Air Travel May Become Easier for PWD

Sep 29, 2011
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A new regulation proposed by the Department of Transportation would require airline websites, and automated airport kiosks to be accessible. Under the proposed air travel rule, airlines would then be required to make their websites accessible over a two-year period, and ensure ticket agents do the same. If passed, the requirement would apply to U.S. and foreign carriers with websites marketing air transportation to U.S. consumers for travel within, to or from the United States. Small ticket agents would be exempt, according to the Department.

“I strongly believe that airline passengers with disabilities should have equal access to the same services as all other travelers,” — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The automated kiosks utilized for services, such as printing boarding passes and baggage tags would have to ensure that any kiosks ordered 60 days after the rule takes effect would have to be accessible. This would also apply to U.S. and foreign carriers and U.S. airports that own, lease or control automated airport kiosks at U.S. airports with 10,000 or more annual boardings.

Presently, the law requires that carriers make discounts available to passengers who cannot use their websites and must provide the option of making in-person reservations. Also, if passengers with disabilities are unable to use the kiosk because it is not accessible, carriers are required to provide equivalent service, such as having an airline employee assist in operating the kiosk.

“By putting this protection in place, passengers with disabilities will be able to get on and off any accessible car that is available to passengers at a new or altered station platform.” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement issued late last week by the Department of Transportation, which is amending its Americans with Disabilities Act regulations (ADA).

To find out more about Air Travel Accessibility, got to
http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2011/dot11111.html

Author: Jenny Carlton