After the 25th Anniversary of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACA) back in November of 2011, the suggested updates were put into action on November 6th, 2013. In summary they make airline travel easier for people with disabilities. The new Department of Transportation rules:
- Websites and Airline Kiosks Must Be Accessible – Websites must adhere to the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines. This means that barriers to people with disabilities are removed. As for kiosks that print tickets, “25 percent of kiosks at each airport location must be accessible within 10 years”, according to the Department of Transportation.
- Wheelchairs take Priority Over Luggage
- Prompt Wheelchair Assistance – No person who uses a wheelchair or other type of mobility assistance from an airline should miss flights or go through long delays for help.
- Storage of Wheelchairs – Airlines must allow for storage of two wheelchairs, one in the closet and one strapped across seats.
US Airways received at least 300 complaints about the lack of or the tardiness of wheelchair assistance at specific airports. They received a hefty fine of 1.2 million dollars by the Department of Transportation. As a person who makes use of this type of assistance,
I have experience delays, especially when there are gate changes or connecting flights. Travel for people with disabilities should not be a struggle. It should level the field and not give us extras. The new airline rules do just that.
Have you experienced problem with airline travel as a traveler with disabilities? What do you think of the new airline rules?
Image Source – Daniel Lobo