British Airways pilots and crew will no longer greet their passengers as “Ladies and gentlemen” onboard flights, switching to more gender-neutral terms.
The move to use more inclusive language has been welcomed by many, while a minority of “anti-woke” crusaders have claimed to be outraged by the decision.
It is understood that BA staff will say “Attention, all passengers” or simply address “everyone”.
The airline is by no means the first to do so, joining Air Canada, Qantas, Air Japan and easyJet among others in removing the binary greeting “Ladies and gentlemen” from announcements.
Last month, Air Malta announced that it would be doing the same.
But several commentators spoke up about BA’s decision to follow suit, dismissing it as “virtue signalling” or “woke”.
“I hope @British_Airways staff ignore this virtue-signalling nonsense,” tweeted Piers Morgan.
“The eradication of gender specific language is a pathetic surrender to the woke brigade. Most people identify as men or women, where are OUR rights to be called what WE want to be called?”
Radio commentator Darren Grimes called it “an assault on our beautiful language,” saying “shame on British Airways”, while actor Laurence Fox called it “an attack on everything we are”.
Meanwhile, many welcomed the change.
Liberal commentator Femi Oluwole shared a clip of two men critiquing the move on Radio 5 Live, tweeting: “ Whether British Airways says Ladies and Gentlemen or just Passengers/Everyone means NOTHING TO ME or either of these men.
“So if it IS important to non-binary people, why not do the bare minimum!? Especially as people’s genitals are irrelevant to the position of their seat trays!”
In a reply to Piers, Twitter user @AstroNutBC said: “You mis-spelled ‘congrats to British Airways on making a small but important gesture to make everyone feel welcome and included’”.