European Airlines Drop ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ in Gender Neutrality Move

A Boeing 747-8 displaying the new logo of the German airline Lufthansa takes off at the Ai

German airline Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines have stopped making “ladies and gentlemen” announcements on flights to become more gender-neutral.

Lufthansa announced it would abandon terms such as ‘ladies and gentlemen” to address passengers on flights and instead use more gender-neutral language such as “dear passengers” or just “hello”.

“Crews are indeed required to choose a speech that is addressed to all passengers,” a spokesman for the airline said, according to French newspaper Le Figaro.

“This is a process that will take some time,” the spokesman said, adding that the new policy will be extended to all companies under the umbrella of Lufthansa, including Austrian Airlines, Swiss, Eurowings, and Brussels Airlines.

Kronen Zeitung confirmed that Austrian Airlines will implement the policy. The Austrian newspaper noted that other airlines such as Air Canada and Delta airlines have also switched to using genderless language, with Air Canada dropping “ladies and gentlemen” and “mesdames et messieurs” in 2019.

The move by Lufthansa comes as several German and Austrian cities have decided to drop the term “Schwarzfahren” or “black riding” — people travelling on public transport without a valid ticket — on grounds the term is allegedly racist.

Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Hannover announced they will drop the term and replace stickers on buses and trains that indicate the fine amounts for travelling without a valid ticket.

German broadcaster NDR noted that the term “black rider” has no origin regarding race but comes from the fact that fare-dodging was often historically carried out at night. NDR also quoted a linguist who gave the alternative explanation that “Schwarzfahren” came from the Yiddish term “shvarts”, which means poverty, and refers to people too poor to buy a ticket.

The Lufthansa move is also just the latest gender ideology policy to be seen in a European country in recent weeks.

In Spain, the government proposed a new law earlier this month that would allow people to change their gender on official documents by simple request, rather than needing medical approval.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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