At DOT, we believe that all airline passengers deserve to be treated fairly, so we’ve been hard at work introducing consumer protections that we hope will make flying more convenient and hassle-free for everyone.
And last month, we proposed a requirement for airlines to make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities and ensure that their ticket agents do the same. This proposal would also require airlines to make automated kiosks at U.S. airports accessible to passengers with disabilities.
The principle here is simple, and the Air Carrier Access Act signed by President Reagan in 1986 made it the law of the land: airline passengers with disabilities should have equal access to the same services as all other travelers.
Under the proposed requirement, airlines would have two years to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, airlines and airports that use automated kiosks for services such as printing boarding passes and baggage tags would have to ensure that any kiosk ordered 60 days after the rule takes effect is accessible.
This proposal is just the latest in a series of DOT steps to carry out the Air Carrier Access Act, and ensure equal access to air transportation for all travelers. For example, in May 2008, DOT required carriers to make discounts available to passengers with disabilities who can't use inaccessible web sites and therefore must make telephone or in-person reservations that add to their ticket costs.
As with some previously proposed regulations, we’ve made it easy for you to comment on this with the Regulation Room website. This user-friendly online partnership with the Cornell eRulemaking Initiative supports President Obama’s open-government efforts and makes your participation that much easier.
Thousands of Americans have let their voice heard on this unique website. It's really a great opportunity for you to weigh in on your government's actions. So, please visit the Regulation Room by November 25 and let us know what you think of our latest proposed consumer protections for air travelers with disabilities.
These proposed passenger protections are just one more way that DOT is helping ensure that you receive the respect you deserve before, during and after your flights.