“We want our crew to be welcoming to everyone on board," an airline spokesperson said

By Claudia Harmata
December 24, 2019 01:55 PM
Easy Jet Airbus
Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty

EasyJet is looking to foster a more inclusive environment on its flights.

On Tuesday, the European airline announced that it has provided a guide for staff on how to incorporate gender-neutral greetings to passengers.

“We want our crew to be welcoming to everyone on board and so have provided some guidance to them of how to best do that in a way that is inclusive for everyone,” a spokesperson for the airline told PEOPLE.

The spokesperson emphasized that EasyJet has not banned the original “ladies and gentlemen” greeting, but are simply encouraging staff to opt for the more gender-inclusive options that they have outlined in their guide.

The airline’s announcement comes just four months after Andi Fugard, a senior lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, complained to EasyJet on Twitter about not being inclusive with greetings.

“Dear @easyJet, are you in some kind of competition to see how many times you can reinforce gender binaries? ‘Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls’, perfume strictly [segregated] again by ‘ladies and gentlemen’. Ditch sir/madam too. An organisation as huge as yours must do better,” Fugard had written on Twitter in August.

An EasyJet representative responded to the academic’s grievance, telling the lecturer that they “do not discriminate against any individual.”

Fugard then prompted the airline representative to look into what guidance or training they provide to staff on inclusivity, with the company responding that, “It’s something we’ll take on board and pass to the relevant teams. We have a wide programme of work currently ongoing in diversity and inclusion and it’s an area we are committed to focusing on.”

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Earlier this year, Air Canada banned the use of “ladies and gentlemen” on their flights, instead, replacing it with the term “everybody,” CTV News reported at the time.

“We will be amending our onboard announcements to modernize them and remove specific references to gender,” a spokesperson told CTV in October.

“We work hard to make sure all employees feel like valued members of the Air Canada family, while ensuring our customers are comfortable and respected when they choose to travel with us.”