No more ladies and gentlemen: Japan Airlines takes to gender-neutral greetings

Marco Green
September 30, 2020

While you may be accustomed to being greeted in a certain way in domestic and worldwide flights, a Japanese airline has been thinking outside the box, to make greetings more gender-neutral and, therefore, inclusive.

Japan Airlines (JAL) has made a decision to drop the greetings "ladies and gentlemen" while making announcements in English. From October 1, JAL "will abolish expressions that based on (two types of) sex and use the gender-friendly expression" like "good morning" and "good evening", a spokesperson for the airline said.

However, it will only apply to JAL's English announcements, AFP said.

Notably, the Japanese greetings announced by the airline are already gender-neutral, so they will not need to be updated.

"It is a small deal that most people do not really care about because this change in announcement in English can not be understood nor noticed by nearly all the Japanese-speaking passengers,", Professor Kazuya Kawaguchi, a sociologist at Hiroshima Shudo University told the BBC.

"We aspire to be a company where we can create a positive atmosphere and treat everyone, including our customers, with respect", Japan Airlines spokesman Mark Morimoto told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an email.

"We have committed to not discriminate based on gender, age, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or other personal attributes".

Same-sex marriage is not legally recognised in Japan but the government has gradually expanded rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens in recent years.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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