Travellers booking flights with KLM can now select a gender-neutral form of address, with further airline processes to be added in the near future. Olivia Palamountain reports
KLM is joining airlines such as Delta and Virgin Atlantic in introducing gender-free forms of address in their booking channels.
The Dutch airline is now adding a gender-neutral option for non-binary customers in some of its key markets, namely the Netherlands, UK, Germany and the US.
Not only can adult travellers booking their tickets in these markets specify that they identify as non-binary but they can also opt to be addressed by name only without any title where possible. If a courtesy title is needed, the letter X will be used in greetings to these customers.
Alternative forms of address are being used in other settings as well. Some time ago, KLM started using “passengers” instead of “ladies and gentlemen” in its in-flight announcements, for instance.
Travellers with a KLM account or who are members of the Flying Blue loyalty programme can already choose a gender-neutral form of address. Other airline processes, including check-in, will also be adapted later this year.As reported by Simple Flying, the airline said that there had been a growing demand for a gender-neutral alternative, which has been well-received among customers. KLM believes that introducing this option aligns with efforts to become more inclusive and deliver a more personalized customer experience and follows similar moves from other airlines.
Boet Kreiken, executive vice-president of customer experience at KLM, says: “I’m proud that we’re now giving customers more choice in how they would like to be addressed. After all, there are few things more profound than our identity and, consequently, our name and how others address us.
“The fact that we immediately had hundreds of customers opting for this new feature, shows that we have indeed recognised and acknowledged them.
Elsewhere in the world, United and American Airlines are the only US passenger airlines that currently offer passengers the option to remain gender-neutral when booking their flights.
However, thanks to engagement from Airlines for America, more major US airlines will follow suit by the end of 2024, agreeing to update computer systems to allow travellers to purchase tickets with an “X” gender marker.
This organisation represents numerous passenger airlines including, United, Delta, Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest, American, and Hawaiian.