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New DOT Rules To Make Flying Easier


The U.S. Department of Transportation recently held a webinar regarding the Air Carrier Access Act: New DOT Rules to Make Flying Easier for Passengers with Disabilities, held November 14, 2013.

This webinar covered new rules regarding the following two areas:

1) Air Carrier Website and Kiosk Accessibility:

    Websites:

      • Airline websites marketing air transportation to consumers in the U.S. must be accessible.
      • Airlines are required to provide equivalent service at no charge to passengers with a disability who cannot use their website due to a disability.

    Kiosks:

      • Airlines and airports must make their proprietary and shared-use kiosks accessible.
      • Airlines and airports share responsibility for ensuring compliance and maintenance of accessible shared-use kiosks.
      • Airlines must provide equivalent service to passengers who cannot use an airport kiosk due to a disability.

    *Please see presentation for a more comprehensive overview on this rule.(pdf)


2) Stowage of Manual Wheelchairs on the Aircraft:

    There must be priority space in the cabin for manual wheelchairs to be stowed.

      • This space must be big enough to stow a wheelchair with the following dimensions without disassembling: 13 in x 36 in x 42 in.
      • Space must be other than the space for carry-ons.

    Manual Wheelchairs can be stowed in two ways in the cabin:

      • Seat strapping
      • Closet

    Additional protections have been added into the rule which include:

      • Pre-boarding must be offered for all in-cabin wheelchair requests.
      • Carriers may never request or suggest that a passenger should not stow a wheelchair in the cabin.

    *Please see presentation for a more comprehensive overview on this rule.(pdf)

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings gave the following contact information for complaints noting that if passengers with disabilities experience an issue with transfer, chair mishandling, etc. that they should submit a complaint via one of the options below.

    Mailing Address:

      Aviation Consumer Protection Division, C-75
      U.S. Department of Transportation
      1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E.
      Washington, DC 20590

    Online Complaint form:  http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint

    Hotline:

      • (800) 778-4838 (Voice)
      • (800) 455-9880 (TTY)