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

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC Budget’s Top 10 promises the North Coast will care about

BC Ferry fare reductions, Indigenous language investments, rent support for seniors

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Crowns asks for more time in Victoria double murder of young sisters

Andrew Berry’s next court appearance will be in three weeks to set a date for trial to begin

B.C. MP invites convicted terrorist to Trudeau reception in India

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Women’s ice hockey team loses first Olympic game in 20 years

Team Canada added two silvers and a bronze to their total

Canadian support split on Trans Mountain pipeline debate: Poll

Angus Reid poll surveying Canadians on pipeline stance finds no clear winner

Tired of ‘big city life’? One-stoplight town hosts contest to lure in city slickers

Contest by BC Rural Centre hopes to attract city folks to a small town in the Kootenays

Student protest outside White House a snapshot of American gun debate

Demonstrators take part in a student protest for gun control legislation in front of the White House

Feds can’t do much to fight fake news in Canada

Federal government can’t do much to fight fake news: Canadian Heritage documents

Most Read