A minor storm of potentially viral proportions erupted after a blogger noticed that regulations regarding Canadian airlines indicate under some circumstances, transgender passengers could be banned from planes.
Airlines Don’t Ban Transgender People
However, there is no indication to show this has ever happened.
The point of contention appears to be a Canadian aviation regulation that says an air carrier will not transport a person if “the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated” on his or her ID.
Airline Pride in Diversity
Although the regulation does not mention the term transgender, it nevertheless prompted one blogger to proclaim, “Transgender Passengers are Completely Banned from Boarding Airplanes in Canada.” Again, as far as can be determined, no transgender person has been denied a seat on a Canadian (or U.S.) flight due to any identification problems.
In fact several airlines, including Southwest take pride in ties to the Gay, Lesbian, Bi- and Transgender communities.
What the TSA Says about Transgender People
Yet apparently questions remain on both sides of the border. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration made mention of transgender people on its site in connection with the Secure Flight program which went into effect in the fall of 2010. In a nutshell, Secure Flight is a security measure that requires every passenger to provide airlines with name, date of birth and gender when making a reservation – personal information that must match that of their government-approved ID. When it comes to gender, though, the Department of Homeland Security leaves that determination up to individual states.
On the TSA blog, an FAQ section tackles a question on transgender people and necessary identification with this bare-bones response:
“Passengers will be required to provide their name, gender, and date of birth when making a reservation to fly. The gender provided when making the reservation should match the gender indicated on the passenger’s government-issued identification.” -TSA Blog, Aug. 2009