Virgin backtracks gender neutral policy on World Cup flight

Virgin launched its gender identity policy in September.

Virgin Atlantic has backtracked its recently announced gender neutral uniform policy for a flight carrying the England Men’s Football team to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Virgin launched its gender identity policy in September, allowing staff to choose pronoun badges and which Vivienne Westwood-designed uniform to wear.

But the carrier chose not to apply the choice on the plane carrying England’s finest, known as Rain Bow and bearing its LGBTQ+ flying icon, as Qatar considers homosexuality a crime.

“Following a risk assessment, it was recommended the policy was not applied on today’s charter flight to ensure the safety of our people,” a spokesperson said.

“Initially the UK, US and Israel are the territories where the uniform policy is being rolled out for our people, as those countries are more accepting of non-binary identities allowing more self-expression.”

Accor has introduced a new gender transitioning policy.

Meanwhile, another corporate giant in the travel industry is touting its own progressive credentials with Accor introducing a new gender transitioning policy to support its employees to navigate gender identity and affirmation at work.

Support will be offered to employees in ways that is most beneficial to them, including a gender affirmation support plan and the option to choose the uniform that best represents themselves, changing names and pronouns in Accor systems, and additional training for managers and colleagues where required.

“Everybody has the right to be themselves at work and, most importantly, to feel safe in their workplace,” said Accor Pacific CEO Sarah Derry.

“Accor strives to support all team members so they can achieve their highest potential – this is why we are committed to constantly improving the workplace for our teams.

“Part of this is ensuring we have a gender affirmation policy, along with increasing of parental leave, and family and domestic violence leave.”