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WestJet apologizes after the gate agent upsets transgender passenger with the ID issue

In a statement, WestJet said it had apologized to Mrs. Herrem and offered a credit for the flight.

(Reuters)

Canadian airline WestJet has been forced to apologize after a passenger was left feeling “angry and confused” by a devastating demand of an airline gate agent in front of other passengers.

Passenger Lenore Herrem was preparing to board the flight from Calgary to Saskatoon, Canada, for a visit to her parents.

Mrs. Herrem presents as a woman, but her gender marked as male on her Canadian health care card, which is a five-year-old-ID of the photo that also presents as a man.

One of the agents seemed confused, Ms. Herrem told canadian CBC.

“She got angry and said: ‘They do not fit together,” but her colleague said: ‘Yes, they are doing fine, go ahead,” she said.

“So I gently and discreetly said to her,” It is because I am transgender, that is the reason why they do not match each other. But my face is the same and my ID matches the name on my boarding pass’.”

WestJet passenger says she was ‘in shock’ after the gate agent outed her as transgenderhttps://t.co/OFcbcIe8jB pic.twitter.com/mxEMFylWxS

— Samuel Singer (@samuelsingerlaw) August 11, 2018

Mrs. Herrem was able to board the plane and had only in her chair for 10 minutes at both the gate agents came on the plane and approached her.

The first gate agent, who had been in the war, asked to see her ID again.

“She said something like, ‘Oh, that’s not the name I remember seeing on the computer when I saw him,” and she began to spray from a variety of other women’s names that were not of me,” Mrs. Herrem told CBC.

“She rolled her eyes at me and said, ‘are you sure it’s not your girl’s name on the computer?’

“She outed me in front of the whole plane.”

Mrs. Herrem said that was the first time that they had ever had a problem with her ID and she felt unsafe, vulnerable, belittled”.

“I was in shock, it was very traumatic having someone, especially the way she did it so loudly and in front of everyone, it was really unprofessional.”

In a statement, WestJet said it had apologized to Mrs. Herrem and offered a credit for the flight.

“WestJet’s inclusive culture is a point of pride for WestJetters, and our goal has always been to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone”, the company said.

“We have extended our apologies to the guest and are reviewing the matter as we are continuously reviewing and developing our practices and policies to maximize inclusiveness and diversity.”

Mrs. Herrem said that she was pleased with the airline’s commitment to the training of personnel “to deal with this kind of situations better in the future”.

“[That] was the most important thing for me to hear,” she said.

This article originally appeared on the news.com.au.

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