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

Port Alberni RCMP honour fallen officers from New Brunswick

Moment of silence, prayers held for Fredericton officers killed last week

Trio of Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock events planned for Port Alberni

Cancer Society volunteers work behind the scenes to fundraise for tour

Man rescued from cliff on Harbour Road in Port Alberni

Fire department uses new equipment in rope rescue

Alberni Valley firefighters head to Fort St. James to assist with B.C. wildfires

‘We need to make sure first and foremost our community is protected’: Gilday

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Safeway union urgest rejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Federal government announces over $115 million to Royal Canadian Navy

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was at Victoria’s CFB Esquimalt to announce missile system upgrades

Most Read