The German airline Lufthansa has retired the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” as its main greeting to passengers, replacing it with terms like “dear guests” and “good morning/afternoon/evening.”

The move comes after a spokesperson for Europe’s biggest airline group stated that they wanted to make all flight passengers feel welcomed, even those who don’t necessarily identify as male or female.

The new policy will be introduced slowly and will see flight attendants and pilots use the new terms on the German airline company Lufthansa, as well as the Swiss, Brussels, Austrian, and Eurowings airlines held within the company.

The gender debates

In the last few weeks, Germany has officially joined the debate regarding more inclusive language in daily life, labeling it as the creation of a multicultural society.

Before the Lufthansa announcement, major German cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich, have stated that transport networks in their respected cities will drop the phrase “Schwarzfahren,” which translates to black riding, the definition for those who travel without a ticket.

The move comes in response to activists claiming that the word has “racist connotations.”

However, Lufthansa isn’t the first international airline to drop gendered greetings in favor of more gender-neutral language.

Last year, Japan Airlines announced that it would be dropping gendered phrases, replacing them with terms like “all passengers” during their English-speaking announcements.

Japan Airlines became the first Japanese carrier to change their greetings to passengers, joining Air Canada and EasyJet, who made their own changes back in 2019.

A spokesperson for Japan Airlines stated that they were fulfilling a commitment to not discriminate based on gender, as well as other personal aspects such as sexual orientation.

Further announcements

Last month, Disney World came under intense criticism after they changed their classic firework display greeting of “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls” to ‘good evening, dreamers of all ages.’

A Disney cast member was discovered tweeting their displeasure about the new greeting, stating that they preferred the original version of the message.

The removal of the classic greeting, which was been used for 20 years and uttered more than 8 million times, is the latest “woke” move by the company, who revamped numerous Disney World rides after they received criticism for promoting racial and cultural stereotypes.