Woman’s ‘genderless’ ID won’t fly in B.C.

A New Zealand woman was not allowed to fly out of the Kelowna International Airport with her genderless ID

Genderless identification just won’t fly, a New Zealand woman learned this week while trying to catch a domestic flight out of Kelowna International Airport.

Sharon Duley is a frequent traveler, and was booked on a flight to Vancouver Sunday when she realized she didn’t have her passport with her — it was in a bag with her husband who had chosen to drive the route.

She did a quick search on the airline website and learned that all needed to fly was valid government issued, photo ID.

“My New Zealand Driver’s Licence is a valid government-issued, photo ID … so I thought it was fine,” Duley said, from New Zealand.

She learned at the gate, and during a subsequently longer read of Canadian aviation regulations, that it wasn’t entirely the case. Information indicating gender is required on one piece of ID, so she was barred from the flight.

“The thing that gets me — and the law is the law — is there’s no way they are going to identify a person, especially in the current climate, by their gender,” she said.

At the airport Duley found out that the same thing happened to an Aussie the week before.

“It’s just not a good way to treat tourists,” she said. “When you come in legally on your passport and you’re flying domestically, it doesn’t say you need a passport.”

A witness to the situation also saw fault in how it was dealt with and detailed it on Facebook this week.

“In this day of gender neutrality….we are at the airport boarding a flight to Vancouver and they removed the bags of a lady from New Zealand and won’t let her on the plane because her Driver’s License doesn’t specify male or female,” said Blake Roberts.

“(They don’t specify there evidently). This poor lady is left crying and stranded alone at the airport in Kelowna. The federal government better get consistent in its law and the fact that the WestJet staff wouldn’t turn a blind eye for her? Poor form WestJet.” “

When flying a domestic flight passports, which have gender on them, aren’t required and licences can be used. But apparently not all of them are consistent and certain things are required.

RELATED: AIRPORT NUMBERS ARE SKY HIGH

“Although I cannot speak to this specific situation, in accordance with Transport Canada regulations, WestJet must check identification at the boarding gate for all guests 18 years of age and older,” said Lauren Stewart, a WestJet representative. “The name on the ID must match the name used on the reservation or ticket.”

At the boarding gate, a guest must present:

• Two pieces of valid government-issued non-photo identification with matching names, as long as at least one piece also includes the date of birth and gender; or

• One piece of valid government-issued identification with photo showing the name, date of birth and gender.

Jasmine Patrick, communications staff for the airport, couldn’t say if this sort of situation had occurred before and noted that City of Kelowna policies protect against any kind of discrimination among staff, this case is beyond their jurisdiction and is a question for the federal regulator, Transport Canada.

Transport Canada responded to a query and said that in August 2015, Public Safety Canada created the Secure Air Travel Regulations, which replaced previous regulations.

“In general, the purpose of this section of the Secure Air Travel Regulations is to ensure air carriers confirm the identification presented belongs to the travelling passenger in order to prevent circumvention of the Passenger Protect Program and the Secure Air Travel Act list,” reads the statement.

The Government of Canada is exploring an update of the Secure Air Travel Regulations should amendments to the Secure Air Travel Act be passed as part of Bill C-59.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nanaimo buses first to get new technology

NextRide technology will help riders pinpoint where buses are and predicted arrival times

UPDATE: Police rule out alcohol, distraction in fatal crash in Nanoose

Passenger of fatal crash still in critical condition following crash in Nanoose Bay on Friday

Nanaimo plays hockey in support of Humboldt

Humboldt Strong Street Hockey Tournament held Sunday, April 22 at Nanaimo North Town Centre

Police look for hit-and-run suspect after senior struck

Incident occurred April 17 at about 3 p.m. at Selby and Fitzwilliam streets

MLA Stilwell chairing B.C. Liberals’ new affordability committee

Opposition thinking about election readiness

UPDATED: 9 killed, 16 injured after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Toronto police say nine people have died and 16 are injured

Parksville resident interrupts break-and-enter

Two break-ins reported in the same day on the same street

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

LGBTQ advocates turn Victoria SOGI protest into dance party

Counter-protest outnumbers anti-SOGI activists on lawn of B.C. legislature

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Scooter crash leaves Island man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Most Read