EasyJet staff asked to stop using 'ladies and gentlemen' to address passengers

An EasyJet aircraft.
An EasyJet aircraft. Photo credit: Getty

"Ladies and gentlemen" will no longer be used by the budget airline EasyJet to address passengers following a Twitter complaint that the greeting "reinforces gender binaries".

The British airline has reportedly requested cabin crew to substitute the term for "welcome everyone" to foster greater inclusivity.

According to The Sun, the decision to move away from the generic greeting was sparked by a transgender professor at the Birkbeck University of London, Dr Andi Fugard, who took issue with the airline's use of "gender binaries".

"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," Dr Fugard complained on Twitter in August.

"At EasyJet we do not discriminate against any individual - passengers or staff members," the airline responded.

"We are a pan-European airline with the aim of connecting people of all nationalities across Europe so there is certainly no room in our organisation for discrimination of any kind."

Yet according to the outlet, Dr Fugard's complaint rattled the airline into issuing new guidelines advising staff against using "ladies and gentlemen" to address passengers.

EasyJet told The Sun they were not prohibiting the term but had opted to "guide" cabin crew towards alternative expressions.

"We want our crew to be welcoming to everyone onboard and so have provided some guidance to them of how to best do that in a way that is inclusive for everyone," an EasyJet spokesperson said.

The move follows sanitary brand Always' announcement that it will remove the female symbol from its packaging in a bid to include transgender customers.