MIAMI – Lufthansa (LH) is set to remove salutations such as “Ladies and Gentlemen/boys and girls” and move towards gender-neutral greetings. The move will be implemented over the entire Lufthansa Group, which includes Swiss (LX), Austrian (OS), and Low-cost carrier Eurowings (EW).
Lufthansa initiated gender-sensitive language within the Group earlier this month as it comprises over 100,000 employees, which could bring in sensitive challenges.
According to an interview with Business Insider DE, Timotheus Piechatzek, Equal Opportunities Officer at Lufthansa spoke about the changes the Group has taken up to get rid of the typical greeting of “ladies and gentlemen” (or “Meine Damen und Herren” in German) and mentioned that these changes would take some getting used to.
Piechatzek stated “Customer communication, of course, but also operational operations: the cabin, the cockpit, the station – and the internal communication. After talking to all departments in our research phase, we quickly noticed that the corporate culture was a good fit and that for the majority of colleagues it was clear: The introduction of gender-sensitive language is timely”.
He further went on to say, “It’s still too early to take stock, but I’ve received a lot of positive feedback so far. We recommend that all of our employees, including our aircraft crews (a good example of a gender-neutral word, by the way) use mainly neutral words. We will gradually implement gender-sensitive language within flight operations, i.e. for announcements from the cabin, cockpit, and at the gate. I think there is no generally applicable strategy”.
“As an airline group, we are an international corporation, which is why we were born with diversity. I’m proud to work in a company with a culture that has diversity in its DNA, so to speak”.
At the moment the Group hasn’t come up with a specific replacement for “ladies and gentlemen” but could move to a common approach of “everyone.”
Air Canada was the first airline to move towards a gender-neutral greeting back in 2019 and simply used the phrase “everyone” instead of “Ladies and gentlemen.”
Japan airlines is another example that switched its English greeting announcement to just “Good morning” or “good day.”
Featured image: LUFTHANSA D-AILU AIRBUS A319 (Lu Livery). Photo: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways