United is the first U.S. Airline to add non-binary gender option

United Airlines plane flying
United Airlines plane flying

New Jerseyans can now fly with matching gender identity

United Airlines announced it is the first U.S. airline to allow customers to select a non-binary gender option when booking flights and travel. United Airlines accounts for roughly two-thirds of all passengers at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Garden State Equality Executive Director Christopher Fuscarino
Garden State Equality Executive Director Christopher Fuscarino. 2016 file photo.

“Airports are already stressful enough without having to worry if your boarding pass matches your gender identity. And United’s new policy is an important step forward. It ensures all of their customers are treated with dignity and respect,” said Christian Fuscarino, executive director for Garden State Equality. “United is a central piece of Newark’s airport that millions of people in our state rely on every year. And inclusive policies that respect LGBTQ people and non-binary individuals will only serve to make our state more equal, more fair, and more competitive.”

The Babs Siperstein Law is now in effect in New Jersey

The Babs Siperstein Law, which went into effect in the Garden State on February 1, created a new undesignated gender status in New Jersey for non-binary individuals. Presently, New Jerseyans can update their birth certificates. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is updating its policies to allow New Jerseyans to update their gender marker on their driver’s licenses. A rollout of MVC’s new policy is expected in the coming months.

Last month, the trade group Airlines for America announced plans for individual airlines to implement the non-binary gender option before June 1, 2019. United Airlines is a member of A4A along with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, and Southwest.

While flying United Airlines, customers now have the ability to identify themselves as M (male), F (female), U (undisclosed) or X (unspecified). In many cases this will correspond with what is indicated on their passports or identification. Customers will also have the option to select the honorific title “Mx.” during booking.

At present, the U.S. federal government only has “male” and “female” options on federally issued identity documents, including passports. With an undesignated “X” marker on a New Jersey birth certificate, New Jerseyans would still be able to get a passport. However, they would still need to select “male” or “female” on that form.