In A First, Vistara, AirAsia Introduces Trans-Friendly Option On Flight Booking Platforms

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In A First, Vistara, AirAsia Introduces Trans-Friendly Option On Flight Booking Platforms

The decision is likely to be the outcome of an online petition in 2020 by Inderjeet Ghorpade. While trying to book an airline ticket for his trans friend, he realised that none of the airline companies in India offered any "gender-neutral titles".

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In the wake of Pride Month 2022, Air Vistara and AirAsia airlines have initiated a positive step toward the trans community and made their ticket booking trans-friendly by adding a third option called 'MX'.

The decision is likely to be the outcome of an online petition in 2020 by Inderjeet Ghorpade, a member of the LGBTQIA+ group 'YesWeExist'. Two years ago, Ghorpade was trying to book an airline ticket for his friend, who is a trans, non-binary person, but he realised that none of the airline companies in India offered any "gender-neutral titles".

"Many members of the LGBTQ+ community prefer using the 'MX' title. But, I was surprised to see that the 'MX' option was unavailable while booking air tickets in India," Ghorpade said, according to The Hindu.

Transgenders Used To Pick Inaccurate Titles

He said that due to the unavailability of the MX option, transgender passengers were forced to choose an inaccurate title for themselves, either 'Mr', 'Mrs' or 'Ms', to book a ticket.

To make air ticket booking gender-neutral, he started a petition on Change.org called StopPinkWashing.

Later, he started speaking about the issue on social media and gathered support for his cause. Simultaneously, he wrote emails to airlines to alert them on the subject and sensitise them about the trans community's demands. More than 33,000 people signed his petition and supported the cause.

"The Transgender (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 mentions that transgender persons should not be denied or unfairly treated with regard to the right to movement and access to services. All airlines in India violate this Act. Four years ago, Indian Railways updated their booking form and added transgender as an available gender option," the online petition stated.

Visible Changes

According to The Week, Ghorpade hopes that Air India will also make the change soon, now that the Tatas own both Air India and Air Vistara.

"Once these three big airlines have changed their booking platform, then hopefully airline authorities will work towards making airports more queer-friendly. That will be my next action plan," he said.

Also Read: 11 Years On, 'Equality Village' Comes Up In Tamil Nadu To Promote Social Integration


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Writer : Tashafi Nazir
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Editor : Shiva Chaudhary
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