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Alaska Airlines is Introducing ‘Pronoun Pins’ So You Can Address Your Flight Attendant Correctly

Alaska Airlines is Introducing ‘Pronoun Pins’ So You Can Address Your Flight Attendant Correctly

Alaska Airlines is introducing ‘pronoun pins’ so that flight attendants and other frontline staffers can let passengers and colleagues know how they identify.  The pins are being introduced as part of a much wider uniform and grooming policy shakeup after the airline was threatened with legal action for allegedly discriminating against non-binary and gender non-conforming flight attendants.

The pins will be available in three options: ’She/Her’, ‘He/Him’ and ’They/Them’ and are already being rolled out to employees who want to wear them.  Work on changing Alaska’s booking system so that passengers can choose their preferred pronouns, however,  isn’t yet complete and won’t be until the end of 2022.

Along with the pronoun pins, Alaska has had to rethink its uniform and grooming policy which used to be based on two binary definitions of gender.  That policy was challenged last year after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused Alaska of discriminating against a non-binary flight attendant.

Justin Wetherell didn’t believe Alaska’s ‘male’ or ‘female’ uniform policies ‘fitted’ him and wanted to use elements from both.  Until now, however, Alaska insisted that its employees choose one or the other.

That policy helped, for example, transgender employees but potentially discriminated against non-binary or gender non-conforming workers.

The ACLU pointed out a number of gender-specific disparities that included:

  • Male and female-specific uniforms
  • Men were banned from wearing makeup and nail polish
  • Female flight attendants were barred from rolling up their shirt sleeves
  • Men were prevented from wearing earrings and high-heels

Wetherell simply wanted the option to pick and choose from both gender policies but in keeping with the general uniform standards.

Alaska says it got the memo and has now updated its policy to “provide more freedom and flexibility in individual and gender expression”.

“With these changes, fingernail polish, makeup, two earrings per ear, and a single stud nose piercing are expression options available to all employees,” the Seattle-based airline explained in a statement.

“We’ve also updated our grooming policies to allow tattoos in more locations, more hairstyle options and are adjusting the names of our uniform kits to be focused on fit vs. gender identifications.”

The airline is also looking with its uniform designer Luly Yang to create a range of gender-neutral uniform pieces.  In the meantime, employees can pick and choose from the entire uniform range.

“Policing gender is always wrong, and in many instances — including with Justin and Alaska Airlines — illegal,” commented ACLU senior staff attorney Galen Sherwin last June.

View Comments (7)
  • The official airline of the NCAA “women’s” sports. I guess as long as they are there primarily for my safety. I would have more to contribute but I’m going to go watch re-runs of the old Pan-Am TV show now.

  • So stupid! Usually when you need to get someone’s attention you say, “Sir” or “Ma’am”. What are you going to say when they’re wearing a “They/Them” button? “Excuse me, ‘oh flight attendant’,, could I have a coke?” And do flight attendants really need to be wearing buttons anyway? Kind of tacky. And then you’re going to have a certain number of bearded male flight attendants wearing “She/Her” buttons just to get a rise out of watching people’s faces. I mean this whole thing is really just getting out of hand.

  • Nope. Not gonna take part in that game. I will still address the cabin crew by “Sir” or “Ma’am”., regardless of what their scratch-n-sniff sticker reads. The “Theys/Their” group can suck it.

    • I’m just sorry that they don’t have “inconsiderate and whiny asshole” pins for jerks like you. Then again, you’d probably wear it with pride.

      Seriously, though, why be that way? Trans/non-binary folks have enough stress and challenges, and they’re not hurting you or your safety or service. Why not just… not be a jerk?

      • Well Adam, Jep has just as much right to an opinion as you do. So do I! Just because an opinion differs from yours, doesn’t make them a whiny asshole. I also think this is ridiculous and refuse to call anyone “they/them”!

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