Lufthansa Moves To Gender Neutral Announcements Onboard

Lufthansa has decided to drop gender-related terms from onboard announcements. The move follows similar movements that have been enacted elsewhere in the airline since June in order to create a more inclusive environment for those who may not identify as male or female.

Lufthansa, Gender Neutral, Diversity
Lufthansa is to drop gender-related terms from onboard announcements. Photo: Oliver Rösler via Lufthansa

Across the globe, airlines are making changes to ensure that all employees and customers feel comfortable and respected. Increasingly, such changes have been targeted at including those who may not be comfortable with gender-related terms and policies.

In June, Simple Flying reported that United Airlines would be updating its uniform standards, in part to give employees more freedom of gender expression. easyJet took the plunge far earlier, deciding that it would ditch gendered terms back in December 2019, following a similar decision from Air Canada in October of that year.

What’s going on at Lufthansa?

For years Lufthansa passengers have been used to being called “Damen und Herren” or “Ladies and Gentlemen”. This is all set to stop as the airline moves to more inclusive terms such as “Dear guests” or “Good morning/evening here onboard”. According to the airline, it will be up to individual employees to decide how to go about addressing passengers until a standard text is introduced.

Lufthansa, Gender Neutral, Diversity
“Ladies and Gentlemen” could become “dear guests”. Photo: Oliver Rösler via Lufthansa

A Lufthansa spokesperson told Simple Flying that the airline intends to show that diversity is not just a phrase but a lived reality. As such, the changes go far beyond onboard announcements. Lufthansa wants to instill diversity and equality as core values of the corporate culture. In Germany, such changes are already becoming a norm, with most job listings specifying that they are open to men, women, and ‘diverse’ individuals.

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Changes already being made

Since the start of June, Lufthansa has slowly been rolling the changes out across the business in a staged manner. Rather than changing everything at once, things are being updated as and when natural changes are made, such as when a contract is renewed. In addition, the airline is also encouraging its employees to speak and write in gender-neutral terminology while engaging with others in the workplace.

Interestingly, updating such terms carry differing levels of difficulty in different languages. A Lufthansa spokesperson told Simple Flying that it is starting the changes in German and English, its two primary languages, but that far fewer adjustments are required in English. In German, the airline is using suggestions made by the German Spelling Council.

Lufthansa, Gender Neutral, Diversity
Changing the German language is proving to be trickier than English. Photo: Christian Engels via Lufthansa

The extent to which other languages will be changed will depend on whether such languages are already using gender-neutral terminology in their languages.

What do you make of the decision to switch to gender-neutral terms at Lufthansa? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!

    1. So true, people like you really need to change! It’s just being inclusive, doesn’t hurt you lol.

      1. I lied to be called a gentleman, looks like that’s not happening anymore as we need to appease a minority. Ridiculous

  1. i don’t understand why people get so bothered by this. if it makes someone else feel comfortable, then go for it! i’m happy airlines are seeing ways to make sure everyone is treated the same and respectfully. the aviation industry has a way to go to make sure everyone is treated the same, and this is a step in the right direction!

    1. Everyone treated the same? We shouldn’t be tearing everyone the same as we all have different needs and wants. Isn’t that what diversity is all about? So now I won’t be called a gentleman as we’ve had to appease a few, a tiny minority who choose to be different and demand we all change to suit. Is that diversity?

    1. just cause some airline is not referring to you as “ladies and gentlemen”?? LMAOOO what’s even hurting you so bad weirdo

  2. I stand by my earlier comment: no matter what any government says, a man is a man and a woman is a woman; there are no two ways about it.

    1. I agree the government has no say, that’s why everyone is free and comfortable to be what they are. Unless of course you’re so hurt and cranky about it, you must be a part of it 🙂

      1. Be what you want to be, be free and comfortable but you don’t need to change everything to suit one group. What about the fact I want to be called a gentlemen but now I can’t. Do I have no say? It appears we’re appeasing a minority AGAIN

  3. I totally agree, the world is becoming a messed up place to be, the aviation industry included

  4. The amount at transphobia and people complaining about this and saying it's not necessary is showing exactly why this is necessary

    1. Rubbish. It isn’t necessary. We can’t and shouldn’t pander to every need of a minority, just get on with life and stop changing things for the sake of change to suit a few who want to be different.

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