After receiving a scorching Tweet from a transgender passenger in August, EasyJet has taken the initiative to make their greetings gender-neutral. Even though the company claims that they did not "ban" gendered terms like ladies, gentlemen, boys, and girls, they encouraged staff to avoid the use of them. While the small change does put a lot of people at ease, many people on Twitter were swift to criticise the change.
In August, a professor at London's Birkbeck University wrote a Tweet where the company was criticised for their use of gender binary terms "ladies and gentlemen" over and over again. Andi Fugard pointed out that by using the gendered terms, the company was not able to include the non-binary passengers.
Fugard urged the airline company to do better by letting go of terms like "sir/madam" as they assumed the gender of the passengers. Fugard's tweet immediately drew criticism where a user called non-binary people "special snowflakes" who could not decide if they are "Arthur or Martha".
EasyJet, however, did not share the sentiments of the people who thought Fugard's complaint was unnecessary. An EasyJet representative responded to Fugard's tweet, assuring that the airline does not encourage discrimination. Fugard further questioned the company by responding to EasyJet's tweet and questioned them about their general greetings.
Over a couple more responses, EasyJet assured the customer that they would be looking into the matter. It was soon announced that EasyJet would no longer be using gender-binary terms to greet passengers. Instead of "ladies and gentlemen" the staff have been urged to greet the passengers with "welcome everyone".
The Sun reported that EasyJet had not banned its staff from using gender-binary terms. However, the bosses have encouraged the staff to be more gender-sensitive when handling customers. EasyJet has followed the example set by sanitary brand Always, which no-longer uses the female symbol on packaging to be more inclusive of trans customers.
The small yet significant change towards inclusivity did not sit well with a number of Twitter users. Some responded by calling Fugard an "idiot" where another user even called Fugard a "terrorist idiot."