WestJet union must apologize

Transgender activists are accusing Westjet Airlines of “violating their human rights” by requiring them to state whether they’re male or female when booking a flight.

As reported by CBC News, activists are demanding the airline allow people to use “X” as their gender, as is currently allowed on Canadian passports.

Iz Lloyd, who identifies as “non-binary”, told CBC News that X “is a legal gender marker in our laws” and that not recognizing it is “a violation of the Charter.” 

Lloyd claims trans individuals are being forced to identify with their biological sex to be able to board a Westjet flight.

Westjet told CBC News that issues with third-party booking agencies have led to the delay of the implementation of an “X” marker.

“At WestJet, it is our commitment to ensure our guests have an equitable travel experience and we owe a further explanation and apology regarding our progress on adding non-binary options to our booking and check-in systems,” said WestJet media representative Denise Kenny.

In addition to identifying with a biological sex, Lloyd also claims to have been “misgendered” on several occasions by a WestJet employee.

In response to the incident, Lloyd says Westjet offered around 50 WestJet dollars and said there was nothing else that they could do.

Lloyd hopes the current situation will soon change and believes the ongoing dispute with Westjet will result in a better “world for other trans people and trans kids so that they’re not afraid.”

Lloyd also believes businesses should be required by the Canadian government to accept gender “X”. 

Some transgender activists have also taken issue with Air Canada’s gender policy, according to CBC News. While the carrier does offer a third gender option, activists object to the fact that it is listed as “other” rather than “X”.

Since 2019, the Trudeau government has allowed Canadians not wishing to identify as male or female to identify as “X” on their passports, a move that has some worried about safety abroad.

“We can’t guarantee that other countries you visit or travel through will accept the sex or gender identifier on your passport or travel document,” reads the federal government’s website.