Lufthansa group has announced that it will remove the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” when welcoming its passengers. The greeting will be replaced by a “neutral” one with the intention of promoting inclusion.
According to a spokesperson for the Lufthansa Group, Europe’s largest airline, this measure is intended to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable during their trip, not only passengers who identify themselves as men or women.
For this reason, the crews of all its flights are instructed to choose a neutral greeting, which includes all passengers regardless of the gender with which they identify. Training will also be provided to its staff.
Some of the options for neutral greetings proposed by the company are “dear guests” or a simple “good morning, good evening”, but always avoiding reference to the male and female genders.
The German airline’s new policy will be gradually implemented starting next month and will also be included in other airlines that make up the group, such as Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings. Brussels Airlines has already started using gender-neutral language in its internal communication a while ago, the Brussels Times reports, but it will now also start implementing the change towards passengers.
We want everyone to feel welcome on board, including people who do not identify as male or female. This is of course not something that can be done overnight, but we will eventually do this everywhere, in all communication, including the instruction videos and speeches on boardMaaike Andries, Brussels Airlines spokesperson
Lufthansa pointed out that the implementation of the neutral greeting has to do with a debate developed by society on gender identification, as more and more people identify themselves as non-binary, so it was normal that they might feel excluded by being greeted with a “ladies and gentlemen”.
Germany is one of the countries that has worked hardest to promote gender and racial inclusion. Previously, cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich removed from their networks the word “Schwarzfahren” (black transport), a term that was popular to refer to people traveling without a ticket.
Over the years, the concept had become associated with racist overtones, so it has gradually been eliminated with the intention of curbing exclusion.