President Trump might not be celebrating LGBT Pride this month but the Big Three U.S. airlines definitely are. June, traditionally see’s Pride events held around the world to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) diversity. It marks the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that many credit as a tipping point for gay rights.
It’s a cause that U.S. airlines have been getting behind for many years now. American Airlines is believed to be the first airline in the country to introduce sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination policies. The airline has officially supported LGBT causes for over two decades and this year is set to be bigger than ever.
And it’s not just North American carriers that have taken a stand for LGBT rights and marriage equality. Alan Joyce, the CEO of Australian airline, Qantas, recently said his company officially backed marriage equality in his country. The company’s stance led to Joyce having a cream pie shoved into his face at a business breakfast in March.
Since 1994, June has been a month to not only support equal rights but also celebrate the achievements and rich history of the LGBT community. The ubiquitous ‘Pride parades’ are the most visible celebrations but U.S. airlines are marking the month more than ever with a series of events.
We’ve taken a look at what American Airlines, Delta and United airlines are doing to commemorate Pride Month 2017.
“The key to our success as a company is being an airline customers want to fly, where people want to work and shareholders want to invest. It’s about being an inclusive airline that embraces diversity and creates an environment of mutual respect,” says Patrick O’Keeffe, senior vice president for People.
The airline will be sponsoring seven Pride Parades throughout the U.S. this year employees in uniform will also be taking part. Passengers will also be able to watch the documentary, ‘Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America’ which chronicles the journey of Moises Serrano, an undocumented activist for LGBT equality.
And even if you’re not flying with American in June you can check out a weekly social media post on the airline’s Facebook page that highlights LGBT employees.
Delta Air Lines
Delta says it will be celebrating “diversity, acceptance and inclusion” throughout June and is the official airline sponsor for 16 U.S. and international Pride parades. The airline will have a strong presence at the following events across the country: Circle City IN Pride, Indianapolis; Nashville Pride Equality Walk; Motor City Pride in Detroit; NYC Heritage of Pride; Seattle PrideFest; Seattle Pride; Twin Cities Pride in Minneapolis; Utah Pride Festival, Salt Lake City; Cincinnati Pride and Boston Pride.
And for the first time, this year, Delta will become an official sponsor of London Pride will employees marching alongside community activists. As a major stake holder in the British-based airline, Virgin Atlantic, the airline will be teaming up with Virgin employees at events in Atlanta, Boston, London, New York and Seattle.
Tad Hutcheson, Managing Director for Community Engagement commented: “Equality and inclusion are core values at Delta and the reason we support Pride events throughout the world.”
Delta was recently named a ‘Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality’ by the Human Right Campaign with a perfect 100% Corporate Equality Index score.
At United Airlines, the carrier has kicked off Pride month by painting its logo in the rainbow colors across its social media profiles. The airline has also featured a video on its YouTube to celebrate diversity and LGBT equality.
As an airline that publicly supported marriage equality, United says it is “committed to creating a workplace where all employees feel included and empowered to make a measurable difference in its success.”
In June, the airline will be represented at the following LGBT Pride Festivals: Chicago, Washington DC, Denver, Houston, New York City and San Francisco. United also sponsors the National Gay Pilots Association, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Of course, it’s not just LGBT rights that the airline supports. There are five employee run groups to promote equality throughout the airline. The other featured groups are Multi-cultural, Veterans, Women and Millenials.
And don’t worry – other U.S. airlines are also big supporters of LGBT rights. Here’s a look at how some other carriers have acknowledged Pride month on social media:
We reached out to Southwest to see what they were doing to commemorate Pride month but they decided not to comment. And they haven’t yet made an announcement on social media. However, Southwest has previously said they take “pride in our outreach and commitment to the LGBT community.”
Last year, the airline was also honoured as a ‘Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality’ by the Human Rights Campaign.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.