Virgin Atlantic announced this week it updated the airline’s gender identity policy, enabling employees to wear clothing that expresses how they identify or present themselves.
The airline also introduced optional pronoun badges for staffers and passengers, as well as ticketing system changes to allow passport holders with neutral gender markers to use their gender codes and titles.
In an announcement released Wednesday, the airline said its crew, pilots, and ground team may now choose which of its uniforms, designed by Vivienne Westwood, best represents them regardless of gender, gender identity, or gender expression.
Virgin Atlantic said its staff can now choose either its red or burgundy uniform, “depending on which best reflects themselves,” the airline wrote in the statement.
The move comes on the heels of other changes made by the airline, including optional makeup for staff and allowing visible tattoos for crew members and front-line workers.
According to research commissioned by the airline, allowing staff to embrace their individuality at work increases mental wellbeing, feelings of happiness and creates a better experience for staff and customers.
“The updated gender identity policy is so important to me,” Jamie Forsstroem, Cabin Crew at Virgin Atlantic, said in the statement. “As a non-binary person, it allows me to be myself at work and have the choice in what uniform I wear. “
The announcement is part of the airline’s “on-going drive to champion the individuality of its people and customers and is complemented by the roll out of optional pronoun badges for all its people and those traveling with the airline.”
Badges will be available to teams and customers, the airline said. To obtain one, customers should ask for their preferred badge at the check-in desk or in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.
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Airline officials said Virgin Atlantic also updated its ticketing systems to allow for people holding passports with gender neutral gender markers to select “U” or “X” gender codes on their booking as well as the gender-neutral title, “Mx”.
Mandatory inclusivity training will also be rolled out for employees, the airline reported, along with inclusivity learning initiatives for tourism partners and hotels within the airline’s destinations to ensure all customers feel welcome “despite barriers to LGBTQ + equality.”
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her di lei at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.