Air Canada has announced that boarding times for all flights have been expanded from 30 minutes to two hours so employees can implement a new policy of welcoming passengers of all genders with their preferred pronouns translated into their native language.
In a bold financial and cultural move, the airline is also hiring multi-lingual multi-gendered flight crews, and each flight could have up to 30 employees on board to make sure no passenger experiences any hurt feelings.
Although the airline doesn’t know exactly how many genders exist, flight crews will have a list of made-up words if a passenger’s language uses gendered pronouns that are gramatically offensive. And passengers who experience deep vein thrombosis or an emotional crisis during extended boarding will have the option to get out of their seat and repeat the process to avoid a medical emergency.
“For years we started our flights with the binary ‘ladies and gentlemen’ or ‘mesdames et messieurs,'” said spokesperson Naomi Deplume. “We now realize just how offensive that was, even if it did allow us to maintain the industry standard average delay of just 15 minutes that will be impossible to meet in today’s gender fluid society.”
Experts say the plan may be unworkable, and not just from a financial perspective.
“Air Canada has a few options, none of them palatable,” said one airline industry analyst. “They’ll probably just replace human flight crews with artificially intelligent robots programmed to speak any language, but they could also restrict routes to English- and French-speaking countries or just go back to the old two-gender welcome message.”