Airlines confirming gender?

lorenni

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 27, 2012
gentleman in front of me at the airport was hassled because his photo ID did not list a gender. The gate agent said they are required to confirm gender - begging the question "what if I don't present in a way that matches the M/F on my ID?"

How can they possibly "confirm" someone's gender?

For clarity - this is Canada, and provincial health cards in ontario are photo IDs. This person had forgotten his current DL so they were negotiating the merits of his health card. Which, I will point out, qualifies as photo ID for the IRS for purposes of confirming identify for anti-money laundering purposes. (Because you have to prove to the govt who you are in order to get a provincial health card and for adults the card has a photo.)

I plan to send a note to the airline once we land.
 

Jason_V

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
Just a thought: confirm gender on the ID to the reservation? I don't think boarding passes have that information written on them, but the barcode that is scanned at security may have more information which pulls up on the TSA screen...?

I know when I make plane reservations birthdate and gender are required fields.
 

lorenni

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 27, 2012
So at my airport they check your ID once at the gate. It isn't checked earlier. I'm not sure what they are checking it against. Maybe they just have to confirm a gender per your ID and that it matches their reservation info?
 
  • Jason_V

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2017
    Huh, interesting. I haven't had my ID checked at the gate anywhere in the US (mainland or Hawaii) or in Costa Rica.

    I really have no clue if that's happening.
     

    Shanti

    Momketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2015
    gentleman in front of me at the airport was hassled because his photo ID did not list a gender. The gate agent said they are required to confirm gender...How can they possibly "confirm" someone's gender?
    The majority of the time, gender is obvious. That's why having it listed is helpful to the airlines & security. When it's not obvious, they aren't going to demand to see the Full Monty to prove anything. Gate agents & TSA agents have seen androgenous and trans people before.
     

    lorenni

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2012
    Right - this morning the gate agent specifically said they would not accept an ID that did not list gender. I'm guessing they are required to confirm gender in the ID against gender listed in their passenger manifest?

    This is different than security elsewhere. Every other airport, in every country I have been, it's the security checkpoint that asks for ID. At Billy Bishop (and Montreal where I happen to be sitting right now), you show only a boarding pass at security and you show your photo ID to the gate agent when boarding.

    I guess what I am wondering is WHY a photo ID has to list gender to be valid for the airport? If I look like my photo and my name is the same?
     

    Wild4Walt

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2008
    For many years now ( close to 2002, but don't quote me as I can't remember the specific time period ) you are asked to identify your gender when you book your travel reservations.

    It does beg the question though, how do airlines handle someone who is transgender and their ID shows a photo or a name that may not be considered 'matching up'.
     
  • Grmnshplvr

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2014
    I'm a little worried about this as our son is transgender and is presenting as male, obviously at 12 years old he has not changed his gender on any documents. I usually take their birth certificates to the airport, i hope it doesn't present a problem.
     

    Westcoastwild

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2016
    I think that it's just that no gender listed on the ID is the issue, so it's a question legit ID. If there was a gender listed, I really doubt they're going to look at someone and say "you don't look male/female".
     

    Watni?Dis-Knee

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 21, 2017
    Oftentimes, gender is a required field, may it be for reservation or booking a flight. Bringing the birth certificate and show it as a supporting document may be necessary.
     

    cruisehopeful

    Wishing I was taking a nap on a ship.
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2015
    I'm a little worried about this as our son is transgender and is presenting as male, obviously at 12 years old he has not changed his gender on any documents. I usually take their birth certificates to the airport, i hope it doesn't present a problem.
    I know we are in different states, so things may be different here, but when we were going to travel, my daughter got her court order for the gender/name change and we immediately went to get a passport with the updated info. The passport works everywhere. I don't even think she has changed her birth certificate, yet, since everyone accepts the passport.
     
  • tinkerbellandeeyor

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2011
    I think that it's just that no gender listed on the ID is the issue, so it's a question legit ID. If there was a gender listed, I really doubt they're going to look at someone and say "you don't look male/female".
    It might very by state but my state ID card has my gender on it
     

    cobright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2013
    gentleman in front of me at the airport was hassled because his photo ID did not list a gender. The gate agent said they are required to confirm gender - begging the question "what if I don't present in a way that matches the M/F on my ID?"

    How can they possibly "confirm" someone's gender?

    For clarity - this is Canada, and provincial health cards in ontario are photo IDs. This person had forgotten his current DL so they were negotiating the merits of his health card. Which, I will point out, qualifies as photo ID for the IRS for purposes of confirming identify for anti-money laundering purposes. (Because you have to prove to the govt who you are in order to get a provincial health card and for adults the card has a photo.)
    Don't take this as a criticism or as support of gender ID requirements. Personally this is an area with some very valid 'gray area' concerns, though I generally support people deciding which gender they are themselves (who's a better judge) but from a legal standpoint...

    According to https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/pssngr-prtct/dcmnts-en.aspx

    According to the Secure Air Travel Regulations, the required identification to take a domestic flight is:

    one piece of valid government-issued photo identification that shows the holder's name, date of birth and gender;
    two pieces of valid government-issued identification, at least one of which shows the holder's name, date of birth and gender; or
    a restricted area identity card.
    If this person was presenting a current Ontario Provincial Health Card, that card shows his gender.

    As for your begged question, and this is pure speculation based on a very cynical approach to human philosophy, but if an honest to gods leprechaun handed a valid state ID that meets the 'Secure Air Travel Regulations' criteria, the gate agent would board the little guy without a second glance.
     

    OKW Lover

    Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2004
    Lots of transgender folks in the US fly without any problem. TSA doesn't care how you dress/present. They are looking for security/terrorist threats.
     

    kiford

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 9, 2012
    It does beg the question though, how do airlines handle someone who is transgender and their ID shows a photo or a name that may not be considered 'matching up'.
    Everything has to match up - no exceptions. For some reason, the airlines always manage to mess up my middle name (apparently it duplicates it or something) and the automated boarding pass kiosks reject my Nexus card and I have to go to a ticket agent to have them do it manually (even though my name on my passport and my Nexus card are the same and I carefully enter the correct information when I purchase the ticket). If something doesn't match, you are rejected. My father has to travel using his first name and full middle name although he goes by neither so always has to make sure that the TA puts it in correctly. So I imagine that someone who is transgender who has not yet changed their name on legal documents such as birth certificate or passport would have to fly under the same name as whatever ID is used; presumably they'd have to use the same gender as what's on that ID too. I just know that they are very sticky about even middle names or initials so I imagine that one's personal situation is of no relevance to them. Your documents match the data or they don't. As for photo - when I recently renewed my passport, I read something that suggested that you re-do your passport if your appearance has changed substantially since you last got one such as gaining or losing a significant amount of weight. Personally, I think passport photos are so bad, it's surprising that anyone is recognizable. Though I have been asked to take off my glasses once or twice when going through passport control as my passport photo does not show me wearing them.

    For clarity - this is Canada, and provincial health cards in ontario are photo IDs. This person had forgotten his current DL so they were negotiating the merits of his health card.
    Right - this morning the gate agent specifically said they would not accept an ID that did not list gender. I'm guessing they are required to confirm gender in the ID against gender listed in their passenger manifest?
    That's weird. I just checked my OHIP photo card and it has my gender on it. Maybe the guy just didn't understand what it was (the card, not the gender) or couldn't be bothered to look hard enough though it's pretty obvious.
     

    Princess_Lisa

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 9, 2017
    It would be because of the way they programmed the body scanners. They apparently have a "Male" and a "Female" option when scanning, which has caused issues and embarrassment for people whose bodies did not match what was expected based on their gender. Personally, what this tells me is either the system can't discern the difference between a normal body part and explosives in which case it is all security theater or it can and the buttons are not needed.
     


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