

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It comes as the airline industry continues to recover after lockdowns worldwide due to Covid.

BA, as with all other airlines, has seen a huge drop in revenue due to most countries preventing citizens from travelling abroad.

Advertising expert Sir Martin Sorrell told the Telegraph that passengers are unlikely to care about whether traditional greetings are used.

‘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,’ he added.

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