Virgin Atlantic’s New Gender Identity Policy Brings Great Changes for Employees and Passengers

Pronoun badges, uniform choices, and more are part of the airline's inclusive plans.

It’s the final boarding call for old-school thinking on Virgin Atlantic flights. Thanks to the company’s new progressive policies, passengers will be greeted and assisted by flight attendants who are able to express their gender identity right down to which kind of uniform they’d prefer to wear.

A new video released by the billion-dollar airline company excitedly shares some of the improvements employees and even passengers can now take advantage of. 

“We’ve changed our uniform code to give our crew, pilot and ground teams the option to choose which of our iconic uniforms, designed by Vivienne Westwood, best represents them,” the company states on their YouTube page. 

Along with more uniform styles and colors, Virgin Atlantic will now offer crew members optional pronoun badges, which will help passengers better address staff on board their flight. 

These badges will also be available for customers at check-in, and a new ticketing system will also allow passengers with passports that have neutral gender markers to select “U” or “X” gender codes when they book with the airline, according to PEOPLE.

The promotional video includes a mix of current crew members, performers, and advocates across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, including DJ and musician Michelle Visage, Exist Loudly CIC founder Tanya Compas, transgender model Talulah-Eve and TikTok star Tyreece Nye.

“Be Yourself campaign means absolutely everything to me,” Virgin Atlantic cabin crew member Jamie Forrstrom proudly states in the video. “I get to be myself, a non-binary person. I have the choice of a uniform, which is a massively big thing. It’s so important.”

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“People feel empowered when they are wearing what best represents them,” adds Visage. “This gender identity policy allows people to embrace who they are and bring their full selves to work.” 

A judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Visage adds that she supports Virgin Atlantic’s inclusive efforts as an LGBTQ+ ally, and the mother of a non-binary child.

Compas had a lot of fun styling the new uniforms, opting for a sleek suit jacket and trousers in deep plum color. “I feel very affirmed by this,” the youth organizer, whose pronouns are she/her/they/them, explains. “I just feel like myself.”

The UK-based airline’s Be Yourself campaign has been an ongoing effort since 2019 and aims to rescind many outdated policies like mandatory makeup and no-tattoos, while also adding more inclusive language, efforts, and safety measures for staff and passengers overall.

“We’re committed to bringing together a workforce that reflects the society we live in, creating an environment that supports diversity, equity and inclusion, and allowing all our people to bring their whole selves to work,” the airline’s inclusivity landing page declares.

The company also publicly states its goal of having a 50:50 gender balance in leadership roles, and increasing their Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation by 12%. 

Being yourself while on the go is important for both travelers and those working in the travel industry. We look forward to seeing where Virgin Atlantic goes with these initiatives, because in the words of their company slogan, “Everyone can take on the world.”

Katka Lapelosova
Katka is a born and raised New Yorker and writer who has written for Yahoo!, Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, SheKnows, Livingly, and more. Read more
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